PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF TRW AFTERMARKET
Just weeks after the launch of TRW Aftermarket’s latest ‘True Originals’ multi-media campaign, this time focussed on brake discs, the business looks in more depth at its brake disc portfolio. This feature outlines its recipe for success; one which has kept it at the top of the leader board in this area for the past two decades.
From November 2016 all brake discs and drums manufactured and sold across Europe for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles will have to meet the minimum standards outlined in the ECE R90 legislation. In order to meet these standards, the parts must pass a series of tests and perform to levels similar to the Original Equipment part.
“The recipe for success and longevity in this industry is a complicated mixture of experience, knowledge, skill and innovation. But first and foremost, it’s down to control,” explained Kevin Price, UK marketing manager, TRW Aftermarket.
As a pioneer in the design, development and manufacture of complete braking systems for vehicle manufacturers (VMs), the TRW brand has more than 100 years’ experience. For 20 years, this knowledge has been directly transferred into an aftermarket offer, which today manufactures in excess of 12 million brake discs annually.
Kevin continued: “Committed to improving global road safety, we view the introduction of any regulation that demands adherence to the standardisation of safety critical parts as a major step forward for the industry. Provided they are universally enforced and policed, these regulations will make it much harder for sub-standard and counterfeit product to reach the market and seriously compromise driver safety.”
TRW’s internal specification already exceeds legislation so the business is prepared for and welcomes these changes; as it did in 1999 with the introduction of the ECE R90 rules for brake pads.
“We employ the strictest manufacturing control and materials management combined with extensive OE know-how and stringent testing,” Kevin said. “After this, and after thoroughly investigating the different channels to market, we intelligently market our braking products; which are developed to work in harmony with each other within the system. By controlling the process from materials control through to targeted marketing instils confidence in the whole business model.”
In order to retain control over the manufacturing and testing processes, the business manufactures more than 70 percent of TRW branded discs in-house at TRW’s global manufacturing plants, including its leading European facility in Frydlant, Czech Republic.
Kevin continued: “Because we are committed to producing the safest and highest quality discs, a carefully controlled mixture of raw materials is used to produce the finest grey cast iron. Matching quality isn’t enough; it has to be the best possible mix from the initial casting for the best end performance quality.”
Exhaustive tests carried out by the business ensure the following:
• High carbon content (the fluidity allows easier casting and machining, plus a low degree of shrinkage
• Low melting temperature (1140 degrees C-1200 degrees C)
• High wear resistance and thermal capacity
• Hight tensile & compressive strength, giving high levels of rigidity
The castings then undertake a variety of stringent tests and controls before being released for machining to ensure the highest levels of safety.
“When we design our OE discs, we control every detail of every part and we don’t compromise on raw materials, or on machining tolerances,” Kevin continued.
“All our castings are made of top quality GG.20 material or GG15HC for high carbon. A tight control is kept on three other machining tolerances: the DTV (Disc thickness variation) never exceeds 12 μm the Run Out never exceeds 30 μm and the central hole is fixed at H8 norm. All of this ensures hassle free fitment and comfortable performance without any surprises.”
In addition to all this, TRW is one of the few aftermarket manufacturers to have its own dynamometer capabilities, allowing for first-hand process control instead of relying on third party testing facilities.
“The product then has to be marketed in a way which captures the imagination, builds brand awareness and instils confidence right down the supply chain,” Kevin continued.
“No Corner Module part operates in isolation. By thinking in terms of systems, all our braking, steering & suspension parts are designed to work in harmony, and for maximum performance, it stands to reason that they work best when used together.”
Eighteen months ago, TRW Aftermarket launched its ‘Perfect Match’ initiative which advocates fitting TRW branded pads and discs together for the safest drive and to provide the most efficient and sensible business option for motor factors.
This initiative has proven to be a success in terms of boosting sales figures and communicating the safety message to an increased audience, via the businesses many digital platforms as well as traditional media routes.
TRW Aftermarket’s ‘Perfect Match’ offers a host of added value benefits. Brake pads are coated in a silicate coating called Cotec, developed by TRW Aftermarket for a safer drive. It significantly improves the stopping distances of vehicles in the first few stops after fitment and speeds up the ‘bedding in’ process of the brake pad attaching to the brake disc, enhancing braking performance during component lifetime.
TRW Aftermarket’s discs are coated only where necessary – on the hub and the edge, providing superior corrosion protection and reducing bedding in time, guaranteeing superior performance from the first stop.
Kevin added: “From a business perspective, supplying the full ‘Corner Module’ of braking, steering & suspension parts and systems, means customers need only deal with one supplier.
“We don’t just work with our customers; we partner them to offer safety, quality, range and convenience from one name – TRW Aftermarket.”
Confidence in the ‘Perfect Match’ is reflected in TRW Aftermarket’s extended three year (or 36,000 mile) warranty against material or production defects when TRW branded brake pads and brake discs are fitted together. Full terms and conditions can be found here https://www.trwaftermarket.com/perfectmatch/
Sealing the deal, is market leading vehicle parc coverage, full product marketing and technical support, and where necessary, all fitting accessories and instructions provided as standard in the product box.
And with all makes, premium product quality programmes of more than 1200 brake discs and in excess of 1800 brake pads, The ‘Perfect Match’ provides coverage for 98 percent of the European car parc.