Reduce Weight to Boost Efficiency and Performance

Driven by increasingly ambitious regulations in North America and around the world, the future of the mobility industry is being shaped by a growing need for improved fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Lightweighting – the process of reducing the weight of a vehicle via a variety of engineering efforts – has emerged as a viable strategy to help original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) reach these new standards across nearly all vehicle platforms.

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Categories: Commercial Vehicle, Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Light Vehicle, Lightweighting, Off-Highway, Regulation, Technology, Vertical Integration

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Engine Testing 1, 2, 3

Developing a top-notch, award-winning, and widely-accepted engine is not an easy feat. It takes a great deal of design work, utilization of state-of-the-art components, a sharp focus on industry standards, and forward thinking in terms of where the marketplace is headed. Creating an engine of this caliber is a lengthy process, and one that, above all, requires effective data capture and analysis. 

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Categories: Engine, Product Testing, Global Expertise, Germany, Regulation, Efficiency, Data, Technology, Light Vehicle, Thermal Management

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Pioneering Innovations to Support Transmission Technology

New, powerful, high-gear transmissions are helping to boost efficiency and reduce fuel consumption for light-duty vehicles. But these complex improvements come with an amplified need for proper sealing to ensure that the transmission system remains uncontaminated and free of debris. Dana's Automotive News PACE award-winning Victor Reinz® MLS transmission separator plates provide a solution to keep the industry moving forward. 

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Categories: Light Vehicle, Collaboration, Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Mobility, Technology, Transportation, Transmission

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6x2 Efficiency and 6x4 Performance: Fleets Can Have it All

With new standards to meet, the commercial-vehicle industry is looking to new, high-level technologies to increase efficiency and improve fuel economy. The Spicer® AdvanTEK® Dual Range Disconnect™ concept from Dana combines the best of both worlds by offering high performance and dependable traction with reduced drivetrain losses. 

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Categories: Commercial Vehicle, Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Technology, Trade Shows, Transportation

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Investing in the Future to Move What Matters

Dana engineers have paired up with Detroit-area entrepreneurs through a mentorship-driven technology accelerator to help foster the next generation of innovators in the transportation industry. Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit will bring new technologies to market that address the future of moving people, goods, and services.

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Categories: Collaboration, Commercial Vehicle, Light Vehicle, Technology, Transportation, Future, Off-Highway, Mobility, Mentoring, Entrepreneurship

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Big Data Offers Real-Time Solutions and Predicts Vehicle Trends: Part 2

In our last Mobility Matters post, we discussed big data’s infiltration of nearly every industry, along with the importance of breaking down massive streams of information into smaller scopes to detect patterns and discover new insights. The second part of this conversation further explores data filtering and considers strategies that may help fleet managers overcome uncertainties to recognize the benefits of a prognostic approach to data.

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Categories: Commercial Vehicle, Light Vehicle, Off-Highway, Productivity, Technology, Safety, Transportation, Efficiency

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Big Data Offers Real-Time Solutions and Predicts Vehicle Trends: Part 1

The practice of collecting and analyzing information began long before the digital age. But today’s culture of 24/7 connectedness combined with more sophisticated, less expensive technology has allowed big data to infiltrate nearly every industry.

Within a large and complex data stream, telematics takes data to the next level by weeding through to find the most useful information. In the transportation industry, telematics has been adopted to monitor a variety of factors, from fluid levels to vehicle suspension.

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Categories: Commercial Vehicle, Light Vehicle, Off-Highway, Technology, Transportation, Safety, Productivity, Efficiency

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Proven Technologies, New Markets

While we tend to focus on leading-edge technologies in this blog, such as hydraulic hybrids, electric vehicles, advanced thermal management, and engine downspeeding, it’s important to note that the technology landscape around the globe is not uniform.

This can be attributed to many factors – government regulations, adoption rates of innovations, availability of financing, labor costs – but the primary reason is the local preferences of equipment buyers.  Simply put, if the buyers of equipment either perceive they don’t need or aren’t prepared to invest in the added benefits that advanced technologies can provide, it doesn’t make sense for manufacturers to offer machines with them.

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Categories: Trade Shows, Technology, Off-Highway, China, Localized Solutions, Construction

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Optimizing the Powertrain to Meet Emissions and Fuel-Efficiency Requirements

The global automotive industry continues to focus on developing cleaner, more highly efficient powertrain technologies to meet strict emission standards and consumer desire to pay less at the pump.  The demand for alternative and fuel-efficient combustion engine powertrain solutions shows no signs of slowing, and a forecast from J.D. Power and Associate’s strategic partner LMC Autmotive predicts that by 2025, 36 percent of new passenger vehicles in the global market will have alternative powertrains. J.D. Power also states that the remaining 64 percent of passenger vehicles will be equipped with conventional gasoline engines with much more fuel-efficient transmissions.

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Categories: Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Light Vehicle, Thermal Management, Powertrain, Turbocharging

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The Global Trend toward Engine Downspeeding

Emerging Challenges from Low-RPM, High-Torque Powertrains

Two events last month on opposite sides of the Atlantic have made the subject of engine downspeeding top of mind for commercial-vehicle manufacturers and fleets alike.

At the IAA Commercial Vehicles tradeshow in Hanover, Germany, numerous exhibitors presented their latest solutions for supporting engine downspeeding.  For example, MAN presented its new six-cylinder, Euro 6-compliant D3876 engine, which supplies maximum torque in the 930- to 1,350-rpm range, enabling...

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Categories: Efficiency, Commercial Vehicle, Fuel Economy, Trade Shows, Torque

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The Compelling Case for Cooperation among Rivals

OEM Alliances Are Key to Reaching Fuel Economy Targets

Once unimaginable, vehicle development alliances between OEMs are quickly becoming the new normal in the light-vehicle industry today, and this is a trend that is expected to accelerate in the years ahead.  The alliance between Renault and Nissan formed 15 years ago is picking up momentum, and by 2018, 70 percent of the companies’ models in the United States are expected to be produced under the...

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Categories: Collaboration, Fuel Economy, Light Vehicle

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Natural Gas: Fueling the Future – Part 1

Benefits and Barriers of Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles

With an array of vehicle powertrains – gasoline, natural gas, diesel, fuel cell, electric, propane, and more – now powering our vehicles, it’s imperative that auto suppliers are experienced with a range of powertrain platforms to ensure they are prepared to meet the demands of the vehicles of tomorrow.   

While the market is dominated by gasoline and diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG) is gaining attention from manufacturers.  Composed mostly of methane, CNG is cleaner burning than the other...

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Categories: Alternative Fuels, Light Vehicle, Sustainability

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Material-Handling Mobility Truly Matters at CeMAT 2014

Demand for Material-Handling Products to Grow by 8 Percent through 2016

The mood among visitors and exhibitors alike at the CeMAT intralogistics trade show in Hanover last month was quite positive, with the Freedonia Group predicting global demand for material-handling products climbing 4.0 percent annually through 2016, and MHI forecasting 8.0 percent growth in U.S. material-handling equipment manufacturing in 2014 and 9.0 percent...

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Categories: Trade Shows, Transportation, Fuel Economy, Off-Highway

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Product Development Trends Evolve Again

Exploring the Benefits of Collaborative OEM/Tier 1 Supplier Partnerships

Henry Ford found monumental success with vertical integration when he developed the assembly line strategy for mass car production in the early 1900s. In the early days of the automotive industry, manufacturers invested heavily in the development of their own manufacturing processes, technologies, equipment, and parts.

This approach made sense when vehicle portfolios were narrow and volumes were high. However, in today’s highly specialized marketplace with wider consumer preferences, lower volumes, and global supply chains, automakers are looking for collaborative partnerships with Tier 1 suppliers that spur the research, development, and delivery of innovative parts and technology.

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Categories: Light Vehicle, Productivity, Thermal Management, Collaboration, Vertical Integration

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Think Globally, Engineer Locally

Impressions from CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 on the growing worldwide construction industry

Nearly 130,000 people attended CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 in Las Vegas this year. The event set records for exhibit space, number of exhibitors, and education tickets sold while marking the second-highest attendance in the show’s history. 

While the construction industry is becoming more global, construction equipment is certainly not becoming universal.  The front-end loader used on a building site in London is far different from the front-end loader found in Shanghai – even if it is made by the same manufacturer. 

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Categories: Agriculture, Off-Highway, Trade Shows, Construction

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U.S. Fuel Efficiency Standards Tighten for Commercial Vehicles

As Fuel Economy Standards Change, Fleet Owners and Truck OEMs Require New Approaches

While increasingly stringent fuel economy standards are always a focus for the light-vehicle segment, they are top of mind for the U.S. trucking industry as well. Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create and issue new fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles by March 2016.

In a statement issued by the White House, President Obama said that while heavy-duty trucks only account for four percent of the vehicles on U.S. highways, they are responsible for about 25 percent of on-road fuel consumption.

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Categories: Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Transportation, Lightweighting, Commercial Vehicle, Regulation

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A “Year of Action” for Improved Fuel Economy in 2014

OEMs Look to Lightweighting and Systems Approach to Meet Regulations

U.S. President Barack Obama proposed a “year of action” in his 2014 State of the Union address, which focused mostly on healthcare, employment, and immigration reform.  However, the president also touched on his commitment to the energy strategy and minimizing oil dependency.  He emphasized how far the nation has come in terms of decreased energy usage, reduced carbon emissions, and improved fuel efficiency...

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Categories: Efficiency, Fuel Economy, Lightweighting, CAE, Transportation

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