Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

Latest Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems technologies deliver safety and more to fleets

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, the North American leader in commercial vehicle and highway safety technologies, continues to develop technologies that meet the safety needs plus other important business needs of its fleet customers.

The company's ever-growing portfolio of technology developments delivers on safety, as well as four other areas critical to fleets' success: stopping power, actionable information, reliability, and fuel economy. Bendix understands these considerations are more important than ever today, as fleets operate in the challenging new environment of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), rising fuel costs, and federally mandated reduced stopping distance and emissions standards.

"Fleets are under intense pressure to field the safest, most efficient, and most reliable vehicles possible," said Joe McAleese, Bendix president and CEO. "For more than 80 years, Bendix has lived by its commitment to develop technologies which help fleets do exactly that. Our passion is creating technologies that are both effective and worthy of investment by fleets. Over the past 10 years, in particular, the products and services Bendix has developed continue our tradition of solutions that meet not only safety, but the whole spectrum of needs for fleets – solutions that provide value, efficiency, and peace of mind."

Bendix is recognized industry wide for its advanced safety technologies, which are vital to protecting the safety of all motorists on our roadways. Solutions include the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Bendix Wingman ACB – Active Cruise with Braking, and Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology.

In addition to groundbreaking active safety technologies, Bendix has introduced an array of technologies that are establishing industry standards for stopping power, actionable information, reliability, and fuel economy.


Safety, Plus Stopping Power

Since its inception in 2004, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB), a joint venture of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC, has remained focused on efforts to advance its braking technology.

Last year, BSFB introduced a new, higher-performing version of its Extended Service drum brake (ES Brakes) developed to meet the new federal stopping distance requirements mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

New, higher-performing versions of the company's popular Single Anchor Pin, ES Extended Service drum brakes are available in a variety of sizes for steer axle applications. The new brakes were fully launched by Aug. 1, 2011, the initial implementation date for the new stopping distance regulations.

NHTSA requires a 30 percent reduction in stopping distance for new three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) up to 59,600 lbs. and produced after the Aug. 1, 2011, implementation date. Tractors with two axles, as well as severe service tractors with GVWRs above 59,600 lbs., must comply with the new mandate by Aug. 1, 2013.

"We developed our new, high-performance drum brake to give customers the best compliance option for the stopping distance rule and the most economical cost of ownership," said Gary Ganaway, director of marketing and global customer solutions at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. "This new brake technology will also help improve vehicle safety, our core commitment at Bendix."

The high-performance drum brake joins the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake, which also exceeds the NHTSA mandate for reduced stopping distance. Extensive testing and real-world applications have confirmed that Bendix air disc brakes significantly reduce stopping distances for commercial vehicles; virtually eliminate brake fade with no degradation of stopping power; enable a passenger car-like feel; and permit straight, stable stops. Bendix was the first truck brake manufacturer with the ability to mass-produce air disc brakes in North America at its then Frankfurt, Ky.-based manufacturing site. Following the opening its state-of-the-art wheel-end production facility in Bowling Green, Ky., in late 2007, the company has produced over 175,000 Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes – more than any other North American design.

BSFB currently offers numerous brake configurations to meet the reduced stopping distance requirements, including all drum brakes, all disc brakes, or a combination of both. Bendix is the only North American manufacturer offering both drum and disc brakes for new over-the-road tractors.

The full lineup of Bendix foundation brake solutions are commercially available and produced at the company's facility in Bowling Green.

In addition to its comprehensive menu of foundation brake solutions, in 2011 BSFB also introduced its Bendix EverSure spring brake with No Touch technology. With its best-in-class force output, the EverSure spring brake delivers both parking force and braking power that fleets can count on. The EverSure spring brake offers improved durability as well, a result of a key design advancement that eliminates contact between compressed power spring coils. This design allows the protective coating to remain intact and results in a significant improvement in corrosion resistance compared with competitive products. Contact damage between coils leads to corrosion, which can ultimately cause spring brakes to fail.

In addition, the EverSure spring brake offers fleets improved fuel efficiency because of its lighter weight – yet more robust – design, and extended service intervals. BSFB launched the next-generation double-diaphragm spring brake for drum brakes in 2011. In the year since its introduction, the EverSure spring brake continues to gain market acceptance. Sales have increased by double digits, with fleets ranging from line-haul to severe service choosing the solution.


Safety, Plus Actionable Information

SafetyDirect – purchased by Bendix in 2011 from Iteris, Inc. – is a Web portal that allows fleet owners the opportunity to analyze safety information that is wirelessly transmitted, in real time, from their vehicles via existing fleet telematics devices. The system can provide immediate warnings and critical safety information. For example, fleet operators can easily see if their drivers are having difficulty staying in their lanes – often a first indicator of driver drowsiness – or other potential problems, such as stability control activation, collision mitigation system activation, or critical tire alerts.

SafetyDirect provides real-time driver performance data, as well as event-based information – including video clips of severe occurrences – for analysis by fleet safety personnel and to aid fleets in developing targeted, ongoing driver education and training.

The onboard safety systems now linked to SafetyDirect include Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, Bendix ESP full stability system, and AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System – the market-leading, vision-based Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System that Bendix also purchased from Iteris.

To further enhance SafetyDirect's capability, Bendix has added information from SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS, technology that monitors the pressure and temperature of each tire on a commercial vehicle to provide real-time tire status information to the driver or maintenance technician.

Among the essential information on the portal are following-distance histograms, event counters, and system usage details for each driver. This will better help fleet managers identify risky driver behavior and provide drivers with targeted training they need to reinforce safe driving practices, an ever-increasing vital practice in today's CSA-driven environment.

"A modern truck carries a lot of data over the J1939 network. To most, the majority of the safety data is difficult to put into the proper, meaningful context. That's where SafetyDirect adds significant value," said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, controls group. "SafetyDirect gathers the data into one place – a user-friendly Web portal – makes it understandable, and turns it into actionable information a fleet can use to help lower risk. This is enormously beneficial to a wide variety of fleets, which have been asking Bendix for wireless safety data to further improve their return on investment on the safety systems already in place on their vehicles."

SafetyDirect is available on vehicles at all major North American OEMs. Both it and the AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System can be retrofit to vehicles already in service.


Safety, Plus Reliability

Reliability, durability, and effective, efficient performance are synonymous with all Bendix products, and Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing technology – as an integral part of all Bendix air dryers – is no exception.

Ongoing competitive testing, for instance, puts Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing technology in the industry-leading position among oil-coalescing air dryers. Oil-coalescing air dryer cartridges are designed to keep oil out of a vehicle's air system. As more vehicles use air for non-braking functions, it is vital to protect each fleet's investment in expensive engine, emission, and drivetrain systems. This need escalates for vehicles built after 2007 and 2010, due to the additional technologies required to meet stricter emissions regulations.

Oil-coalescing technology protects expensive vehicle systems, such as safety-critical brake components, diesel particulate filters (DPFs), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems, transmissions, and more. These new required systems have added a total of $10,000 to $15,000 to the cost of each commercial vehicle since 2007.

"Reliability is about cost avoidance and protecting your investment, which is top of mind for the industry when it comes to air dryer technologies," said Mark McCollough, Bendix vice president and general manager, charging. "To protect fleets from costly repairs to these expensive new systems, increasing numbers of vehicle and engine OEMs are requiring the use of oil-coalescing air dryer cartridges."

Bendix is committed to providing oil-coalescing air dryers with industry-leading ability to remove oil and other contaminants from the air brake system, increased service cycle, and ease of maintenance.

The Bendix oil-coalescing technology continues the tradition established by two time-tested technologies known for their reliability. The Bendix MV-3 dash valve has been a leader within the industry since it was introduced more than 20 years ago. The two-button, push-pull dash control valve is manufactured with industrial grade steel and plastic and provides a proven pneumatic solution for both tractor and trailer parking that meets FMVSS121 regulations. Designed to meet 200,000 cycles with no button or plunger failure at normal operating temperatures, the dash valve also meets or exceeds 5,000 cycles with no leakage when exposed to extreme temperature durability testing.

In 2010, Bendix celebrated the production of the 750,000th Bendix BA-921 air compressor, another longstanding technology. 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.


Safety, Plus Fuel Economy

The best example of Bendix fuel-saving technologies is the Bendix air management package, consisting of the Bendix PBS Air Injection Booster, Bendix Electronic Air Control (EAC) Dryer, and Bendix Turbo-Clutch Air Compressor, which together reduce fuel consumption while enhancing vehicle performance and improving emissions. The technology optimizes the performance of all engine types, including those using Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), Advanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), and other technologies developed to meet the federal EPA emission standards implemented in 2007 and 2010.

Bendix continues the development of its groundbreaking PBS air injection technology for the commercial vehicle industry. The Bendix PBS Air Injection Booster is unlike any other product available on the market today. The PBS system is placed near the air intake manifold on an engine and monitors the Controller Area Network (CAN) for specific signals. Once the conditions for activation are met, the system injects compressed air from an auxiliary air tank into the engine manifold, delivering the desired amount of air that the diesel combustion processes require.

Typically, when a driver presses down on the throttle to demand acceleration, there is a delay in engine response because of turbo lag. This lag constitutes the time difference between acceleration demand and the maximum air delivery of the turbocharger. The Bendix PBS system overcomes turbo lag by instantaneously injecting the desired air into the intake manifold, allowing the turbocharger to spin up to its full capacity and take over the air delivery demands.

The pneumatically operated single-cylinder Bendix Turbo-Clutch Air Compressor works together with PBS air injection and the Bendix Electronic Air-Controlled Dryer (EAC) so that the compressor disengages during the portion of the duty cycle when no air is demanded. This greatly reduces power consumption from the engine and reduces fuel consumption. As a result of the reduced overall cycling, the life cycle of the compressor significantly increases, and normal wear and tear is dramatically reduced.

"The Bendix air management system is a central part of the ongoing effort by Bendix to improve vehicle performance by developing the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions in the industry," McCollough said. "The system is an example of shared value. Cost savings from fuel and maintenance benefit fleets, and reduced emissions benefit all of us."


Safety, Plus Leadership

The number of Bendix solutions on the road attest to the company's leadership in meeting the needs of fleets. In 2011, the company released its one millionth Bendix ABS-6 braking system, which includes the standard antilock braking system, a premium system with Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control), and Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP. A year earlier, Bendix delivered its 100,000th Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program system, marking a major milestone in highway safety solutions, and the numbers continue to grow.

"Those are just two examples of the leadership, the integrated solutions, and the passion for safety and innovation that Bendix brings to the industry," McAleese said. "But technology alone doesn't make the difference. Fleets are doing business in a rapidly evolving environment, with regulatory changes and the ever-changing physical needs of commercial vehicles. What matters is the availability of effective technology and solutions that address the needs of the commercial vehicle market. What matters is technology that helps to lessen the financial burden on the vehicle owners and improve the efficiency of the vehicles they operate. At Bendix, that's at the forefront of our approach."