Ryco Filters and AutoGuru claim honours at Australian Financial Review innovation awards

Alastair Hampton, Ryco Filters General Manager, Engineering & Innovation

For the second year running, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) has recognised AutoGuru as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Tech Companies in Australia & New Zealand.
AutoGuru CEO Eden Shirley said that being the only automotive company ranked in the AFR Top 10 Most Innovative Tech Companies two years running is no small feat and positions AutoGuru as a leading technology provider to the Australian Aftermarket.
Fellow AAAA member company, Ryco Filters, was also voted in the top five of Australia’s most innovative companies in the 2019 Awards in the Manufacturing and Consumer Goods category.
This prestigious award is in recognition of the research, development and successful market launch of the innovative Ryco RCC350 Crankcase Filter.
The Ryco product development team with direct customer input from the market had identified a concern with crankcase emissions contaminating engine air intake systems.
This was resulting in a reduction in engine power, an increase in fuel consumption and expensive maintenance. To prevent this occurring, many simple and illegal actions are taking place in the market, such as dismantling part of the emission system, which results in increasing atmospheric pollution.
“As a company, Ryco articulates innovation as ‘Change that Adds Value’ and recognising this particular issue was getting worse, our aim was to fully understand the problem from the customer’s perspective,” Ryco General Manager Engineering and Innovation, Alastair Hampton, said.
“Using our close relationship with trade customers who could articulate the issue through specialist forums, one on one discussions and from careful observation on what was happening in the market, especially in the 4X4 diesel area, we uncovered several existing solutions which were either illegal or were completely ineffective and complex.
“The trade clearly required an innovative solution that was easy to fit to a wide range of vehicles that offered effective filtration of these harmful gasses along with large capacity storage.”
With detailed information now at hand the Ryco development team set about designing a filter system that connects to the vehicle’s engine PCV emission system allowing the harmful engine gases to flow through to a specially designed filter. This would trap the contaminants such as fine oil droplets and coalesces them into larger droplets, which then fall into a special storage sump for safe disposal.
Using one of the most sophisticated in-house filtration laboratories in the SE Asia region enabled a series of lab tests to be undertaken to objectively measure and compare the new system to existing systems on key performance areas that were highlighted in the technical specification data and ISO standard.
Robust construction of the unit was also critical and the final RCC350 is constructed using a high temperature resistant engineering polymer housing that contains the special filter media and valves to manage the internal gas pressure and flow.
Ryco Filters’ continuous drive for innovation in new products was rewarded at a formal dinner in Sydney on 8 August as a Top Ten Most Innovative Company and 3rd in the Manufacturing and Consumer Category with its advanced RCC350 Crankcase Filter.
“The company was excited to take the third in category win against some very big names especially as there were more than 800 entries from Australia and New Zealand. The outcome is a win for our customers and a great compliment to the professional approach Ryco Filters takes in the development of new and innovative products that lead the market,” Alastair said.

AutoGuru Chief Financial Officer Susan Lownds collects the award with CEO & Founder Eden Shirley.

Meanwhile, Eden said that it was an honour to share the stage with companies like Ryco, Carlton & United Brewries and Caltex Australia.
“Our hunt for continued recognition in this space can only bring more benefits to service providers in the industry. We’ve already introduced industry firsts such as Rego look up, Afterpay and Uber courtesy ride integration and our dynamic car service and repairs quoting system that helps service providers maximise their opportunities, but there’s still heaps more to come.
“AutoGuru is committed to innovation for the good of the industry, and our burning question – and the question that the entire aftermarket should be asking – is: How do we make an Aftermarket Workshop more desirable and appealing to the millennial or younger generations with a mobile in hand?”
Eden said this is an important question to consider as the future of the entire industry could hinge on it.
“Manufacturers and Dealerships have taken leaps and bounds when it comes to customer retention. Scheduled maintenance and capped price servicing plans have been very effective in boosting dealer retention simply because they offer consumers certainty,” Eden explained.
“Consumers get confidence from knowing what they are getting and how much it will cost upfront and AutoGuru is the aftermarket’s answer to this. Our sole mission is to give consumers a genuine reason to book an Aftermarket repairer. These days over 48 percent of the cars booked through AutoGuru are less than seven years old (the age of some warranties), and 30 percent of the logbook services are 60,000km intervals or less.
“The size of our network means our voice can be heard, and the bigger the network, the more effective we are in attracting new customers to the aftermarket.”

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