HANNOVER, GERMANY -- Developed for the global market with regional customization capabilities, Dana's new family of single-reduction drive axles combine design and production efficiency with application specific demands.
Engineered on a flexible platform that supports production in North America, Western Europe, and emerging markets, the global axle family can be locally sourced and manufactured to meet market needs. Introduced at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show, the axle uses Dana's AdvanTEK technology, common assembly architecture, common ring and pinion gears and other Spicer axle technologies to reduce weight and improve efficiency.
“Worldwide demand for the single-reduction axle in this weight class that reduces the cost of ownership is expected to grow significantly through 2020 as the commercial-vehicle market expands, especially in emerging markets,” said Pat D’Eramo, president of Dana Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies.
Dana's new global axle will be available in a wide selection of ratios from 2.05:1 to 6.50:1 with gross combination weight ratings of 35 to 45 tons. These axles will be compatible with popular suspensions and specifications unique to each region.
"We created a concept that could be modularized in that we understand that each region has some unique peculiarties to them," says Andy Nieman, vice-president Commercial Vehicle Engineering and Quality at Dana. "There will be some common features but other will be different because they need to be regionalized for the differences in how the products are used."
Nieman explains that interest is fuel economy, including the downspeeding concept, is rising around the globe, so lower and lower ratios are emerging. At the same, trucks in emerging markets like India and China are routinely overloaded by 30-to 50% percent. That presents some design and manufacturing challenges, but the common platform can still be regionalized.
"There will be two models with high and low ratios, because they have different requirements torque loading etc.," he says. "Low rpm engines are pushing drivetrain torque requirements upward, so components have to be more robust to handle the increased torque, but there's still a need for a very robust axle in some markets. We'll use common architecture where we can and regionalize where we must."