As the population booms in the urban areas, to build an efficient public transport and passenger cars system is an inevitable vision for a developing nation like Malaysia. Marking its 15th anniversary in the regional market, ZF Sales & Service Malaysia Sdn Bhd (ZFSSM), a subsidiary company of ZF group renews its commitment to support urban transport modernisation of the commercial vehicle industry.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of ZFSSM’s15th Anniversary celebration event, Siew Chee Kok, General Manager, ZFSSM and ZF Head of Global Service Asia Pacific shared his insights about the company’s future direction and the goals it sets for commercial vehicle industry.
Siew emphasized, ZFSSM is committed being part of the supportive forces and enabler for Malaysian transport network as to achieve the above vision via its innovative products and technologies.
Siew said: “Urban centres face demand for commercial vehicles that are reliable, safe and most importantly, cost effective and productive. Sustainable urbanisation will be a challenge as automotive industry requires vehicles to have low operating costs given the high intensity of vehicle usage without compromising safety and speed. ZFSSM intends to be the enabler for the Malaysian transport network by lending our expertise to modernise urban transport backed by ZF Group’s innovative products and technologies.”
He added, as part of ZFSSM’s efforts to support sustainable urbanisation, the company has worked with Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn, to have 300 MRT single deck city feeder buses equipped with ZF EcoLife, a high performance 6-speed automatic transmission for buses.
Also present at the event were Mohd Syahrul Yusuf, Managing Director of ZFSSM, Low Chen Lon, ZF Head of Service of ASEAN and ZF Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.
Primarily addressing the requirements of city buses and coaches, ZF EcoLife makes driving conditions easier for line service buses and coach drivers via improved and enhanced features. These key features include the automatic transmission of the product is available in seven versions with input torques range from 1,000 to 2,300 newton meters, thus enabling an efficient and powerful drive in buses with up to 32 tons gross vehicle weight.
Apart from that, enhanced with the intelligent drive programme by TopoDyn Life control software, ZF EcoLife is capable of adapting to driving conditions and adjusting its gearshift strategy to the driving routes during travel effortlessly. As such, it also enables improved fuel efficiency for the drivers.
With its integrated primary retarder in the vehicle's brake management system, ZF EcoLife supports high braking power even at low speeds. Thanks to improved feature, this newly developed product can help to ultimately extending the part’s lifecycle as it is able to reduce the strain on the vehicle's service brakes efficiently. Thus, in addition to reduced down time and longer service life, these city buses will also have reduced carbon emissions through extending the lifespan of the vehicle’s parts.
Siew elaborated: “These 300 single deck buses are currently servicing MRT Phase One of the Sungai Buloh station to Semantan station, and also the upcoming Phase Two line, which will service the Semantan station to Kajang station by July 2017. To date, there are more than 900 city buses in Malaysia equipped with ZF EcoLife transmissions.
“ZFSSM is also currently collaborating with Rapid Penang to fit its city buses with ZF EcoLife for preventive overhaul. Preventive overhaul allows significant extension to the vehicles service life without compromising safety or cost effeciency.”
In the past 15 years, the company has been has been linking high performance products and technological know-how to the Malaysian automotive industry. Likewise, as for the aftermarket, from supplying the products like SACHS shock absorbers to Proton and Perodua; to providing rail shock absorbers for Rapid KL, ZF delivers safe products and services of highest quality that represent efficient dynamics and costs effectiveness.
Siew continued: “As the second largest aftermarket organization in the automotive suppliers segment in the world, we are a service-oriented partner that includes spare parts business, technical information and training, remanufacturing, repair and fleet services for owners. Our core strength lies in our high quality and competent products, while ensuring minimal downtimes and service orientation for customers in the Original Equipment (OE) aftermarket and workshop business,”
On the other hand, as ZF is paving the future for fleet management in Malaysia, Siew added that through its newly innovated connectivity solutions, namely the OPENMATICS and DeTAGtive, it will encourage a more cohesive service network for the commercial vehicle industry.
He explained, with the OPENMATICS solution, ZF offers fleet management, asset tracking, vehicle diagnosis, engineering as well as entertainment and multimedia applications. OPENMATICS is an innovative telematics solution that allows fleet management, for commercial vehicles that include both buses and trucks to be transparent. With installation of this technology, it helps to avoid driving without loads, taking into account driving and rest periods in route planning and monitoring fuel consumption.
Added to that, with its OPENMATICS Asset Tracking solution, ZF enables tracking and monitoring of valuable assets allowing for efficient and modern logistics as well as manufacturing optimisation.
Under this Openmatics system, DeTAGtive logistics is a Bluetooth Smart Technology solution specifically developed for transport and logistics companies. Through the components that included TAGs, a stationary TAG Finder, a mobile app and a web application, fleet owners can easily track and monitor the transport of goods globally with this system in the most simplest way.
Meanwhile, Low who was present at the event also emphsized, through taking into account driving and rest periods in its route planning and monitoring fuel consumption, with the installation OPENMATICS, added with the enhanced DeTAGtive logitics, the new technology makes fleet management as transparent as possible for the bus and fleet operators.
“As part of the efforts to promote our OPENMATICS solution, we are currently working with The Kowloon Motor Bus Company Limited, one of the biggest bus operators in Hong Kong for the installation of this system on the buses. Todate, up to 4200 buses owned by KMB are 100% installed with OPENMATICS.
“With the installation of this system, it enables the bus operators to track and monitor the condition of fleets and assets efficiently and eventually prevent any risky incidents like theft cases and so on. For example, if the system detects one of the buses own by the company is still running at an abnormal hour at midnight or at some unusual routes during night time, then the company can make an immediate response to incidents like that, thus avoid any suspicious theft case.”
Founded in 1915, ZF embarks its journey into the automotive and commercial vehicle world as a German transmission and gear manufacturer. With the founding history over a century, ZF has developed itself into a global leader for driveline and chassis technology that is capable of offering diversified range of automotive components to the transport industry.
Today, the company has a global workforce of around 137,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2016, ZF achieved sales of €35.2 billion. ZF annually invests about six percent of its sales in research & development – ensuring continued success through design. In Asia Pacific’s market, ZF recorded € 7.7 billion sales in 2016, 22% increase from 2015.