BPW leads digital revolution with ECO disc brakes

From the October 2018 issue.

ECO disc brakes are bestsellers in Europe, pushing two million units, according to BPW Member of the Executive Board, Carlo Lazzarini. The brake specialist now looks to the future with its latest technologies.

The general reaction for BPW’s latest disc brake offering at this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles Show was, according to Lazzarini, one of the hottest topics at the event. He told Global Trailer that the ECO disc brake is by far the best-selling trailer disc brake in Europe and is also an integral part of a completely new way of configuring, manufacturing and assembling trailer running gear in the future.

“All BPW components are equipped with a kind of ‘digital DNA’ that is brought to life in the moment of configuration and accompanies the running gear throughout its life - right up to aftermarket service,” he said – explaining that the brake specialist has coined the term, ‘born digital’.

Lazzarini said that his team received great feedback from IAA attendees. “We were not prepared for the onslaught of international vehicle manufacturers that absolutely embraced our concept of fully integrated digital configuration, construction and aftermarket service,” he said. “The willingness of international customers to take the fast lane into the digital future is quite strong. We are currently working hard to accelerate the global market launch.”

Global Trailer asked Lazzarini to elaborate on the BPW ECO Disc TS2, specifically what the market should expect to see in terms of digitalisation.

“Digitalisation always sounds a little abstract, but the advantages of the ECO Disc TS2 are tangible and are evident in many aspects over the entire product life cycle,” said Lazzarini.

“It begins with the consistent application of different methods of CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) which has succeeded in reducing the weight of the disc brake while increasing robustness. In fact, we saved four kilograms of weight per axle and reduced components (more than 20 per cent) and interfaces. This in turn reduces possible sources of error and at the same time adds space for a robust dimensioning of existing components.

“The Offset Tappet Design (OTD) reduces the operational costs and prevents diagonal wear. In vehicle operation, our customers naturally continue to benefit from our mechatronic solutions, such as the BrakePadMonitor. The continuous monitoring of wear on your disc brake allows maintenance intervals to be better planned. Downtime is minimised and therefore operational costs effectively reduced,” he said – adding that BPW brakes were presented together with new modular running gear, Eco Air. “The QR code provides information on all technical specifications and combination options of the components including the brakes. This means that the running gear can be configured online in a very short time. The vehicle manufacturer can directly integrate a CAD model of the running gear into their CAD construction. The intelligent system prevents errors in the configuration and speeds up the entire design and construction process. From the configuration, an order can be triggered, which equips the running gear with a ‘digital DNA’: this automatically manages the production and delivery by BPW and also accompanies the vehicle throughout its life in the case of servicing and the replacement parts service. Alongside the relevant production data, all data relevant to servicing, such as spare parts lists or service manuals can be called up using the QR code. At the end of the day it all comes down to reducing cost of ownership for vehicle operators, and that is what gives us our competitive advantage.”

According to Lazzarini, BPW is only at the beginning of a digital revolution. “We demonstrated our lead at the IAA, and we will continue to expand it. Even when it comes to brakes: we are going full throttle on innovation.”

(Main image: BPW Member of the Executive Board, Carlo Lazzarini; second image: BPW ECO Disc TS2.)

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