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Meritor to the fore

Meritor to the fore

ArvinMeritor chose last week's Mid-America Trucking Show to begin "revitalizing" its Meritor product and services brand in the global commercial vehicle market

ArvinMeritor chose last week's Mid-America Trucking Show to begin "revitalizing" its Meritor product and services brand in the global commercial vehicle market. The manufacturer said the move was based on extensive marketing research conducted by its commercial-vehicle marketing team.

"We have chosen to refocus on Meritor as the premier commercial vehicle systems product brand for ArvinMeritor," said Dennis Kline, vp - sales & marketing for ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) business, speaking in Louisville, KY, on March 22. "We believe the strength of the brand is a necessary tool in helping us meet our customers' expectations in the future. The Meritor brand has been recognized for its technology leadership position and industry-proven customer support capabilities."

To help reinforce its brand position, the company is adopting a new tagline -- "Delivering Performance Plus," which Kline said represents its desire to be recognized as the best-in-class within the "performance" category of products, parts and people. He said the tagline also supports the company's "global leadership positions in axles, brakes, suspensions and emissions systems and helps convey its strategy to bring innovative customer solutions" to market.

ArvinMeritor also announced numerous product developments at its news conference held in the new Muhammad Ali Center. To meet stringent EPA 2010 emission standards, ArvinMeritor has developed ActiveClean plasma fuel reformer technology as a "key component in the next generation of exhaust aftertreatment systems for diesel engines." According to Silvio Angori, gm of ArvinMeritor Commercial Vehicle Emissions, the "ActiveClean plasma fuel reformer allows truck operators to more efficiently reduce exhaust emissions, while causing minimal financial and performance impact on their fleets. It enables emissions control devices for particulate matter and NOx removal required by the upcoming standards, and offers fuel savings when compared with competing technologies."

Angori explained that the ActiveClean separates or "reforms" diesel fuel drawn from the vehicle's fuel tank into hydrogen and carbon monoxide using electrically generated plasma. The hydrogen and carbon monoxide then are injected into the exhaust upstream of the catalytic elements in the emissions control aftertreatment system to reduce particulate matter and NOx. The mixture is used in conjunction with Lean NOx Trap catalysts to reduce NOx emissions. Because the reformed hydrogen/carbon monoxide combination is more efficient, he said the system requires 50% less diesel fuel than equivalent Lean NOx Trap systems.

Angori noted the use of hydrogen also allows the removal of sulfur from the Lean NOx Trap - a process called desulfation - to occur at a temperature as much as 200 degrees Celsius lower than other systems that use diesel for desulfation. The lower desulfation temperature enables increased durability of the Lean NOx Trap catalyst and reduces the amount of platinum required in the catalyst formulation by more than 50%. In addition, the plasma fuel reformer has been designed to provide fast response to transient engine conditions and minimize the space envelope requirements on the vehicle. ArvinMeritor worked on the initial development of the plasma fuel reformer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and further developed the technology to its production-ready state.

In other emission-related news, ArvinMeritor said it's been awarded the supply of 100%t of the exhaust aftertreatment device packaging for DaimlerChrysler's heavy-duty engines for the U.S. market in 2007. The supply of the device packaging, which includes packaging for Detroit Diesel and Mercedes Benz engines designed for Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star brands, will commence with production and delivery in 2007.

ArvinMeritor announced availability of its Meritor Severe Service Q Plus (SSQ Plus) heavy-duty brake system for vehicles that operate in harsh or rugged environments. The system is designed to extend service life and improve asset utilization in vehicles used in construction, refuse collection and other severe-use situations, said the manufacturer.

"Our new SSQ Plus foundation brake package targets customers who need to avoid downtime and keep their vehicles on the road as much as possible," said Gary Ganaway, director, commercial vehicle systems & product strategy. The SSQ Plus system consists of larger, more robust brakes along with upgraded bushings, seals and hardware. Fleet testing on 30 refuse vehicles over a period of 26 months, indicated time between brake relines could increase from 2.3 months to 13 months, a potential increase of over 500%. The package will be available as an OE option and on the aftermarket.

Also rolled out were new wide-based tire hubs for drive and trailer axles, designed to offer truck operators improved fuel economy, better handling and stability. The new hub requires no modification to the drive axle. The new drive- and trailer-axle hubs will be available on new tractors and trailers as well as through the company's Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket operation for users who choose to retrofit to the wide-base single tire.

"Our new ArvinMeritor hubs are designed to work with the new wide-based tires available for heavy trucks, tractors and trailers from tire manufacturers like Michelin and provide operators with a number of advantages over traditional dual-tire systems," said Tom Gosnell, president of ArvinMeritor Commercial Vehicle Systems. "Our innovative hubs are backward-compatible with dual tires and carry the full 40,000-lb application rating operators have told us they require."

The new Meritor RideSentry MPA series of trailer air suspensions was rolled out. "Our new RideSentry trailer air suspension is an evolution of our industry-leading RHP line, packed with major customer-focused enhancements," said Sergio Carvalho, vp & gm of worldwide trailer systems. "Like its name implies, this new suspension provides truck operators with advanced cargo and trailer protection, unmatched roll stability, enhanced mobility and reduced downtime for improved operating profits. Independent studies affirm that many operators are not ensuring slider locking pins are engaged before driving on-highway. RideSentry's innovative angled pin design helps to address this industry-wide issue," he added.

The RideSentry trailer air suspension, boasting a wide variety of axles, brakes and spindle profiles, will be available for dry van and reefer applications beginning in July and will be assembled at the company's Frankfort, KY, plant. It will be offered in both 38,000- and 40,000-lb capacities.

ArvinMeritor said is has been selected the standard equipment supplier for hubs and brake drums by trailer maker Wabash National Corp. The contract covers 2006 and 2007 with an estimated annual value of $20 million. "Wabash is a long-time customer of our trailer axles and air suspensions, and now has selected our hubs and drums to complete the trailer undercarriage system for its end-user customers," said Pedro Ferro, vp & gm of Braking Systems for ArvinMeritor. Wabash has specified the Meritor Lite WP ductile iron hub, SteelLite X30 drum and full cast brake drum.

Meritor WABCO, a joint venture between ArvinMeritor and the WABCO Vehicle Control Systems of American Standard Companies Inc., announced availability of its new PLC Display for tractor-trailer communications. This allows the display of communications between the tractor and trailer, communicating important information concerning the status of trailer-mounted systems. A significant addition to the communications capabilities is the transmission of critical information from the Meritor Tire Inflation System by P.S.I. and other tire inflation systems, the company noted.

"Our new PLC Display provides the driver with the information needed to easily monitor vital trailer system and for the first time links the trailer and the tractor as a unit," said Jon Morrison, gm of Meritor WABCO. "In addition, telematics compatibility with the system means fleets can stay in touch with the vehicle to monitor vehicle usage or service requirements to keep their fleets operating at peak efficiency." He pointed out the InfoLink gateway allows more complete monitoring of ABS and integrates functions such as brake control, sensor inputs and output drivers, and provides a communications link to the existing tractor data bus.

ArvinMeritor announced the April availability of a 2.50 ratio for its RS-23-160 single axle series. Specifically designed to work with low speed engines, the ratio will allow truck operators to optimize performance and fuel economy with the new generation of emissions-controlled engines due in 2007, said the company. "This new offering is a result of increasing demand for lower numerical ratios," said Brad Arnold, vp & gm of axles and drivelines. "With our new 2.50 axle ratio, customers can now travel at a cruising speed without sacrificing their fuel mileage." All axles manufactured after March 2006 will accept the new ratio along with all other production ratios.

A newly redesigned Web site,, was announced. "In conjunction with our renewed focus on the Meritor brand and the launch of our tag line Delivering Performance Plus, our site redesign is a direct example of listening to and supporting our customers," said Karl Mayer, manager of marketing services. "We realize that our web guests want to quickly find correct product information they need, when they need it. The goal was to reduce the amount of mouse clicks to obtain valuable tools and information -- be it sales, service, warranty, or parts related."

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