AUTO INNOVATION CENTRE DRIVES RYCO FILTERS’ R&D FORWARD

The company visited the AIC recently to further develop its vehicle specific fitment kits

Since its launch late in 2019, the AAAA’s Auto Innovation Centre (AIC) has been hosting a wide array of companies who have been keen to use the centre’s equipment and services as part of their product development workflows.
One such company is Ryco Filters, which recently visited the centre to further the development of its vehicle-specific fitment kits for the dual or single installation of Ryco Fuel Water Separator and Ryco Crankcase assemblies.
Hard working engines such as those in the 4×4 market require additional protection from internally produced and externally introduced contaminants which can cause engine wear and decrease performance. This is where Ryco Filters says its kits shine.
“Not only are the Ryco filter products able to help address this problem, we have ensured they are easy to install for customers by engineering these kits to fit each specific vehicle engine bay,” Ryco Filters General Manager of Engineering and Innovation, Alastair Hampton, said.
“This work has been very important as while our range of Catch Cans and Fuel Water Separator assemblies are proving very popular in the 4×4 market, these kind of products can be hard to package in engine bays that are already full of other accessories – so developing vehicle specific fitment kits has been a core focus for us.
“We have been steadily growing the range and designing all parts so they are a complete bolt-in solution which is designed to look like a factory installation and can be easily installed by the customer in their own driveway if they wish.
“As we expand the range, we have been looking for vehicles and a facility to do trial fitments and the AIC has been invaluable for this as they are not only able to provide the vehicles, but they are also very well equipped with tools and everything else we could need.
“For us it has been very convenient as we can essentially turn up with the parts, do the work we need to do and then go home – everything we need is already there.”

Alastair explains that prior to the AIC opening, sourcing vehicles was a very real issue for Ryco Filters which could cause delays in its R and D processes.
“We would basically have to ‘beg, borrow and steal’ to get access to the vehicles we needed to test fitments. That meant asking friends, family, acquaintances and friends of friends who had the vehicles that we needed, or going out to rental fleets to see if we could rent the vehicles in question.
“As a relatively small company, getting the vehicles ourselves for fitment testing has always been one of the hardest elements of developing new products. As such, the access to vehicles made possible to us through the AIC has been really important for us.
“We have a very good product development design and prototyping process, but the access to the vehicles to test fitments was one of our biggest barriers to developing new products as we just don’t have the big fleets of vehicles like other bigger companies do. The AIC goes a long way towards solving this problem for us.”
It isn’t just in the area of vehicle access that the AIC is providing benefits to Ryco either.
“The facility itself is great, it is very well-equipped and there is a significant quantity and quality of tools there which means there is more that we don’t have to provide ourselves,” Alastair said.
“I am also aware of some new equipment that is coming to the AIC in the future, such as vibration testing, which is very exciting and we will be keen to utilise that with some more products we have coming up in the development pipeline.
“With automotive database and 3D scan files also potentially being made available in the future that is also very exciting for us for future design projects.
“For us it is fantastic to have access to the AIC – we now have one ‘go to’ facility which provides a significant number of tools, rigs and vehicles that we need to develop products.
“While it is early days, we can already see that as the centre develops we will be able to use it more and more.”

The AIC is designed to support the Australian Automotive industry by using its collective capability and common interests to drive industry improvement. While all projects and testing are conducted with strictest confidentiality, the facility has an open door approach wherever possible to help companies grow and move with the technology.

For more information on the Auto Innovation Centre, please visit www.autoic.com.au

For more information on Ryco Filters’ Vehicle Specific Fitment Kits, visit www.rycofilters.com.au