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Bendix celebrates record year for company patents

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Bendix employees post with patent plaques at the company's annual dinner. (Courtesy: BENDIX)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Discovery and curiosity drive inventors to create solutions that have a lasting impact on the world around them.

In 2018, inventors from across Bendix (Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake) made their own lasting impact by earning 52 U.S. patents, the most ever for the company in one year, according to Richard Beyer, vice president of engineering and R&D.

Spurred by their passion for safety technologies, 59 inventors contributed – individually or in groups – to the record patent total.

In all, Bendix received 60 U.S. patents, including eight filed on its behalf by parent company Knorr-Bremse. Among the recipients, 22 inventors received their first patents and several Bendix employees gained personal milestones: six inventors were granted their fifth patents, two reached their 10th, and three attained the 15-patent mark. This year’s honorees also include two prolific innovators, individuals who each hold 42 patents.

Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, honored the inventors at its annual patent dinner.

The dinner celebrated the inventors’ achievements, including 150 new invention disclosures submitted by employees last year. At the end of 2018, Bendix reached a total of 317 active U.S. patents and 171 active foreign patents.

“We are proud to celebrate the inspiring work of our inventors as they strive to advance Bendix safety products and technologies through ingenuity,” Beyer said. “The patents are a testament to their passion for finding solutions to even the most complex problems. Together, these innovators are helping Bendix shape tomorrow’s transportation, and contributing to a safer future on our highways.”

According to Beyer, the engineers and other inventors celebrated at the patent dinner also help define the Bendix culture of stressing training and education – and reflect the company’s emphasis on providing an environment that fosters creativity and knowledge expansion.

Bendix employs more than 325 North American-based engineers performing R&D, design, quality, manufacturing, testing, and technical sales roles. To aid new and experienced professionals as they work on the forefront of technology, the company provides a variety of career development and hands-on activities, Beyer said. In addition, Bendix has in place a long-standing engineering co-op program across many of its North American facilities, along with a selective Engineering Development Program for new graduates.

The Bendix Co-Op program offers engineering students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs the opportunity to obtain meaningful, hands-on work experience that complements their classroom learning. Working closely alongside seasoned professionals in North America, as well as with Knorr-Bremse colleagues around the globe, the program offers participants a wide range of disciplines and enables Bendix to help develop a pipeline from which to recruit new talent.

The Engineering Development Program (EDP), established in 2011, is a three-year rotational program that allows newly degreed engineers to develop in rotations of one year each in system development, product development, customer application, and/or advanced manufacturing engineering. The range of dynamic engineering challenges, at a variety of Knorr-Bremse global locations and Bendix North American facilities, increases the exposure to key areas within the organization and rounds out the capabilities of participants, providing significant experience, as well as the skill sets required to help deliver the next generation of commercial vehicle safety technology.

“The commercial vehicle industry is evolving like never before. It’s an exciting time to be an engineer with the many emerging requirements of electric vehicles, highly automated driving (HAD), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and advanced safety systems. But with these new technologies comes the need for new skill mixes and skill sets.  That’s why continuous learning and growth are essential,” Beyer said.

A part of that growth opportunity is the company’s Technical Skills Enhancement (TSE) program. TSE is a robust engineering curriculum that offers diverse technical skills training and features the mechatronics educational curriculum at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, New York. The 18-month certification program, hosted primarily online, is open to practicing engineers at Bendix.

Bendix and New York Air Brake LLC (NYAB) – a North American sister company within the Knorr-Bremse Group – enjoy a long-standing relationship with RIT, and helped develop the Knorr-Bremse North America Mechatronics Laboratory at RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Mechatronics – the intersection of electrical and mechanical engineering – is a critical component in advancing many commercial vehicle and rail safety technologies. The laboratory serves both RIT students and engineers from NYAB and Bendix.

While helping its engineers develop, Bendix also strives to prepare future technology leaders and generate interest in the commercial vehicle industry overall. Following on its strong commitment to education and to help advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs, the company supports a growing list of initiatives within the communities in which it operates – including robotics programs and maker spaces – as well as an annual Discover Engineering program, open to children and grandchildren of Bendix employees.

The Discover Engineering program enables middle and high school students to visit company headquarters for a firsthand engineering experience. Bendix professionals provide an overview of engineering fields, plus lead demonstrations, site tours, hands-on activities, and more to show how a career in engineering can make a long-lasting impact on people’s lives.

To further inspire the next generation, Bendix also regularly opens its doors to local schools to learn about engineering, including design, prototype, test, hardware-in-the-loop, and materials engineering. These tours give students an up-close look at the daily lives of engineers to help develop an interest in STEM.

“Bendix engineers strive to reshape the world for the better – through everything from designing safer trucks to pioneering remanufacturing solutions,” Beyer said. “Their passion for engineering and innovation is visible not only through their work, but also in their commitment to inspire up-and-coming engineers. With their continued effort inside and beyond our walls, the future is bright for engineering – and brighter for all of us.”

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NACV to feature 3 Solutions Theaters to focusing on trucking industry needs

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Leading truck and trailer manufacturers and commercial vehicle parts and components suppliers will demonstrate their latest product offerings during the NACV Show 2019, taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 28-31. The NACV Show 2021 will be held in Atlanta from September 27-30, 2021. (Courtesy: NACV)

ATLANTA — The North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV Show), the biennial B2B trucking industry event focusing on the needs of fleet owners, managers and decision makers, said Thursday that it will feature three new Solutions Theaters to showcase topical industry discussions on the show floor.

The show organizers have partnered with leading industry publications to secure thought leaders and industry visionaries who will discuss a range of topics.

All Solutions Theaters’ sessions are free for NACV Show 2019 registered attendees.

“We expect the discussions that take place in our three Solutions Theaters will inform and empower all industry professionals who attend NACV Show 2019,” said Carmen Diaz, show manager for the NACV Show. “We are excited to present top industry leaders and visionaries during our on-floor education sessions to discuss both the challenges and opportunities confronting today’s fleet professionals.”

Following is an overview of some of the NACV Show 2019 on-floor education sessions:

Two panel discussions will take place in the Solutions Theater located in Hall A.

The first panel is entitled “Finding the Data Driven Solutions That Work for You,” which will focus on how fleet owners can identify leading service challenges. Panel participants will provide insight into collecting and organizing the right data to help overcome these challenges. The second panel is entitled “How to Use Data to Improve Service Operations” that will highlight how to best utilize data — from fault code data to VMRS records — to reduce fleet downtime to improve operations.

Also, in the Hall A Solutions Theater, three educational topics will be discussed, including a Class 8 panel discussion, a medium duty panel discussion and “Last Mile – Autonomous Delivery Startups” discussion.

Two panel discussions will take place in the Solutions Theaters located in Hall B, including “Vetting Technology” and “Best use of Smart Technology.” Three educational sessions will also take place in the Solutions Theaters located in Hall B, including “Transitioning from AOBRDs to ELDs,” “Driver Retention” and “Rapid Pace of Technology Trucking.”

The show organizers will announce additional conference and educational programming topics prior to the event, which takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 28-31.

The North American Commercial Vehicle Show is a B2B exhibition focused on fleet decision makers and key influencers in the commercial vehicle industry.

 

 

 

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FTR March Shippers Conditions Index shows positive momentum

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An FTR official said an area to watch is diesel prices, which could move up in the fourth quarter. (The Trucker file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s March Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) rose two full points from February to a reading of 2.8 reflecting a continued easing of truckload and intermodal rates.  The outlook is for improved shipper conditions through 2019.

However, some key areas to watch are fuel price increases and capacity utilization in trucking which can result in added costs for shippers, according to Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR.

“Shippers are benefiting from relatively stable fuel prices and weaker trucking capacity utilization than they experienced in 2018. But both of those metrics are expected to tighten up as the year progresses,” Tranausky said. “Diesel prices could move up in the fourth quarter ahead of the IMO 2020 fuel mandate, which could pressure fuel surcharges higher late in 2019.”

The May issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published May 8, 2019, details the factors affecting the March Shippers Conditions Index. Also included is data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions include freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

 

 

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Heartland Express opens new, remodeled terminals in Colorado, California

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The Heartland Express Driver Appreciation Team performed at the ribbon cutting for the new terminal in Frederick, Colorado. (Courtesy: HEARTLAND EXPRESS)

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Heartland Express has opened a new terminal at Frederick, Colorado, and a remodeled terminal in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Just north of the Denver metro area, the Colorado facility offers a service shop with a truck wash, fully covered 24-hour fuel island and service lanes.

The terminal features a driver lounge with 24-hour access and amenities that include restrooms with private walk-in showers and laundry room with full size washer/dryer units. Other comforts include sofas and recliner chairs, table seating, ice machine, coffee, and a large screen TV for entertainment.

An RFID software system was installed for driver security and over five acres of parking with industrial Wi-Fi network available site wide.

The opening of the Frederick terminal occurred shortly after the grand re-opening of the newly remodeled Southern California facility in Rancho Cucamonga.

This 20-acre facility includes all of the amenities available in Frederick and utilizes solar power. Rancho Cucamonga is also one of 12 company locations that hosts driver orientation and soon we look forward to driver orientation at the Frederick facility.

“I’m extremely proud of these new terminals and what we can offer to our drivers. We’ve invested significant time, capital, and environmentally conscious resources into these provisions and look forward to seeing growth of our market position in both locations respectively,” said Heartland Express CEO, Mike Gerdin. “These grand openings are just the start of great new things to come from Heartland. Including the completion of these two terminal projects, we are spending an estimated $40-50 million on terminal related capital projects during 2019.  These terminal projects are centered around upgrades, remodels, expansions and terminal amenities for the comfort and support of our drivers, including additions of truck wash facilities at certain locations. Our desire is to offer state of the art amenities to our drivers while they are away from home.

The Frederick terminal is located at 9040 Bruin Blvd. The Rancho Cucamonga terminal is located at8566 Pecan Ave.

Heartland Express is an irregular route truckload carrier based in North Liberty, Iowa, serving customers with shipping lanes throughout the United States. Heartland focuses on medium to short haul regional freight, offering shippers industry leading on-time service so they can achieve their strategic goals for their customers.

For more information, visit .

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