Tier 1 automotive braking systems supplier, Brembo has announced a new transformational strategy and plans to be a solution provider through smart, more sustainable and digital products and services.
The new approach by the Italian component supplier, which has a global presence, is an attempt to increase its competitiveness and ensure long-term viability in an evolving automotive ecosystem which is currently facing disruption by the new megatrends of autonomous, connected, electric and sustainable mobility.
The company’s new vision – ‘Turning Energy into Inspiration’ – outlines its mission to integrate products and services into harmonic, all-round solutions to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the automotive industry.
In a virtual event – Brembo Next – held on September 16, Brembo CEO, Daniele Schillaci, said, “We are fine-tuning Brembo into a truly digital company and today, the kick-off is the day we start with the implementation process. Our new vision reflects the changing times and ignites the future of Brembo. Our plan is to become a truly digital company, delivering digital solutions. In that regard, we will further strengthen our innovation capabilities on a global scale through the creation of R&D Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in our main regions. We want to infuse our solutions with artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainable technologies, to become an aspirational and cool brand for the generations to come.”
“The automotive industry is really facing a big transformational phase like never before. The megatrends are changing the landscape, which is putting a lot of pressure on OEMs in terms of managing resources. Therefore, at Brembo, we identified this as the right time to become a solutions provider and support our partners. We are on a mission to anticipate the impact of the megatrends that are shaping the automotive industry and to surprise our partners by offering them solutions that are at the cutting edge of innovation. We are on their side to build together a more sustainable mobility ecosystem,” he added.
Brembo’s roadmap for its transformational journey includes digitalisation of operations as well as creation of new R&D Centres of Excellence. While it says it has been deploying AI in product development and design, the company will now put an increased focus on data management and has set up a new ‘digital innovation’ department in this regard. The new CoEs are slated to come up in different geographies including in China, India, Europe and the US. The company says that such a distributed allocation would bring in diversity of cultures, as well as aid quicker research and development of new technologies.
New sustainable innovations
Talking of new technologies, the company took the opportunity to unveil two of its latest innovations at the virtual event and gave a sneak peek into how its braking systems would drive sustainability in modern-day vehicles.
The first one - ‘Greenitive’ – is a disc brake coating technology that features a layer of special coating on the disc’s surface to reduce brake dust. Brembo claims that the layer offers high levels of corrosion resistance as well as a unique mirror effect. The term Greenitive is derived from ‘Green’ and ‘Distinctive’. The new coating technology can be applied to the brake ring of all Brembo disc concepts – solid, lightweight, dual cast and two-piece floating discs. It will eventually reduce particulate emissions from the vehicle’s braking system and make it greener.
The second innovation showcased was ‘Enesys’, wherein the term is derived from the Energy Saving System. Brembo’s new braking innovation focuses upon improvements in the brake spring technology to enhance efficiency and performance of the car’s braking system.
In a conventional disc brake system, the spring’s task is to ensure that the brake pads return to their original position inside the brake calliper once the brake pedal is released. This keeps a check on avoiding undesired friction between the pads and the brake disc. However, with the Enersys system, the new spring reduces possible residual contacts between the pads and discs while the driver is not braking. The company claims that this small, yet ultra-efficient solution, prioritises a reduction of both emissions and energy wastage, while also guaranteeing an overall increase in performance of a vehicle with the same engine, power and weight.
The system further contributes to lowering vehicle emissions by limiting brake pad and disc wear, thus decreasing the brake dust generated by residual friction. Avoiding excessive wear also means reducing the products’ maintenance needs and increasing their duration.
Slow recovery ahead
The outbreak of Covid-19 has delayed the pace of the transformational journey for Brembo. Offering an outlook for rest 2020, Schillaci said, “If we look at quarter-by-quarter, the market forecast (global) seems to be in the range of 20-21 percent de-growth, whereas China would be around negative 10 to 12 percent. So, instead of sales of 90 million units of passenger vehicles around the world last year, we would see around 70 million by the end of 2020, due to the impact of Covid-19.”
“We are seeing China recovering quite well and could possibly be the first region to go back to 2019 levels. However, overall global recovery in 2021 might not be that quick,” he concluded.
In India, Brembo is a major supplier of high-performance braking systems to two-wheeler manufacturers from its plants in Chakan (Pune), Manesar (Haryana) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).