ZF praises seven suppliers

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ZF, the Germany-based supplier of chassis and driveline technology, and active and passive safety technology, has announced the winners of its annual Supplier Awards, with seven companies honored for their services in four categories at a ceremony during this year’s ZF Global Supplier Summit.

“We are right in the middle of a major transformation in mobility, and digital products and services, more than anything else, are accelerating this change,” stated ZF board member Wilhelm Rehm, who is also responsible for the technology company’s materials management. “To realize our vision of a future mobility with zero accidents and zero emissions, we need suppliers by our side as development and innovation partners, more than ever.”

Innovation category
Plastics specialist Oechsler, which supplies ZF worldwide with actuators for electronic parking brakes, has invested significantly in 3D printing technology in the last few years, making a name for itself internationally, even outside the automotive industry. Oechsler was recognized for its approaches which have supported ZF in its efforts to shorten the development times of complex transmissions and housings.

Digitalization category
This year’s digitalization prize went to a company in Silicon Valley. The recipient, Excelfore, combines the expertise of 75 software engineers with the spirit of a start-up company. The middleware solutions that it develops will make the next generation of networked cars possible. ZF is working with Excelfore on the eSync cloud platform, which provides a standardized solution for over-the-air-software updates in vehicles and is used in error diagnosis. Excelfore has helped ZF reinforce its market position in the area of occupant safety systems.

Production Material category
Three suppliers tied as winners in the Production Materials category. One winner, Iron Force, is an Asian company that meets ZF’s demand for steel and specific tubes, and was praised for its flexibility and the rapidness with which it responds to requests.

The second joint winner, Voit Automotive, specializes in aluminum die casting and other forming technologies, and supplies ZF with transmission components. Investing in its own company plant in Poland and as an industrial leader of the joint venture Fonderie Lorraine in France founded in 2017, Voit has strengthened ZF’s global production footprint.

Lastly, Shell Deutschland Schmierstoff, the third winner in this category, is ZF’s main supplier of transmission oil. ZF’s long-term partnership with Shell Deutschland stood out this year particularly due to its competitive prices, cooperation with logistics and close collaboration in developing oil for the fourth 8HP automatic transmission generation.

Non-Production Material category
The awards for this category went to two companies. Paul Horn GmbH has been a reliable partner for cutting tools and tool retrofitting. When optimizing life cycles, remanufacturing tools and developing new concepts, the company has proven its innovativeness and reliability

Meanwhile JAS Worldwide was the ZF Group’s largest sea freight forwarder in 2018 and also an important logistics service provider for air freight. From the ZF jury’s perspective, the company has been outstanding in its proactive customer service approach while also providing excellent key account management. Lastly, when it comes to IT, JAS was said to be setting standards industry-wide, especially in terms of supply chain transparency.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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