Looking at costs sustainably - plant operators have to do the math on the bottom line.

After over 43.6 million! seat height adjusters produced, the shutdown of the MSH-2 line from 1998 at the Brose plant in Coburg, Germany marks the end of an era.


After 24 years, production came to an end at one of the first fully automatic assembly lines for standard components in the Brose Group. The assembly machine in Coburg produced second-generation manual seat height adjusters (MSH-2) for the automotive industry. The majority of the plant consisted of Afag handling components. This was the ideal time for Afag to talk to Brose about its long-term experience with Afag components. To this end, Mr. Jörg Abele, Head of Production Technology at the Coburg plant, kindly invited Siegfried Egli, Head of Group Projects Afag and Alexander Jakob, Area Sales Manager Afag, to visit the Coburg plant.


The renowned name, as Jörg Abele explains, prompted Brose to realize the MSH-2 plant with Afag components in 1998. According to Jörg Abele, the decision to rely on Afag at that time was exactly the right one from today's perspective:


  • Afag modules are very durable and low-maintenance. We had modules on the plant that were in use for the entire production period, i.e. more than 24 years.
  • Afag modules are easy to maintain. Thanks to the training that took place at Afag, but also directly on site in Coburg, our maintenance staff are able to maintain and repair the modules themselves. Example: We procure seal sets from Afag and can carry out maintenance and repair at the plant. The fact that these seal sets are always identical in design for different stroke lengths of the same module family makes our stock-keeping and work even easier.
  • The adjustment options, as well as the ease with which the modules can be replaced thanks to the setting sleeves with perforated grids, are features that we greatly appreciate in Afag components.
  • And last but not least, the environmental protection and sustainability aspect, which is the basis of our actions.


Environmental protection and the careful use of natural resources have long been a matter of course for us, explains Jörg Abele. In its sustainability strategy, the Brose Group makes a clear commitment to environmental protection. In addition to economic criteria, Brose also takes environmental protection aspects into account in its decisions in order to constantly reduce the ecological impact of the company's activities. This includes making the use of resources throughout the entire value chain as environmentally friendly and efficient as possible. And what supports this idea better than production equipment such as Afag modules, which reliably do their job for decades with little maintenance and are also designed in such a way that repairs are also possible.


To the question, "What do you think about the fact that the machine builders calculate with the cheapest possible components so that they get the contract with the lowest plant price?", we receive an answer that is amazingly simple for us, namely: Nothing.


The plant operator has to do the math on the bottom line. This means that the operating, maintenance and repair costs can quickly exceed the system price, depending on the components used. In this case, one has only saved something in the first moment. By purchasing higher-quality components, the acquisition costs for a system are slightly higher, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages:


  • Fewer component failures, thus fewer plant shutdowns and higher productivity
  • Less maintenance effort, thus lower maintenance costs


At Brose, the good experience with Afag components is the reason why they are still included in the specifications for new systems today. In order for there to be an understanding for increased investment in the procurement of a system, the company philosophy must be right and the entire management must be behind it. Both have been the case at Brose for a long time.


The visit to Brose showed us once again that Afag components are used in industry far beyond the warranty period and, with good maintenance and servicing, complete tens of millions of strokes.


We would like to thank Mr. Jörg Abele from Brose and wish him continued success with Afag components!


Additional informations: Adjustment systems for front and rear seats - Products - Brose Fahrzeugteile

Siegfried Egli, Head of Group Projects Afag with Mr. Jörg Abele, Head of Production Technology at the Coburg plant
Second generation manual seat height adjuster (MSH-2) for the automotive industry
Afag modules in the assembly line for adjustment systems for front and rear car seats at Brose Coburg.
Brose Coburg exterior view