Marking a decade of further innovation and leadership in commercial vehicle safety, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC celebrated its 10-year anniversary as a proud member of the Knorr-Bremse Group.
Based in Munich, Germany, Knorr-Bremse is the world's pre-eminent manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. Bendix, the North American leader in the development of commercial vehicle active safety, energy management, and braking system solutions, was acquired by Knorr-Bremse in 2002. Since then, the company has extended its more than 80-year legacy as a technology trailblazer, expanding and further diversifying its operations and technological expertise, and helping to improve highway safety. From 1993 to 2002, Bendix had been part of a joint venture between Knorr-Bremse and AlliedSignal (later, Honeywell, Inc.).
"From the start, the Bendix partnership with Knorr-Bremse has showcased what can be accomplished when two industry leaders – each with an incredibly rich heritage of leadership, customer focus, and innovation – come together," said Bendix President and CEO Joe McAleese. "Being a part of Knorr-Bremse and contributing to its always-expanding global technological prowess has been a true catalyst in the continued growth and development of Bendix in North America. The potential of our global organization is unsurpassed; we share a passion for delivering effective, efficient, practical solutions to the industry; and we operate in an environment of strong collaboration, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement."
Capitalizing on its long-established position as an industry pioneer, over the past decade Bendix has introduced an impressive array of groundbreaking active safety and braking system technologies, as well as additional milestones in business expansion – accomplishments McAleese believes have been made possible due to its affiliation with the Knorr-Bremse Group. They include:
Ensuring Business Growth Through Strategic Expansion, Alliances, and Acquisitions
2004: The formation of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB), a joint venture between Bendix and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC. BSFB offers complete wheel-end solutions, including foundation drum brakes, air disc brakes, slack adjusters, and actuators, plus a full array of related aftermarket parts for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles across North America.
2006: The purchase of Di-Pro Inc., which expanded Bendix operations to include the manufacture and distribution of heavy-duty trucking spring brake actuators and brake chambers.
2008: The purchase of select assets from SmarTire, incorporating the technology for SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS. By providing real-time data on tire pressure and temperature changes, SmarTire TPMS helps save fuel and keeps trucks on the road.
2008: Acquisition of the radar-based VORAD Collision Warning System from Eaton Corporation. VORAD provides following distance alerts, collision alerts, and stationary object alerts to drivers. The move further enhanced to company's ability to provide an economic payback to vehicle operators through a complete range of active safety systems.
2010: Integration of Hasse & Wrede torsional vibration engine dampers – another North American arm of the Knorr-Bremse Group – as a part of the Bendix business, broadening its customer offering.
2011: Expansion of the potent Bendix electronics product line with the purchase of select assets – including SafetyDirect and the AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System – from Iteris, Inc. The market-leading, vision-based Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System, AutoVue alerts truck drivers if they inadvertently drift out of their lane. SafetyDirect is a Web portal that allows fleet owners the opportunity to analyze data and safety information that is wirelessly transmitted – in real time – from their vehicles via existing fleet communication systems.
2011: Establishment of a new Bendix business unit solely focused on remanufacturing. Capitalizing on more than 35 years' experience in remanufacturing compressors, air dryers, valves, and brake shoes, the unit expands the company's aftermarket business in North America and worldwide.
Launching Groundbreaking Technologies
2004: The North American launch of the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program system, the first widely available full-stability solution for the commercial vehicle market. Unlike roll-only systems, Bendix ESP addresses both roll and directional stability through additional sensors and braking capabilities that can deliver earlier recognition and quicker intervention to help prevent rollovers and loss of control on a wide variety of surface conditions.
2008: Availability of the aluminum hub and the Splined Disc Rotor assembly for air disc brakes that reduces total wheel-end weight, greatly reduces rotor dynamic stresses, provides improved thermal balance, and offers longer brake life.
2008: The introduction of Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing technology as an integral part of all Bendix air dryers. Ongoing competitive testing puts PuraGuard technology in the industry-leading position among oil-coalescing air dryers.
2009: The launch of Bendix Wingman ACB – Active Cruise with Braking, which allows drivers to not only maintain a set speed, but also a set following distance. If the forward vehicle slows, the system will de-throttle the engine, apply the engine retarder, and apply the foundation brakes if needed.
2009: First North American vehicle demonstration of the revolutionary Bendix Pneumatic Booster System (PBS), the first air management system of its kind. The PBS engine booster simultaneously improves fuel economy and vehicle acceleration while reducing engine emissions.
2011: Release of the Bendix EverSure spring brake with No Touch technology. EverSure is a next-generation double-diaphragm spring brake for drum brakes featuring unsurpassed durability and the lightest weight in the industry.
2011: Launch of Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, which delivers adaptive cruise control with braking features along with collision mitigation technology. The technology was introduced at the 2011 Mid-America Trucking Show.
2011: Bendix makes available expanded solenoid valve technologies as a low-weight, cost-effective alternative to pneumatically controlled accessory and fan clutch valves for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Both boast a streamlined design to effectively and efficiently address the electronic control of commercial vehicle air functions not associated with the braking system.
Achieving Milestones in Production and Customer Service that Define a True Leader
2005: Shipment of the 200,000th Bendix integrated control module. Bendix led the commercial vehicle industry in the development of these complex pre-manufactured, pre-tested sub-assemblies.
2006: Startup of air disc brake production for the commercial vehicle market at the company's then Frankfort, Ky.-based facility, becoming the first truck brake manufacturer with the ability to mass-produce air disc brakes in North America.
2007: Distribution of the 5,000th download of the Bendix ACom diagnostic software. This milestone customer service offering assists fleets and technicians in the diagnosis, repair, troubleshooting, and recalibration of components that form the Bendix antilock braking and stability systems.
2010: Delivery of the 100,000th Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program system, marking a major milestone in highway safety solutions.
2010: Production of the 750,000th Bendix BA-921 air compressor. Lightweight and compact, the BA-921 compressor is popular across a wide range of build platforms and features the highest boost capability on the market.
2011: Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake manufactures its 175,000th Bendix ADB22X air disc brake from the Bowling Green, Ky., operations. The ADB22X air disc brake – the next generation in air disc brake technology – offers twice the lining life, four times the rotor life, and half the service time – leading to rapid market penetration.
2011: Release of the company's one millionth Bendix ABS-6 braking system. The Bendix ABS-6 family includes the standard antilock braking system, a premium system with Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control), and Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP.
2012: During its first decade as a wholly owned part of the Knorr-Bremse Group, the veteran, 100 percent ASE-certified Bendix Service, Warranty and Training (SWAT) Team trains nearly 73,000 customers (equaling 345,548 student training hours).
2012: Continuing its renowned performance and serving as a vital resource to commercial vehicle operators, the Bendix Tech Team fields over 700,000 inbound calls. The team boasts over 85 years of collective expertise in commercial vehicle operation.
Opening State-of-the-Art Facilities to Enable Enhanced Capabilities
2007: The opening of the BSFB wheel-end production facility in Bowling Green, Ky., which manufactures the full lineup of Bendix foundation brake products. The facility was designed to feature the most productive and economic movement of materials and personnel.
2008: The launch of the new 75,000-square-foot Dressed Cab Assembly Center in Huntington, Ind. A business that has experienced exponential growth, the facility is the second modules center opened by Bendix in Huntington. The complex integrated modules produced at this site range from those including cabs containing only brake and accelerator pedals to fully dressed cab modules incorporating 1,000 components from more than 140 suppliers.
2010: The startup of actuator manufacturing in Acuña, Mexico. Following its operations optimization strategy, Bendix added to its expansive manufacturing campus in Acuña with the upgraded 67,000-square-foot facility, a former brownfield.
"Great things can occur in 10 years, but it takes great people – like the people of Bendix and our global colleagues of the Knorr-Bremse Group – to achieve this kind of success. We share a passion for safety, an appetite for innovation, and a strong mutual drive to provide the best solutions to meet the needs of our customers and our industry. We've laid a solid foundation of accomplishment over the past decade, and I believe we have a future filled with long-term potential," said McAleese.