Automechanika Frankfurt will be opening its doors for the 25th time

from 11 to 15 September 2018, and never before has the world’s

biggest aftermarket fair had so much to offer for trucks, vans,

buses and trailers. This year also features the first Truck

Competence Symposium with a high-quality panel and a training

workshop for commercial vehicle professionals.

Approx. 1,000 companies will be showcasing their products and

solutions for commercial vehicles at the 25th Automechanika Frankfurt,

and the familiar ‘Truck Competence’ pictogram will once again identify

the stands offering items of interest for commercial vehicle professionals.

But that is not all: Automechanika Frankfurt has responded to the

growing importance of commercial vehicles for workshops and spare

parts dealers by expanding its supporting programme. Visitors can look

forward to a new Truck Competence Symposium on the latest trends in

the commercial vehicle market, as well as a training workshop for radarand

camera-based driver assistance systems in workshop practice. Olaf

Mußhoff, Director of Automechanika Frankfurt: “Retrofit solutions for

commercial vehicles are becoming ever more important, and we have

been investing in our portfolio to strengthen the professional commercial

vehicle market.”

Symposium: Trends in commercial vehicle service

On 13 September from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and in collaboration with

the ETM-Verlag publishing house, the ‘Trends in commercial vehicle

service’ symposium will be looking into the ways in which electrification

and digitisation will change the workshop business. The symposium will

be delving into such topics as digital applications for vehicle acceptance,

digital vehicle files and predictive maintenance. Furthermore, the

symposium will be addressing the use of augmented reality for training

workshop personnel, as well as professional claims management and

intelligent tachographs. The roster of speakers at the symposium

includes industry experts such as Bernhard Wasner (Paul

Nutzfahrzeuge), Benjamin Hellbusch (Schmitz Cargobull), Jürgen

Lumera (Bosch), Nadine Wulf (Mercedes-Benz’s Hannover-

Langenhagen location), Rolf Hildebrand (ZF), Reinhard Dittmers

(Continental) and Christian Heid (Kanzlei Voigt Rechtsanwalts GmbH).

The effects of digital technologies on everyday practice in workshops, as

well as their benefits for service operations, are among the themes that

will be in focus. Thomas Rosenberger, Editor-in-Chief of ‘WERKSTATT

aktuell’ and ‘lastauto omnibus’, will be guiding participants through the

programme of this four-hour event taking place in Hall 8.1 in the

‘Symmetrie 2’ room. Trade fair visitors can participate free of charge.

Automechanika: Spotlight on the latest trends for commercial


More and more digital technologies and intelligent and networked

systems are being used in commercial vehicles, as well as in servicing

these vehicles. It is a trend that is also reflected in the products and

innovations on display from ‘Truck Competence’ exhibitors at this year’s

Automechanika, including smartphone and tablet apps for training and

instruction in service and repair, as well as in online spare parts ordering.

Apps will be replacing vehicle keys in the near future, and will serve as

universal remote controls for a wide range of trailer functions and vehicle

superstructures, including loading cranes and roll-off tippers. Visitors to

Automechanika 2018 can already see some of these solutions from

exhibitors such as Bosch, BPW, Knorr-Bremse and ZF.

First mirror replacement system approved for trucks

Intelligent assistance systems for drivers, including emergency braking

assistants, autonomous cruise control (ACC) and lane assistants are

already in use in trucks, buses and vans, yet there has still been no

avoiding the conventional act of looking into the mirror – until now. Vision

solution specialists MEKRA Lang is presenting the first mirror

replacement system approved for use in trucks at this year’s

Automechanika. The camera system, which boasts large displays on the

A-pillars inside the driver’s cab, renders large exterior mirrors

superfluous. This does more than simply lower the aerodynamic drag of

the vehicle – coloured overlays allow the system to display distances to

other vehicles or dynamically adapt the angle of view when


The fact that automated driving is not some dream of the future, but is

actually reality today, is confirmed by the latest developments on display

from multiple exhibitors. Not only ZF and Bosch, but also Knorr-Bremse

has developed control systems that have not only mastered the task of

environment recognition, but whose automated decision-making

processes and actuation make it possible to realise entirely automated

driving for commercial vehicles. With the next step – networking and

digital communication between vehicles, traffic lights, road signs and

other road users, a field in which Bosch is one of the drivers – the vision

of accident-free road traffic is fast approaching reality.

Retrofitting electric drive systems

A new megatrend – and not only for cars, but increasingly for vans,

trucks and buses as well – is electric drive systems. For commercial

vehicles, electrification is particularly appealing for city use, as electric

vehicles do more than simply enable emission-free local transport. By

reducing driving noise, they also relieve the burden on residents,

something that is especially important in the night-time hours. With the

conversion of vans and light trucks from conventional diesel propulsion

to electric drive systems, workshops with the right tools and know-how

will be able to enter into lucrative new business fields in future. Axlemanufacturer

BPW is helping lay the foundation with its new electric

drive axle. BPW developed its new axle especially for retrofitting existing

distribution vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 7.5

tonnes. According to BPW, the drive system, which comprises a motorgearbox

unit and a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 40-80 kWh,

makes possible ranges of up to 100 kilometres.

Truck Competence training workshops

One of the daily highlights in Automechanika’s wide-ranging trade fair

programme is the Truck Competence training workshop ‘Radar- and

camera-based driver assistance systems in workshop practice’, which

will be taking place every day from 10:00 a.m. until noon (12:00 p.m.) in

a special workshop tent in the F11 outdoor exhibition area. The trade

journal KrafthandTRUCK is serving as a partner to the event, which has

also secured the services of Master Automotive Technician Hendrik

Harenbrock, an experienced commercial vehicle specialist and trainer for

the Vehicular Department of the Chamber of Trades Training Centre in

Münster (HBZ), for the workshop.

According to Harenbrock: “From November 2018, emergency braking

assistants and lane assistants will be legally required in all trucks. This

means that even after simple repairs, it will be necessary to reset, adjust

and calibrate vehicles – and every manufacturer has their own special

procedure for this. In our workshop, we help commercial vehicle

professionals to prepare for these challenges.” The theory is combined

with an extensive hands-on component in which participants can learn

how to calibrate and adjust the sensors and cameras on a vehicle. The

workshop is aimed at commercial vehicle mechanics, electricians and

mechatronics specialists, as well as service consultants, automotive

experts and vocational school teachers.