According to Bendix, its new AD-HF product represents “the next evolution of full-function air...

According to Bendix, its new AD-HF product represents “the next evolution of full-function air dryer technology.”

Photo courtesy Bendix

Bendix spilled out a cornucopia of new product announcements during an Oct. 30 press briefing at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. The product developments discussed ranged from air dryers and advanced safety systems to diagnostic tools and a new technology to sense pad wear in air disc brakes.

Redesigned Air Dryer

Bendix announced its new AD-HF air dryer. Richard Nagel, director of marketing and customer solutions, Air Supply and Powertrain, described it as “the purpose-built result of a major redesign with an eye on elevating the dryer for today’s environment and providing immediate benefits to fleets and even truck builders.”

He said the AD-HF’s robust, two-piece high-strength aluminum casting makes it over seven pounds lighter than its predecessor, the AD-IS, which also facilitates remanufacturing in the future. The new dryer features an integrated purge volume reservoir, which eliminates the need for a steel tank.

According to Nagel, extensive use of improved materials and surface treatments make the AD-HF more corrosion-resistant to road treatments such as salt and chemicals, improving product life. Bendix also engineered the casting for better flow characteristics, which increases the AD-HF’s application capabilities through improved dryer air flow capacity. Finally, he added, the new casting has an increased number of porting locations with optimized port spacing to help reduce installation time.

The AD-HF is designed to work solely with a Bendix PuraGuard oil coalescing spin-on cartridge. During normal operation, a truck’s compressor passes small amounts of oil aerosols, determined by the compressor’s design, duty cycle, and life cycle. These oil aerosols are passed into the vehicle’s air system, where the first line of defense is the truck’s air dryer, according to Bendix.

Bendix said Bendix it will launch production of the AD-HF at several major OEMs beginning early next year.

Air Disc Brake Pad-Wear Sensing

Bendix is introducing pad-wear sensing on all versions of its ADB22X air disc brake, available for order on new equipment from select truck and trailer manufacturers.

The company said its wear-sensing technology determines when a pad is nearing its replacement period and provides a signal via telematics that fleets can use to proactively schedule maintenance.

Bendix said the system helps lower maintenance costs by reducing the need for technicians to measure friction, and by optimizing friction replacement schedules. In addition, since the system provides alerts when pads are reaching the point of replacement, it protects costly ADB components, such as rotors, from being damaged by worn-out pads.

The technology consists of sensors mounted to the ADB pads that indicate when pad thickness is approaching a worn-out condition. The system records a diagnostic trouble code and signals a fleet’s office via telematics, if the truck or trailer has that capability. It can also be set up to alert technicians through a remote diagnostic unit. At the time of notification, sufficient pad life remains to enable the fleet or technician to schedule replacement service before it’s an emergency situation. Another benefit cited is that pad-weat sensing helps avoid the risk of damage to costly rotors by alerting fleets to ADB pads nearing replacement condition.

“When vehicles are equipped with wear sensing, fleet personnel can be alerted in real time when they are approaching the pad’s end-of-life state,” said Keith McComsey, director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End, at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC. “Having that knowledge will help protect high-dollar air disc brake components, like the rotor,”

“Some fleets might routinely check pads at the end of the month,” he added. “But at that point, the pads could be worn enough that they are scoring or otherwise damaging the rotor – which the fleet would now have to replace, at an added expense of a couple hundred dollars per wheel-end, rather than only the cost of buying and installing a pad replacement kit – which is a fraction of that.”

Bendix wear-sensing technology is available through select OEM truck and trailer manufacturers. Kenworth offers the system on its T680, T880, and W990 tractors equipped with the ADB22X air disc brake. On the trailer side, the technology is available on equipment spec’d with the ADB22X-LT trailer air disc brake.

Revamped Diagnostic Tool

Bendix said the latest generation of its ACom Pro diagnostic software delivers
“a leap forward in troubleshooting.”

“These are far more than just incremental improvements or software updates,” said TJ Thomas, director of marketing and customer solutions – Controls. “Through our collaboration with Noregon, we’ve crafted a much more streamlined, thorough, and user-friendly tool that’s head-and-shoulders above previous versions. ACom Pro is simply the best way to ensure safe and effective diagnostics of Bendix electronic components and systems.”

ACom Pro initially supports Bendix tractor products, including antilock braking, automatic traction control, stability control, the family of Wingman advanced driver assistance safety systems, AutoVue lane-departure warning, BlindSpotter side-object detection, SmarTire tire-pressure monitoring, air disc brake pad-wear sensing, and SafetyDirect.

“When a truck is in the shop, quickly and accurately diagnosing and fixing it are paramount, and there are several key improvements we made to ACom Pro with that in mind,” Thomas explained. “For example, when connected, the tool automatically detects and gathers active and inactive diagnostic troubleshooting codes from all Bendix electronic control units on the vehicle, as well as key vehicle ECUs, like the engine and transmission. This roll call shows what’s on the vehicle, eliminating the need for a technician to guess from a prepopulated list of components that might be on the vehicle.”

He added that this comprehensive system-level approach allows the technician to get a much more complete picture of which DTCs are active and inactive to quickly judge what needs to be addressed first.

In addition, a more intuitive graphical user interface and clearer, menu-driven operation are also designed to smooth and speed the maintenance process.

Thomas said that through Bendix’s collaboration with Noregon, ACom Pro will use internet connectivity to display schematics and related information specific to a particular system fault through Noregon’s NextStep Fault Guidance application. He estimated that each time ACom Pro is used, technicians could save 20 minutes of time compared to doing the same job with the previous version, depending on the DTC.

ACom Pro will be available under a per-license annual software subscription model.

Trailer Roll-Stability Technology

Bendix said that In preparation for deeper integration of trailers and tractors, further advancement of highly automated commercial vehicles, and a migration toward Electronic Braking Systems at many North American tractor OEMs, it  is adding a TT-CAN (Tractor-Trailer Controller Area Network) to its TABS-6 multichannel trailer roll-stability system. The company noted this is a first for a North America-dedicated product, stating that the ISO 11992-2 vehicle bus will be incorporated into TABS-6 units in early 2020.

“The more effective and complex advanced driver assistance systems become, the more important it is to ensure that trailers are treated as an integral part of the safety equation,” said Produc Line Manager for Trailers Jon Intagliata,

“When coupled to a tractor that supports ISO 11992 CAN communication, the electronic brake demand from the tractor is converted into a pneumatic brake pressure at the trailer, eliminating pneumatic delays and improving braking response,” he continued. “In addition the TT-CAN enables the transmission of other information and control signals between the tractor and trailer, laying the foundation for upcoming technological developments.”

The TABS-6 system combines antilock braking with sensors, which monitor stability and can quickly and automatically trigger braking interventions when conditions that may lead to a rollover are detected.

“Making these ISO 11992-2 functions available to the major North American commercial vehicle manufacturers is important as we work together with them to shape tomorrow’s transportation,” Intagliata added. “One key to both ADAS and EBS is reliably knowing the ‘health’ of the trailer – and this addition helps make that possible.” 

Wingman Fusion Update

Bendix also announced that updates to its Wingman Fusion advanced safety system in hardware and software will “power new collision mitigation and driver assistance features, including Traffic Jam Assist, Highway Assist, and Pedestrian/Cyclist Alerts, along with steering capabilities such as Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Centering.”

The new capabilities are expected to be available in the next two years.

The company said new state-of-the-art components will “fully support SAE Level 2 [autonomous] driving functions, laying the groundwork for future integration with Electronic Braking Systems and enhancing driver, vehicle, and highway safety. The new capabilities are expected to be available in the next two years.

Through a previously announced global partnership for advanced driver assistance systems and a path to highly automated driving between Bendix’s parent, the Knorr-Bremse Group of Germany, and Germany-based global automotive and technology provider Continental, the Wingman Fusion system will be updated to use state-of-the-art forward radar and camera units as well as a side-facing radar from Continental.

Bendix said that by using sensors that are working together and not just in parallel, Fusion will gather input through the radar, video, and the vehicle’s braking system, combining and cross-checking the information to create a highly detailed and accurate data picture surrounding the vehicle.

“This is a major step along the pathway to more highly automated vehicles and represents the deepest, most effective integration to date of Fusion’s forward-facing camera, front and side radar units, and Bendix’s braking and steering systems,” said TJ Thomas.

About the author
David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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