Interviewer: You have been present at the most important trade fairs of the automotive sector for a long time. So before we approach the foundations of the latest investment, let us get our readers familiar with the core-business of the company.
President of Master-Sport Poland: Let us remind that the board at Master-Sport Automobiltechnik (MS) GmbH had summed up the Frankfurt trade fair as the most successful fair event in 2016. To meet the requests and suggestions of our customers and the policy of continuous development, it was decided that we will also meet our 2017 partners at the fairs in Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, Dubai, Birmingham, Chicago, Johannesburg, Moscow and Paris.
Master-Sport-Automobiltechnik (MS) GmbH is a German company, with headquarters and sales office located in Munich. The scope of our activities include: design, manufacture and distribution of spare parts for cars. We supply auto parts directly to the assembly lines of automobile manufacturers as an OEM; and in the aftermarket, we distribute them directly from our warehouses in several European countries. All MASTER-SPORT products are made maintaining the highest quality standards, confirmed with the necessary certificates, such as TUV. Moreover, we have our own R&D, which deals with improving the existing technical and technological solutions in cooperation with reputable laboratories.
Our customers from the aftermarket are provided with 3 classes of products: Standard, Sport EXTREME, and Sport Klasse. The first reflect OE products with their characteristics, materials and durability. They are often redesigned products, which makes them better than the original, that goes to the first assembly. Sport EXTREME is a special program of spare parts used in motorsports. Such parts provide maximum safety, even in extreme operating conditions. Finally, Sport Klasse is a line of selected products manufactured using the latest achievements of technical thought and innovative utility solutions, successfully tested in rally cars, currently offered to users of mass-produced vehicles. One must know that we are successful in many European countries not only in the distribution of our products, but also in motorsports.
InterviewerDuring the recently completed trade fair in Frankfurt, announcement was made that Master-Sport creates a modern research and development center, which will explore modern technologies in the area of manufacturing parts and components for passenger cars, and will develop solutions for the development of electrical mobility. Why is this so important for those on the aftermarket?
President of Master-Sport PolandThe work carried out at the R&D center is geared to implement and improve the Company's competitiveness. The aim establishing an R&D department is to improve the competitiveness of our products on a global scale, but the location of the investment will most of all benefit Polish businesses. The R&D center will be built in the town of Gorlice and is to be a modern research center focused directly on the implementation of latest technologies in automotive mass production. The R&D department is not only to develop unique and innovative solutions in the area of traditional automotive technology, but above all to enter the Polish and global development strategies for cars, with an emphasis on zero-emission electric vehicles and vehicles with hybrid propulsion systems. The center will be strictly linked to the warehouse in Gorlice and the modern production and assembly lines planned to launch in the coming years.
It will be unique, the only such investment in the region. We want to not only increase the competitiveness of MASTER SPORT in the market of automotive components supply, but also to develop and implement completely new and unique technologies in the area of electrical mobility. We do hope that the newly built R&D center will contribute to increasing employment among Polish engineers and to strengthen cooperation between industry and science. Research conducted in Gorlice will be conducted by Polish engineers in collaboration with scientists from Poland and Germany. This way, solutions developed for new automotive components and subassemblies will be characterized by unique technology, design, testing and manufacture. Research is planned in areas of batteries, efficient filter systems, automotive suspension, and in the area of vehicles with alternative hybrid and electric drives.
Poland was chosen as the seat of the center for a reason; this location will allow collaboration with national and foreign scientific centers at reasonable costs of maintaining the research and technology facilities and that entails cooperation with the best scientists and graduates of Polish technical universities.
InterviewerElectrical mobility looks like a song of the future, even when viewed from the perspective of a modern car repair shop. How to prove that this trend today should be the apple of the eye for managers on the aftermarket?
President of Master-Sport PolandThe primary objective of creating a Polish R&D center is to develop modern design and technology with a range of innovative power sources (LI-POL, LPF, and LI-ION batteries) equipped with unique diagnostic systems protecting against voltage fluctuations, excessive discharge and overheating. Diagnostics and management systems for the work of the battery packs and accumulators, the so-called: BMS (Battery Management System) are now one of the biggest challenges in the market of electrical energy storage. Most of these systems are separate drivers not integrated with the battery pack itself, which often causes compatibility problems with solutions, or dramatically shortens the life of the systems after replacement with a new pack, but delivered e.g. by another manufacturer. A problem may occur even when new packs are characterized by exactly the same rated parameters, but the use of pack cells supplied by different manufacturers causes a significant difference in the characteristics of the battery, and thus may cause malfunction of the control logic, shortening trouble-free battery life or directly blocking the correct operation of the battery pack by blocking the recharging process or cutting the cells off the system.
The solutions developed at MASTER-SPORT are to eliminate these problems, integrate systems to manage parameters of the battery with a battery pack and pin out diagnostic information from the system in a form accessible to the user, allowing for quick user response and detecting irregularities in the operation of power systems at an early stage.
InterviewerThe growing number of devices online, connecting with the environment, involves huge potential for car repair shops. How do you want to increase the effectiveness of servicing vehicles where the battery is the most important link?
President of Master-Sport PolandWe went a step further than our competition. The power systems we developed are not only reliable, but also very friendly to the end user. We are working on unique functionalities of battery packs to allow users transferring them to another level of satisfaction, breaking the myth of the heavy and dirty acid battery. Our solutions will be used in other areas such as tourism, recreation, specialized vehicles (campers, trailers), taking into account the uses, of which customers could not even dream until now, such as stationary systems to supplement the energy of electronic mobile devices (phones, laptops, cameras, camcorders, or even printers or electric kettles)."
The characteristic work management model carried out at the R&D center will be one focused on an innovative approach to product development, geared to meet the needs of the end user. Thanks to this management model, products developed by MSRDC (Master Sport Research and Development Center) will be focused on high reliability and durability, not on reducing manufacturing costs. Through the work of the R&D center, we want to provide our customers unique market values, such as trust in our products.
Another exemplary project that we plan to explore and develop at the Master Sport research center is the filter system with a system for the magnetic separation of contaminants.
InterviewerThis proposal was recognized at the Equip Auto 2015 fair. Such solutions were previously reserved for industrial dirt separators, e.g. in haulers working in mining. Has this innovative debut in the automotive market lived to see another review?
President of Master-Sport PolandYou need to know that classic solutions work on the basis of mechanical separation at a porous material (fabric, non-woven, or braided). Such a solution, however, has two disadvantages. First, the limited mechanical strength of the filter in contact with hard and sharp impurities (with an irregular pattern, such as filings) may result in breaking the filter material and permeating impurities. The second disadvantage involves gradientless separation, which means identical separation properties of particles of different sizes, which may result in quick clogging of the filter confronted with various fractions of impurities. The proposed solution being explored by MS is based on a two-stage filtration system, built using a strong magnetic field and a filter material. This allows for the separation of larger metal particles at the initial stage of filtration and separation of the smaller particles in the final filter stage.
Such solutions are not currently used on a large scale, but preliminary studies show very high efficacy, especially in the motorsport sector and in older cars, which show above-average wear.