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trailer world Issue One 2012

22      Issue One 2012 Potential These air tanks have also been produced in our new factory. “BPW quick- ly saw the potential of these new products, so the whole decision-making process was very short. It took less than a year from the first calculations to the start of manufactur- ing“, explains Kim Villadsen. ”We’ve opened up the floodgates. Now we have great potential for manufacturing all kinds of thermoplastic products – we are only limited by our imagi- nation“, says Finn Sten Pedersen. Enquiries Even before the new produc- tion started, HBN-Teknik found itself being flooded with enquiries. ”We have been getting enquiries every week from all kinds of differ- ent industries that work with compressed air“, says Finn Sten Pedersen. These include bus manufacturers, the offshore industry and car manufacturers who believe that air suspen- sion will move from the luxury end to become standard in small and medium-sized cars, as has happened with airbags and air condition- ing. ”But we want them to be involved in each development phase so that we can find the very best solutions right from the start“, says Kim Villadsen. From 50 to 200 Before the new produc- tion facilities were built, HBN-Teknik had 50 staffs, but this is likely to triple or quad- ruple over the next two years. The new fac- tory is ready to accommodate another pro- duction line, and there are also other possibilities for expansion in Ringsted. ”We have to be very smart about the way we manufacture in Denmark, and we need to be highly-automated because we have the highest labour costs in the world“, says Kim Villadsen. But he is not afraid of the competition, because the compression moulds and machinery are expensive and the products are not easy to copy. So in tough times for the Danish manufacturing industry, the Ringsted fairy tale is still very much alive. (gn) Pushing the envelope and going beyond the system‘s limits: as sys- tem manufacturers of running gear technology, this has always been a major focus for BPW. This is why the company set itself the challenge of creating a new, market-oriented, economical air suspension design. The new system consists of “ECO Air COMPACT” air suspension and the GFK ECO Air composite tank. This ultra-lightweight air tank is manufactured using a patented pro- duction process by BPW subsidiary HBN-Teknik in Denmark. The prod- uct portfolio includes all standard sizes 40-120 liters. Compared to a steel tank the fiberglass air tank has a weight advantage of more than 50 %. Even to the aluminium air tank there is still a weight advantage. It also does not corrode, so it has a long life expectancy. The new “ECO Air Compact“ air suspension is a logical development of the existing Airlight-II series. The totally modular construction has been retained, as this is what BPW is renowned for in the mar- ket. It is a compact and easy-to-maintain unit. The trailing arm and connectors have been replaced by a two-part cast design. The com- ponents are locked on diagonally – a difficult operation that reflects the skill and experience of the engineers at Wiehl. The cast member are supported solely by the reinforced radii of the axle beam. The screwed joint is maintenance-free for the whole of its lifecycle. The design is high-quality and very robust. Fewer connectors mean there is optimum power trans- mission during driving. The crux of the “ECO Air Compact“ air suspension is the system-inte- grated steel and rubber bush. This is an innovative, high-tech product with outstanding shock absorption and it guarantees the tyres of the trailer‘s running gear will have perfect tracking stability. The “ECO Air Com- pact” will be launched in mid- 2012. The compact modular-designed air suspension reduces the  variances and thus the complexity for leaner production process at the vehicle manufacturer. And for the haulier, it means high quality, low lifecycle costs and an ease of maintenance that is both unique and unusual. Two-part design for good air »We are only limited by our imagination« Finn Sten Pedersen, Sales Manager To find out more about HBN-Teknik products, go to Innovative