Sampa Documentaries: Air Spring

Sampa Documentaries: Air Spring

I’ve been a driver for 23 years. You have
to be strong, so does the vehicle.
It shouldn’t let you down. So, you have to
pick the right parts. That’s the secret.
Then the ride will be smooth
and you won’t be distracted.
That’s why air springs are critical.
If your air springs are robust
you won’t feel a thing and your cargo will be safe.
I’ve seen some really bad roads
with potholes and rough patches.
Sometimes we’re on the road for days
under ever-changing circumstances.
Day and night, cold or heat…
Good air springs shouldn’t let you down
in both hot and cold weather.
Your air spring should be sturdy.
You have to hear that sound…
Without this sound, most rides would be quite exhausting and, above all, very dangerous.
This sound, which should be familiar to anyone who travels by bus, comes from air springs:
The load-bearing component
of pneumatic suspension systems.
And this is the story of air springs.
Springs are systems placed
between the vehicles body and wheels…
…designed to absorb vibrations
caused by the road surfaces.
In addition to buses, they are also used
in trucks, trailers, tractors, and trains.
They are designed to transfer steering and braking forces to the body and to ensure safe maneuvering…
…without the wheels losing contact
with the road.
Suspension springs extend the life of the vehicle.
They extend tire life.
They extend maintenance cycles.
They reduce the movement and vibration in the cargo.
Cabin springs prevent driver fatigue
and ensure a safer journey.
Suspensions underwent many changes before
reaching their present form and functionality.
Engineers have tried many different kinds of springs
for suspending vehicles on their axles.
There were buggy style elliptical leaf
More recent semi-elliptical stacks.
Coil springs.
Steel torsion springs.
Rubber in compression.
Rubber in shear.
Combinations of rubber and helical springs.
And pneumatic springs
that float the vehicle on a cushion of air.
The design process of air springs
took more than 100 years.
Due to their complex structure,
advanced technologies were needed…
…to produce the springs in required specifications.
Thanks to ever-evolving technology,
air springs today are much more powerful.
And they are able to perform even
in the most challenging conditions.
With expertise dating back to 1950
Sampa produces parts for heavy-duty vehicles.
It offers 30,000 kinds of products to
138 countries from its integrated facilities…
…with nine factories and offices…
…subsidiaries and warehouses…
…located in different parts of the world.
Air springs are Sampa’s pride and joy.
We produce four different kinds of air springs.
Cab air springs, roll air springs…
…convoluted air springs and suspension air springs.
These are widely used in buses,
heavy-duty vehicles, and heavy machinery…
…as well as light commercial vehicles.
We have four main production
processes for the springs.
Our first process is cord fabric cutting,
forming, vulcanization, and assembly.
Sampa has an integrated plant
with a global production structure.
We have 9 different factories including metal sheet manufacturing, plastic injection…
…machining, air spring manufacturing, and coating.
Since we produce all the
semi-products used in air springs…
…we have a better command of the processes.
And we deliver products to our customers on time.
We align our production with customer deadlines.
Sampa’s expertise in air springs
derives from years of experience…
…and the extensive work carried out at CAMP,
Sampa’s award-winning R&D center…
…equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
So, how does CAMP make a difference in spring production?
Most suspension manufacturers on the market believe that they should…
…obtain a version of the product from any
…recreate the product exactly
and work on those copies.
The products they produce are sold as
physically equivalent products…
…that can fulfill the functionalities
of the original products.
But we do not only recreate the same
suspension air springs in terms of…
…geometric appearance or function.
Our aim is to also maintain the quality…
…product life and added comfort
or enhance them based on customer request.
Our labs are very well-equipped.
Thanks to our equipment
we can perform reverse engineering.
We start with the geometrical
analysis of the product.
The scanning of the product, that is, obtaining the stereographic data.
Starting with 3D imaging.
It continues with reverse engineering in order to
identify the function of each component.
This analysis allows us to define the product specifications…
…from another company’s product
through reverse engineering.
When you want to buy an ordinary rubber product…
…you may find many alternative sellers on the market.
But if you’re looking for certain rubber specifications…
…then you need a vendor to
detail all active ingredients one by one…
…like a medical formula.
This is the first asset that differentiates Sampa
from other companies.
Sampa Automotive’s R&D
center CAMP consists of five units.
At this facility, 110 scientists work
to perfect the manufacturing of air springs.
The air spring is a composite product made of…
…several different materials.
The final product is a suspension element…
…containing cord fabric and several types of rubber.
There are alternative materials used for the layer of
cord fabric such as polyamide, polyester, and aramid.
For the rubber compost, specific types of rubber
are used on certain areas of the layer.
In total, the air spring rubber has three layers
including folded cord fabric between two linings.
We’re talking about the pre-vulcanization
manufacturing process here.
The central cord fabric forms the skeleton.
Rubber dough is on top of it…
…and the lining dough covers them all.
They’re bonded together with vulcanization…
…that produces the layered
cord fabric structure of the air springs.
Most good companies
develop their own rubber formula.
At least the companies with good R&D capabilities.
Sampa has its own formulas
for both lining and coating.
These formulas constantly evolve.
Therefore, there are some differences
between the current formulas…
…and the earlier ones from many years ago.
These differences are visible in the enhanced
dynamic performance of the finished product.
Compared to the OEMs
that we see as competitors on the market…
…we have formulas and air springs
with similar or even better results.
Patents published in the spare parts industry…
…end up as products on the market in 5-7 years.
At Sampa, we monitor these patents very closely…
…and we are able to launch air spring projects today
that will be released in the next 5 years.
We can identify the subjects of our projects.
Our current air springs projects are usually for the
air springs to be released 5 years from now
Take sensors for instance.
We initiated a project for cab air springs
with an integrated ceramic leveling valve.
We started the project in 2014 and finalized it in 2016.
As a result of the project, we had a new product
and a European patent application.
Thanks to these patents, we are the second company
in the world to use ceramic technology…
…in cab air springs with an integrated leveling valve…
…and the first and only company in the aftermarket.
We were able to produce this product thanks to
the technical information obtained from the patents.
The most important component
of the air spring is the rubber.
And the quality and strength of the rubber
is directly related to its formulation.
It’s a big advantage for a company
to have in-house R&D capabilities…
…and to develop its own rubber compound.
It’s a real privilege to be able to
carry out tests related to the rubber…
…to perform dynamic tests for
the finished air springs that you produced…
…using this compound, and to position yourself
against other competitors in the market.
In addition to rubber, cabin and suspension air springs consist of different parts called plates…
…and bumper in the upper and lower parts.
There’re versions with a piston, which
can be made of plastic metal or vulcanized rubber.
Pistons also affect the performance of the springs.
Sampa produces its own metal components
as well as rubber and plastic.
The pistons and top and bottom plates
produced in the sheet metal factory…
…are brought to surface treatment for coating.
We have a fully automated surface treatment factory…
…with 44 coating baths, 45 tons of which
are alkaline-zinc coating baths…
…and 15 tons are zinc-nickel coating baths.
The pre-treatment processes prior to
coating are surface cleaning, degreasing…
…and preparation for coating.
Then the products are coated.
After that, there’s coloring and additional
processes to increase coating performance.
We have 12 parking stations.
The products arrive at the
parking station after these processes…
…and they are collected by the operator.
Quality is a must for Sampa products.
To meet the expectations
of the customers and the market…
…the Sampa team implements quality control
at every step of air spring production.
There was something that surprised me quite a lot.
We had purchased 3,000 springs for northern Russia.
Despite the weather conditions,
we experienced no problems at.
Their durability was astonishing and
we were very pleased.
This is something we highly respect.
Quality is a matter of perception.
It basically means fulfilling customer expectations.
Today, any company in the world with resources
can buy the latest technological equipment.
But only certain companies
have the capacity to manage know-how…
…although the same equipment can be used by anyone.
So, this is actually a strategic development map.
Sampa is proud to integrate
8 quality management systems that are…
…certified by international independent organizations.
All of these systems are structured
to meet customer expectations…
…which is our definition of quality.
In particular, IATF or 16949 for short…
…requires a series of synchronous
control activities in manufacturing.
In this regard, we implement a series of test protocols
to address customer expectations…
…and benchmark data of competitors
in the products we both design from scratch…
…and produce using reverse engineering.
This begins with raw material entering the company.
Each operating step including
the interim controls and details such as…
…machine and heat parameters, length of
cord fabric or temperature parameters…
…and pressure values during the
vulcanization process of the product.
The final product is released after managing
and controlling all these processes.
Sampa operates at a large scale.
So, we can get the best quality at the right price.
SAP is of great help in managing costs.
We are able to improve processes
and maximize efficiency.
The fact that Sampa produces air springs
exactly like the originals…
…keeps Sampa ahead of the game
and gives Sampa a head start.
For example, the shape of the plates.
All of them serve a purpose during assembly.
Since Sampa produces exactly like the original… makes the assembly easier for the
This is one of the assets that
strengthens our sales policy.
We observe and monitor rapid improvements in the price policy, too.
For us salesmen, it’s important that you reach
the point between price and quality.
For us it’s very important to sell to our customers products which are in good price…
…and of better quality than most popular brands
which are now on the market.
You have it.
In the production of air springs, numerous tests
are carried out during the R&D phase…
…including during raw material procurement and
production process, as well as on the end product.
In our material laboratory, we have devices
for the characterization of metal…
…plastic, polymer, or even composite ceramic materials.
Here we characterize the reference product,
determine its contents…
…run the control tests at every step from the raw
materials to the material used in the end product…
…and assure the proper selection of materials.
Of course, every component undergoes
many detailed tests.
We can classify these tests as thermal characterization,
mechanical tests and static and dynamic tests.
Air springs must be resistant to harsh
road and weather conditions.
In addition to rubber, the desired durability of the
metal components prolongs the life of the air springs.
We have to salt testing devices in our laboratory.
One is the salt spray testing device…
…and the other is the cyclic corrosion testing chamber.
In our salt testing device, we prepare a 5% salt solution
and spray the salt water on the part.
In the other cabinet,
we create different atmospheric conditions.
For example, a temperature
difference test from -40°C to +70°C.
The rain tests, and the acid test.
Considering that Sampa springs
are used in 138 countries…
…producing suitable products
for any geographical condition is a must.
Why are the tests performed in the
cyclic corrosion testing chamber so important?
Because the performance of parts of a vehicle
operating in cold weather conditions…
…may not be the same as those
operating in hot weather conditions.
Therefore, we observe the durability of the part by
creating different temperatures and weather conditions.
We determine how long the parts
last under certain conditions.
For example, a part that lasts
for 200 hours in cold weather…
…may last for 300 hours in hot weather.
Thus we can also discover changing effects
of weather conditions on the parts.
So, what makes Sampa and Sampa air springs so special?
All of our production lines are designed and installed in
accordance with a single quality management system.
And they operate accordingly.
Therefore, we do not classify our products as
best quality or second best quality
There can be no such classification.
We continuously monitor the products available in the market.
Including other equivalent products of our competitors.
And we have one thing they do not have: longevity.
There is no other company in the aftermarket that has proven product life…
…by testing the product in so many conditions.
What makes Sampa unique is that it has a very large machinery infrastructure…
…and a strong engineering and R&D team.
At the same time, it aims to provide customer service…
…by providing the best quality and strategies,
and managing almost all processes internally.
Our patent research provides us very technical and
detailed information about our products.
Thanks to that information, we can see the details that
improve the life and quality of our products…
…the secrets and small details of the product.
And we improve on these points.
These efforts pay back in the form of
durability and quality of our products.
Sampa uses steam and nitrogen technology
for the vulcanization of the springs.
In addition, we use our own custom-built machinery.
This distinguishes us from our competitors.
Sampa’s future plans and investments for springs are growing exponentially.
We are planning to drastically
increase our springs production.
And so, we have ongoing investments.
There are a number of confirmed agreements,
both in OEM and aftermarket.
And soon, we’ll be producing
five million springs annually.
The R&D center CAMP, which was established
with an investment of $10 million…
…and continues to grow with annual investments,
has led to new market opportunities.
Sampa operates in OEM as well as the aftermarket industry.
Air springs are the leading original parts
designed to be fitted on the vehicles…
…of the world’s largest brands on the production line.
Sampa has a very young and dynamic team,
and OEM has a young and dynamic structure.
This is one of the main reasons that Sampa identifies with OEM.
They always expect you to be dynamic.
They want you to respond quickly to any requests.
They expect you to have available technical staff…
…and want to communicate with people
who are qualified to address their dynamic needs.
Our technical experience, our infrastructure,
and our production site make us attractive in this sense.
The biggest proof that we are fast and dynamic,
is the Q1 process, which we completed in 7 months.
Ford Otosan reported that the process usually
lasts approximately 2 years, and so far…
…only two companies have completed it in 7 months.
One was a supplier in the USA, and the other is Sampa.
Our team’s commitment, in addition to our structure, helped to accelerate this process.
Everyone at the company was motivated by team spirit
to get Q1 and provided all their support.
This was the biggest factor that helped Sampa
to complete this process so quickly.
Sampa always demonstrates such commitment.
This is one of our key strengths.
Russia is a very large country; there are thousands
of kilometers of roads from the east to the west.
Russia has 11 different time zones
and many different climatic regions.
For example, there are times with +50°C in cold Siberia,
where the average temperature is -50°C.
Therefore, the transportation
companies we work with need to be sure…
…that the products they
purchase will not break down midway…
…and the drivers will not have
to do maintenance work on the road.
So, quality is an important factor for us
and we chose Sampa as our supplier.
One of the most critical parts is the air springs.
It is essential that the air springs
do not cause any trouble to the driver during the journey.
For all these years we have been working with Sampa…
…we have received very few
reclamation demands about Sampa air springs.
I don’t think that Sampa-branded products would cause
any quality or price related problems to customers.
Until now, we received no complaints regarding Sampa.
We believe that Sampa springs
earned their place in the aftermarket.
Your springs should be sturdy.
You have to hear that sound…

One Reply to “Sampa Documentaries: Air Spring”

  1. Güzel video olmuş. Ama alt yazı ekleseydiniz Türkiye'deki kamyoncu ve parçacı camiasınada hitap ederdi diye düşünüyorum

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