Brembo isn’t getting out of the brake business, but it does want customers to think about it as more than a company that makes fancy colored calipers.
This week, Brembo introduced new products to showcase its change in direction, but CEO Daniele Schillaci says there’s more to the move than the Greentive brake disc, Enesys brake spring and new brake-by-wire architecture.
“Currently, we are a solid product supplier,” Schillaci says. “Today, we begin our journey to become a respected solution provider.”
Three main pillars will provide structure for this change, Schillaci says, adding that Brembo also will focus on sustainability moving forward, with each new Brembo product “greener” than the one they replace.
Digital data is the first of Brembo’s new pillars, which Brembo says will bring artificial intelligence and data management to its technologies that bring your car to a stop.
Schillaci says Brembo is working on a new training program to instill a “culture of data” throughout the company. This will allow designers to create new smart products for customers.
Take the new brake-by-wire system as an example. Here, AI could adjust how the brakes operate depending on information (such as weather conditions) that the system receives from the car or outside infrastructure.
Brembo’s brake-by-wire setup can respond up to five times faster than similar systems from other companies, says Brembo’s advanced R&D director, Alessandro Ciotti, and automakers could use software to implement changes in how the brakes operate, including tuning the characteristics to match the driving style.
Cybersecurity considerations are taken into account during the design stage, Ciotti says.
“Cybersecurity is the capability of avoiding any threat from the outside when you are using a fully electronic controlled system,” he says.
“This has impacted not only the electronic architecture itself, but also in the single components. Brembo is very active in this field with partners around the world because we want to be ready to implement the new requirements for these characteristics.”
Those partners are part of the second pillar in Brembo’s solution provider shift, which increases global outlook. Schillaci says the company will expand its footprint, currently 18 plants in 14 countries, to better innovate in the future.
“Our intention is to create R&D centers of excellence in our main regions, making cross-fertilization part of our DNA,” he says. “This will reinforce our creativity and diversity coming from different people located in different marketplaces.”
The third pillar is something Schillaci calls “cool brand,” which will see Brembo wanting to become an aspirational brand for younger car enthusiasts.
Perhaps things like Greentive (the name is a mashup of green and distinctive) will do the trick.
A new brake disc that uses a new coating layer made up of tungsten carbides that offers reduced wear and brake dust along with high corrosion resistance, Greentive (above, left) is a lower-environmental-impact brake system that can be used with Brembo's lightweight or dual-cast discs.
Perhaps more important, for the cool brand angle, the new coating produces a shiny mirror effect that will make the discs easier to recognize and use.
When the Brembo logo wears off (pictured below), it’s time to replace the disc.
Greentive was designed for premium and luxury cars, but the corrosion resistance also will benefit electric cars, because their braking systems operate differently than those in conventional vehicles.
The other new product Brembo is launching as part of its reinvigorated future plans is Enesys, or Energy Saving System.
This is a patented new generation of brake spring technology designed to reduce residual torque by getting the brake pads to completely return to their initial positions in the caliper after use, reducing even small amounts of friction that could be generated by the pads touching the discs.
If you’ve ever had to slightly adjust your bicycle brake pads to shift them away from the wheel, you know what the Enesys system is doing, just in a more advanced and precise way.