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Member Visit: Advanced Flow Engineering
|Advanced Flow Engineering's top-selling products are air intake systems.|
|Capitalizing on the large staff of in-house engineers, aFe has begun venturing into the intercooler market.|
|Industry veteran and active YEN/MPMC Select Committee member, Jason Bruce visited with SEMA staff to outline aFe’s business history and provide feedback for industry collaboration.|
One of the ways in which SEMA connects with its members is through visits to the member companies themselves. These member visits not only give SEMA staff the opportunity to learn about a company, but they also provide a way for members to ask questions, voice concerns and learn more about what SEMA has to offer.
Associates of SEMA’s market research, membership and show departments recently visited Advanced Flow Engineering, Inc.(aFe) in Corona, California.
Advanced Flow Engineering was founded in 1999. The company produces high flow, high-performance intake systems and air filters for the automotive industry. The product line includes fluid filters, exhaust systems, intercoolers, manifolds and throttle-body spacers.
aFe also manufactures products for motorcycles, quads, watercraft and heavy-duty vehicles. The company currently employs about 70 people. All of the filters, as well as the tooling needed to make the filters, are manufactured in-house. The steel tubes used for exhaust systems are bent in house and aFe manufacturers its own urethane couplers.
Jason Bruce, Director of National Sales, gave staff a tour of the facility and explained the process of how the filters are manufactured from start to finish. Most intriguing is the amount of design and engineering work that goes into making the best filter possible.
aFe employs engineers, machinists, technicians, and production, sales, and shipping staff. The engineers head up different teams of technicians and each team works together to develop and test the products. Every product is tested on a Mustang Dynamometer. The filters and intakes are labeled with horsepower and flow ratings based on dyno and flow-bench tests, respectively.
Within the last few months, aFe has introduced a new line of products called Takeda. This line was developed to target the sport compact market. In general, the Takeda line consists of products for Japanese imports, while the aFe line focuses on domestic and European vehicles.
The line-up of filters that aFe manufactures include a five-layer cotton gauze mesh oiled filter under the Pro 5 R line; a non-oiled filter under the Pro Dry S line; and the Pro Guard 7, seven-layer synthetically-oiled filter line.
aFe has exhibited at the SEMA Show since 2000. This year the company has decided to purchase a larger 20x70 booth space compared to its 20x30 in previous years. Bruce plans to bring between four and eight new products to the 2009 SEMA Show, and each of these will be entered in the New Products section.
Bruce has been an active SEMA member for years, participating in the YEN and MPMC councils and currently serves on the Select Committees of each. He also mentioned the fact that he frequently uses data and reports provided by the market research department, such as the 2008 Light Truck Report.
In particular, he mentioned the value of all of the consumer data that is gathered from efforts such as the Automotive Lifestyles survey conducted each year.
"I have used the SEMA consumer data to help our engineering departments identify up-and-coming applications that we may have missed in our planning. This data has helped us to improve our new product development planning and identify or validate trends we see in the industry," said Bruce.
Member visits such as this give us the chance to develop improved and additional ways to provide members with the data and information they need to make their businesses succeed.