Dana Unveils Spicer® AdvanTEK® Dual Range Disconnect™ Technology Concept for Optimizing Fuel Economy, Performance of Linehaul Trucks

Innovation Improves Efficiency for Next Generation of Trucks Configured for Engine Downspeeding

Mar 26, 2015

Dana Unveils Spicer® AdvanTEK® Dual Range Disconnect™ Technology Concept for Optimizing Fuel Economy, Performance of Linehaul Trucks 

Innovation Improves Efficiency for Next Generation of Trucks 
Configured for Engine Downspeeding

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 26, 2015 – Today at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), Dana Holding Corporation (NYSE: DAN) introduced the new Spicer® AdvanTEK® Dual Range Disconnect™ concept for tandem axles used in Class 8 linehaul applications.  Optimized for trucks that implement engine downspeeding, this breakthrough tandem axle technology improves efficiency without sacrificing performance by seamlessly combining the traction and dependability offered by a 6x4 configuration with the reduced drivetrain losses and improved fuel economy of a 6x2 configuration.  

The concept employs a single gear mesh configuration from the engine to the wheels and can enable improved overall powertrain system efficiency from 2 to 5 percent when compared with conventional 40k tandem axles paired with overdrive transmissions commonly used today.

At startup, on grades, at low speeds, during backup maneuvering, or in other environments where additional traction is needed, Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect technology allows the tandem axle to operate as a 6x4 with a traditional starting ratio that delivers the optimal tractive effort needed.  At low speeds, this ratio offers improved performance over fast-ratio 6x4 tandem axles by enhancing maneuverability while reducing the likelihood of high torque spikes.

As the truck nears highway speed, an electronic control unit (ECU) in the axle coordinates with engine and transmission ECUs to disconnect the inter-axle shaft from the power divider, allowing the axle to operate in a more efficient 6x2 mode. At the same time, it shifts the forward axle to a faster ratio that enables the engine speed to decrease to as low as 900 rpm for highway cruise operation.  

By using separate axle ratios for low- and high-speed operation, this technology also enables linehaul trucks to accelerate from low velocity to highway cruise speed much quicker than a 6x4 or 6x2 tandem axle with a single, fast ratio.

Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect technology improves fuel economy by reducing drivetrain losses in the inter-axle power divider, inter-axle shaft, and rear drive axle gearing; enhances net engine efficiency by better complementing engine torque curves; and lowers overall powertrain system weights.  

In addition to these performance benefits, the Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect concept enables the use of fewer gears in the transmission and avoids the need for larger engine mounts and frame rails while improving launchability, gradeability, driveability, and low-speed maneuverability.  

Dana has been evaluating a prototype of the Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect concept for the past two-and-a-half years on the Spicer AdvanTEK 40 tandem axle and other high-efficiency axle platforms.  Dana is moving forward with plans to integrate axles featuring this technology into manufacturers’ chassis for field testing this year.

“New fuel economy regulations for linehaul trucks are on the immediate horizon, and truck manufacturers are already addressing the challenge of reducing fuel consumption beyond the levels that can be achieved through today’s conventional powertrain systems,” said Mark Wallace, executive vice president of Dana and group president of Dana On-Highway Driveline Technologies.  “Our advanced Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect concept enables truck manufacturers to achieve substantial gains in fuel economy with a system that still performs dependably in adverse driving conditions.”

Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect technology offers an ideal tandem axle solution for trucks that allow engines to operate at a lower rpm.  Engine downspeeding provides numerous advantages, including reduced fuel consumption, decreased engine friction from lower piston speeds, lower relative heat transfer, and increased thermodynamic efficiency.

For many years, Cummins and Dana have collaborated on the development of powertrain solutions that enable engine downspeeding, and close integration of the engine and axle powertrain controls enables enhanced vehicle performance and efficiency with the Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect concept under development.

“Market leaders such as Cummins and Dana have proven track records of developing world-class powertrain systems, and our success is leading to new opportunities for further collaborating on truly groundbreaking solutions,” said Mike Taylor, General Manager – Global Powertrain, Cummins Inc. “The vehicles of the future will rely on innovative, tightly integrated technologies that reduce fuel consumption while offering the performance and reliability that are critical to our industry.” 

Dana will showcase the Spicer AdvanTEK Dual Range Disconnect concept and other industry-leading technologies this week in booth 30455 at MATS.  For more information about Dana's innovations for fleets, visit www.dana.com/commercialvehicle. 

About Dana Holding Corporation 
Dana is a global leader in the supply of highly engineered driveline, sealing, and thermal-management technologies that improve the efficiency and performance of vehicles with both conventional and alternative-energy powertrains.  Serving three primary markets – passenger vehicle, commercial truck, and off-highway equipment – Dana provides the world's original-equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket with local product and service support through a network of nearly 100 engineering, manufacturing, and distribution facilities.  Founded in 1904 and based in Maumee, Ohio, the company employs 23,000 people in 25 countries on six continents.  In 2014, Dana generated sales of $6.6 billion.  Forbes magazine selected Dana as one of America's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in 2014.  For more information, please visit dana.com.

For further information: Kelly Maher +1-419-887-3504 kelly.maher@dana.com

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