Company Estimates North American Take Rate on ADBs Could Near 35 Percent in 2020
ELYRIA, Ohio – Oct. 30, 2019 – When it comes to commercial vehicle air disc brakes (ADB), the leader in stopping isn’t standing still: As adoption of the wheel-end technology grows, the Bendix® ADB22X® air disc brake with the Bendix® Splined Disc® rotor is a constantly improving solution, helping drive increased production and delivering greater return on investment.
“There are plenty of reasons why we’ve put more than 3 million Bendix air disc brakes on the road; and next year, we expect to see ADBs on nearly 35 percent of North American Class 6-8 wheel-ends,” said Keith McComsey, director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End, at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB). “Included in those reasons are safety, stopping distance, and reliability, of course, along with increased uptime – but we think a lot of our success is also due to the constant incremental efforts to optimize the ADB22X since we started producing it almost 15 years ago.”
Since 2014, North American market share for air disc brakes has doubled to more than 25 percent, with the Bendix ADB22X accounting for about 80 percent of that share. Worldwide, Bendix and its parent company, Knorr-Bremse, are the clear global leader in air disc brake production at over 40 million and counting.
In early 2019, Bendix implemented improvements to the ADB22X that included a new adjustment mechanism engineered to increase robustness against vibration, while improving the running clearance between the friction and rotor. The adjustment mechanism is a proven piece of technology the company introduced at another milestone point in the brake’s advancement – the debut of the trailer-specific Bendix® ADB22X®-LT in 2016.
The changes earlier this year also included coupling the ADB22X® with Bendix’s long-life air disc brake friction, the Bendix® BX276™ air disc brake pad. The BX276 pad, which includes an additional 2 millimeters of friction compared with its predecessor (the BX275), delivers an 8 percent increase in wearable volume. In developing the BX276, Bendix also reformulated the friction to achieve an improved wear rate, resulting in a pad with up to a 40 percent reduction in wear rate at higher temperatures than its predecessor.
Further optimizations of the ADB22X are underway for near-term release, along with the newly announced launch of ADB brake pad wear sensing, available for order on all versions of the ADB22X as new equipment from select truck and trailer manufacturers, as well as in aftermarket service kits. The technology reduces maintenance costs by alerting fleets, via telematics, when ADB pads are nearing replacement. This eliminates the need for technicians to constantly measure friction, thereby allowing fleets to optimize friction replacement schedules. It also helps fleets protect costly ADB components, such as rotors, from damage by worn out pads.
“The evolution of the ADB22X continues as we aim to drive out costs, while offering the marketplace even more options and increased value,” McComsey said. “We’ll optimize the ADB22X for certain market segments/applications – such as line haul, and pickup and delivery – and deliver to vehicle operators one of the lightest weight ADB brake assemblies on the market. OEMs and fleets are always looking for weight savings, and our optimized brake will help increase payload, improve fuel efficiency, and lower TCO.”
The popularity of the ADB22X was a major factor in the ongoing strategic expansion of the Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake wheel-end manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ground was broken in September on a 130,000-square-foot addition that will add, among other things, a third ADB production line, four ADB caliper machining centers, and expanded engineering test capability.
The Case for Air Disc Brakes
The lightweight design of the Bendix ADB22X significantly reduces stopping distance and extends brake system life, while quicker pad replacement and longer pad life contribute to greater uptime and lower maintenance costs. To help fleets gauge the potential for return on investment in air disc brakes, at ValuebyBendix.com, they can enter basic fleet information specific to their braking practices and needs. The user-friendly tool asks for information ranging from drum brake friction and maintenance costs to estimated Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) violation costs for out-of-adjustment drum brakes, and then uses the data to generate a report that can help them decide if spec’ing all-wheel air disc brakes over foundation drum brakes makes financial sense.
On the road, air disc brakes provide a car-like feel; straight, stable stops; and greater reliability due to virtually no brake fade or degradation of stopping power. In addition, they complement active safety technologies – such as Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ and the Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program full-stability system – by providing the stopping power that allows these systems to perform at their best.
“Our focus, as always, remains squarely on constantly evolving our products to meet the industry’s needs,” McComsey said. “In the case of air disc brakes, that includes driving out weight and operating costs, while increasing the options we make available to our fleet partners. We listen closely to these partners, as together we work to shape tomorrow’s transportation.”
For more information about Bendix air disc brakes, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit www.foundationbrakes.com.
About Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC combines and expands the complementary wheel-end foundation brake technologies of two global leaders – Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC. The joint venture, formed in July 2004, is a single, complete source for OEM brake system design, manufacturing, hardware, and support for all foundation brake components and actuation systems, as well as all-makes coverage of nearly 50,000 medium- and heavy-duty aftermarket parts. Contact us at 1-866-610-9709 or visit foundationbrakes.com. Stay connected and informed through Bendix expert podcasts, blog posts, videos, and other resources at knowledge-dock.com. Follow Bendix on Twitter at twitter.com/Bendix_CVS. Log on and learn from the Bendix experts at brake-school.com. And to learn more about career opportunities at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, visit bendix.com/careers.