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TTMA: A look at new trailer products

June 1, 2013
Fourteen TTMA associate members delivered news about their companies’ trailer-related products and services during the TTMA convention. This year’s convention had two such sessions on the program during which each of the participants had four minutes to explain their product and its benefits. Here are the 14 who offered an update: New slider from Reyco Granning

Fourteen TTMA associate members delivered news about their companies’ trailer-related products and services during the TTMA convention.

This year’s convention had two such sessions on the program during which each of the participants had four minutes to explain their product and its benefits.

Here are the 14 who offered an update:

New slider from Reyco Granning

In today’s transportation industry, fleets are facing driver shortages, stretched budgets, increased regulation, and driver health and safety concerns. But Joe Gallo said their biggest concerns are matching equipment with drivers and loads, reducing operating costs and maximizing their return on investment. And although suspensions aren’t normally a concern, they can have a big impact on fleet operations and maintenance.

Enter the new Reyco Granning Dockmaster 400 air ride slider, designed to keep rigs on the road and out of the shop.

How? The DM400 is engineered to be both strong and light.

“In recent lab tests, it tested at 33% stronger than the leading competitor,” Gallo said. “And while the DM400 continues the tradition of tough Reyco suspensions, it does so at a weight that’s less than traditional designs. And less weight means more freight. And more profit per load.”

He said that in times of driver shortages, less experienced drivers can drive up maintenance costs with issues such as buckled suspensions, caused by hitting curbs or light poles or dropping into ditches. To fight back, the DM400 incorporates several anti-buckling features: seven-gauge, nine-inch SUPER C frame rails with deep crossmembers; unitized wrap-around hangers with circular fillet welds; and a sub frame X-brace.

When eliminating buckling issues, fleet maintenance managers need less personnel for repairs, less rolling stock and less demand for facilities and equipment. All this leads to greater utilization, better operating ratios, and a more profitable bottom line.

The DM400 also helps to stretch budgets by lowering costs associated with van suspensions that are out of alignment. Proper alignment means reduced tire wear and fuel consumption—and lower costs. With an easy, true “one-person” alignment system, the DM400 allows mechanics to dial in positive, accurate alignment using ordinary tools—and no additional parts cost.

The DM400 also addresses driver safety by incorporating an air-operated pin release, or, a manual pin release handle with the exclusive Reyco Flexi-pull, spring-loaded pin system that reduces pull effort—even if one or more pins are stuck.

Ridge Corp, Freight Wing Merge

Freight Wing Inc has joined forces with Ridge Corporation, the largest manufacturer of aerodynamic side skirts for trailers, integral walls for refrigerated trailers and glass reinforced interior liners for dry freight trailers.

The addition of Freight Wing adds volume to Ridge’s existing product line and expands Ridge’s capabilities to innovate in a competitive composite market.

Sean Graham, founder and president of Freight Wing Inc, and his team of nine join Ridge’s 88-person management and manufacturing team. Freight Wing Incorporated was founded in 2003 to provide practical fuel and emission savings through innovative improvements to semi-trailer aerodynamics. Ridge has acquired 100% of the Freight Wing stock.

Graham has worked with fleets, OEMs and various government agencies since the company’s inception to “father” the modern aerodynamic side skirt.

“What attracted me to Ridge was the opportunity to enhance the quality and performance of our side skirt though the application of the industry’s finest composite manufacturing knowhow,” said Sean Graham. “Ridge’s human capital has the knowhow to provide our existing customers improved product performance and the creative atmosphere to design and refine new fuel savings initiatives no matter what the source of fuel.”

Ridge has a new 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. It uses 20 million pounds of raw materials per year to make 75,000 skirts, 60,000 integral walls, and 720,000 dry freight panels. Ridge has had a 48.3% average annual growth rate over the past five years.

Cunningham offers new steel wheel

The Cunningham Company, LLC, the third-largest steel wheel supplier to trailer OEMs in North America, unveiled the 361˚ brand lightweight 2269 steel wheel.

This 22.5x8.25, hub pilot, five-hand hole wheel weighs 69 pounds and has an aggressive epoxy primer paint coat, covered by a powder topcoat providing about five times the corrosion resistance of standard primer-only painted steel wheels. Cunningham also offers a hot-dip galvanized coating option.

In September, the 361˚ 2269 wheel will be made in the newest, most modern steel wheel plant in the world, according to Tom Cunningham. The company purchased Hess Industries (a producer of steel-wheel production lines) to offer the best technical support for steel wheel manufacturing. Projections of a 63-pound steel wheel are very realistic by mid 2014.

He said the 361˚ approach and philosophy to the very old steel wheel industry is to provide more value.

“We try to produce the best wheel in the world and deliver that wheel to your door,” he said. “You place the order and our wheels arrive at your plant, with no freight scheduling, tracking, handling, or worries. We keep it simple. We focus only on steel wheels and offer just a few part numbers.

“The new plant will have the capacity to meet more TTMA members’ requirements. We provide the highest value to TTMA members by focusing on what your trailer customers want: high-quality, lightweight, and substantial corrosion resistance all at a competitive price.”

Corrosion protection from AZZ

For several years now, Joe Langemeier has been saying that hot-dip galvanizing provides long-lasting, economical corrosion protection for steel components of truck trailers.

It is important to understand that there are three basic elements to the corrosion protection of steel:

• Basic barrier protection.

“Barrier protection, as its name implies, protects against corrosion by isolating the steel from electrolytes in the environment. As long as the barrier is intact, the steel will be protected and corrosion will not occur. However, if the barrier is breached, corrosion will begin. Paints are often employed for this purpose. The impervious nature of zinc makes it a very good barrier coating.

• Cathodic or sacrificial corrosion protection.

“Cathodic protection is often used in atmospheric environments as well as in submersion environments. Cathodic protection utilizes scientific discoveries made in the early 1800s. Simply stated, when zinc and iron/steel are connected together in a corrosive environment, the zinc will sacrifice itself, which protects the steel from corrosion. You are all probably familiar with sacrificial zinc anodes used on pleasure watercraft to protect submerged steel parts from rusting away.”

• Passivation of the metal surface, or in our case the “zinc patina.”

“In the first 48 hours after galvanizing, the fresh zinc is exposed to oxygen in the air, with which it reacts to form zinc oxide on the surface. Zinc oxide in this form is difficult to see with the naked eye and does not readily wipe off on your hands.

“Within the first six months, the zinc oxide combines with moisture in the environment and forms zinc hydroxide. Zinc hydroxide is a gelatinous substance that is poorly adhered, is white in color, and comes off readily on a gloved hand. This is commonly referred to as wet storage stain, but is a critical step in the formation of the zinc patina.

“Within six to 24 months, the zinc oxide and zinc hydroxide combine with carbon dioxide in the air to form zinc carbonate. The zinc carbonate is tightly bound to the underlying zinc coating, non-soluble, and fairly rough in surface. Zinc carbonate corrodes roughly 30 times more slowly than steel.”

He said hot-dip galvanizing combines all three elements to provide steel with long-lasting corrosion protection.

He said there are a number of accelerated corrosion tests in use today, including proprietary tests used by different OEMs. Three common standards used are:

• ASTM B 117-09: Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus, 2009.

• ISO 9227: Corrosion Tests in Artificial Atmospheres – Salt Spray Tests, 2006.

“This method is similar to the ASTM standard.”

• SAE J 2721: Recommended Corrosion Test Methods for Commercial Vehicle Components.

“The SAE committee working on J2721 standard is in the process of conducting atmospheric testing on coupons attached to truck trailers in cooperation with TMC members at this time,” Langemeier said.

Grote launches fully integrated system

Grote director of OEM sales Eric Thorstensen said that when looking at electrical systems for trailers, one must consider all of the costs involved, including complexity of design, installation time, safety, service, working as a system, design time, new part numbers, inventory, stranded inventory, and specification changes.

“All of these add up to the overall electrical system costs,” he said. “Typically, an electrical system is pieced together. Nose box from one company, lighting from another, maybe harnesses from a third. This approach may appear to save cost, however, it is then up to you to manage all the other costs, and to ensure everything works together. We all know that is not always the case.

“Take for example, the transition from incandescent to LED systems. The harnesses of the past had sufficient carrying capacity to snap the breaker in the cab, should there be a dead short. This is not always true with very light gauge harnesses. It is very important to use a system approach to electrical system design, ensuring full functionality to your expectations, as well as providing a safe system under all conditions for now and the future.”

Grote is launching such a fully integrated electrical system in 2013—front to tail designed to provide the maximum efficiency, safety, and lowest overall cost.

“We are looking at all facets of your system costs to provide you with the best overall solution to your needs,” he said.

New wheel ends released by KIC

John Schneider, vice-president of sales for KIC Wheel Ends, gave an overview of the features and benefits of the KIC line of new wheel-end products.

KIC’s full line of wheel hubs have been recently engineered and optimized to reduce vehicle weight while still taking advantage of the robust qualities of a cast iron hub. KIC’s patented floating wheel pilot system minimizes the loading strain on the hub.

“In independent testing, KIC’s hubs have shown better B-10 life compared to the competitor’s hubs,” Schneider said. “What does that mean? It means that KIC hubs have demonstrated better fatigue life when subjected to independent third-party industry standard testing and clearly indicates we produce a robust design. All of this translates into less maintenance and less downtime for your customers.

“Another advantage that KIC hubs have over the competition is our ABS tone ring design. As you know, severe winter conditions are detrimental to commercial vehicle chassis parts in general, and today’s road deicing chemicals exacerbate corrosion. Let’s face it: Winters can be pretty hard on unprotected metal. Our replaceable tone rings are surface-plated to resist corrosion from deicing chemicals and moisture. As a result of our ASTM B117 salt-spray test, corrosion can lead to a degradation of the ABS sensor performance to the point of system failure. Also, if the tone ring is damaged in any way, it can be replaced. Compare this to hubs with integral tone rings, and you’ll see why we think it’s better to replace a tone ring instead of the whole hub.”

He said that over the past two years, KIC has supplied OEM and aftermarket customers with an average of 100,000 brake drums per month.

“We think that is a significant number,” he said, “and it goes to prove that the market has found the value in KIC’s drum design beyond just better pricing and delivery. KIC’s KICast line of drums uses state-of-the-art computer-aided design for improved manufacturability, performance, and durability.

“Our Advanced Stopping Technology drums have also outperformed the leading competitive drum designs in independent third-party benchmark testing. An optimized drum design mean KIC’s cast-iron drum is lighter than the competition, yet delivers a better brake torque to weight ratio. Our drums are also engineered to work with today’s more aggressive brake linings for improved break-in burnishing characteristics.

“Our drums are balanced with an eccentric cut to the squealer band. This means no weights to fall off and no groove cuts that lead to stress concentration.”

In addition to independent validation and benchmark tests, KIC drums are FMVSS-121 tested, CMVSS-tested, and are CTEA-approved.

KIC’s most recent addition to its product offering is a line of steel wheels covered by a five-year warranty.

“KIC has built upon its network of North American PDCs to put our wheel inventory close to your plant,” he said. “In addition to being close, our wheels are packaged in skids of 24 wheels that can be split into three pallets of eight. They can also be handled with pallet jacks to make it easier for the production environment.

 “KIC wheels are standard with an e-coat primer and a powder finish topcoat. They are rated to 8000 pounds and are fully DOT-compliant. We can also provide a wheel with or without valve stems installed.

“In addition to our hubs, drums, and wheels, KIC has a full line of wheel-end products that cover off-road, specialty, transit, and highway applications. We specialize in working with our customers to develop new products that meet their specific requirements.”

Air tanks from Hoosier Tank

Andy Kinnucan of Hoosier Tank presented a video that described how air-brake tanks are made:

“Air-brake tanks are part of powerful brake systems on tractor-trailers and buses. When the driver depresses the brake pedal, the tank releases compressed air to activate the brakes so the wheels slow down and come to a stop. The energy to stop a big rig comes from air. It’s compressed and stored in brake tanks, so there’s always a ready supply. They make air brake tanks from industrial-grade steel that is about as thick as a typical magazine. A press forces steel around the dome floor and shears edges to produce the tank’s end caps. It also punches a hole in each cap for a fitting. The dome shape is critical.

“The tank caps ride a conveyer under sprayers that wash away residual oil from the pressing process. The steel feeds into another press that’s twice as thick as the steel used to make the end caps. This press is punching and forming brackets for attaching the air tank to the trailer undercarriage, so these connecting parts have to be extra strong.

“It takes six punches to shape the flat sheet of steel into curved brackets. Machinery flattens and cuts bigger sheets of steel for the tank body. Mechanized clamps grip the shield along edges and position it under another punch press. It perforates the steel where the fittings are to be installed and stamps the company name and other manufacturing information. It feeds the sheet to a roller that curls it into a cylindrical tank sheet. The rolling is precise and dimensions of the cylinder don’t need any adjusting. The worker clamps it into a fixture and a carriage moves the welding torch overhead to join the ends and create an air-tight seal.

“The next worker welds fittings onto a hole punched into the tank sheet earlier. Two of fittings are for attaching valves that control the flow of compressed air. The third fitting will be used to connect a line for draining water formed during air compression. He reinforces fittings with large collars that help connections withstand any bumps on roads. He places brackets and end caps in an automatic welder and activates it. It fuses brackets, one for each of the air tank’s end caps.

“With both bracketed end caps now installed on the cylindrical shell, it’s time to seal this air tank. The tank turns on a welding lathe as automated welders bolt them to the shell. The air-tank structure is now basically complete. They plug highly compressed air into the tank. It if can take all the pressure, it’s deemed structurally sound. They bring the pressure down and check for leaks. Bubbles in water around it would indicate air is seeping out. After cleaning, the air-tight tank heads into the powder-coating station. Sprayers apply powdered resin coating to tanks and particles are positively charged and tanks are negatively charged for instant attraction. The black powder clings to tanks as they travel through a gas-fired oven. The heat melts and bonds the coating to the surface of tanks, forming a tough skin.

“After the tanks cool, a worker inserts a long, thin paint gun through one of fittings to spray a rust-proof coating on the inside. He then inserts plugs into fittings to protect threads from damage until they are ready to make all necessary connections. It has taken about five hours to produce these air-brake tanks.”

Fusion Floor from Havco

Havco Composite Floors has introduced the Fusion Floor by Havco—The Next Generation of Composite Floors.

By fusing decay-resistant laminated oak boards with a high-strength glass fiber composite, Havco is able to produce a composite flooring product that is 90% stronger than standard flooring of the same thickness, according to John Carr.

A thinner Fusion Floor can replace a standard wood floor in trailers and thereby reduce the weight of a trailer by up to 360 pounds.

“Imagine being able to carry hundreds of extra pounds of freight in each truck on every run, utilizing a durable trailer floor that can last over 15 years without major repairs or replacement expenses,” Carr said. “The top layer of laminated oak provides all of the benefits you’ve come to expect from traditional oak flooring—resistant to decay and slip and wear resistant. Furthermore, oak hardwood is a sustainable resource, with ample supplies readily available near our factories.

“But it’s the bottom layer that makes the Fusion Floor unique. Fused by our trademark red-colored PUR hot melt, the glass fiber composite layer gives the Fusion Floor its added strength and durability while reducing its overall weight. In addition, it’s impervious to moisture, protecting your cargo from road spray and improving the longevity of the wood. Unlike standard undercoating, the composite layer won’t deteriorate or wash away, eliminating costly repairs and maintenance.”

He showed a photo of one of the first composite floors that Havco manufactured.

“Even after 10 years of daily use, the top side of the composite floor is in remarkably good condition—showing little or no damage and still perfectly flat with no visible cupping or warping of the floor. A close look at the midsection underside shows that the composite layer is intact. There is no sign of delamination or other types of failure, including none of the breakthrough that is normally caused by heavy forklift load cycles during the loading and unloading of the trailer.

“We then removed the flooring for more thorough testing. Shown here is a cross-section of the floor from the midsection of the trailer. This sample showed no evidence of de-bonding of the wood components or delamination of the bottom composite layer from the wood.

“During our strength tests, we discovered that even after a decade of consistent, everyday use, the original composite floor retained an amazing 80% of its initial flex strength. And it was still approximately 20% stronger than a brand new, standard floor. Keep in mind that this was a first-generation composite floor. As a result of the improvements we have made to the design, our newest version of this remarkable technology—the Fusion Floor—is 15% stronger than the floor tested in this study.”

AIRman introduces control system

AIRman, Inc., has introduced its latest air-ride control system—the Eagle X-I Air Ride Commander, which provides a convenient combination of controls for both the primary and auxiliary axle suspensions in a singular module contained within a protective enclosure.

AIRman’s Chad Dusseau said the primary suspension is independently gauged for pressure, which may be indexed for load and can be fully exhausted for stability while loading or unloading. The auxiliary (lift) axle may be lowered or lifted manually from the enclosure or operated from the cab, and the control includes automatic lift-on-reverse.

AIRman offers both regulated and common ride versions. Regulated ride is also independently gauged. AIRman has filed for patent protection for the Eagle X-I, which includes a unique feature called Auto-Uni Dump. When the control is activated for exhausting the primary suspension, the ride bags for the auxiliary lift axle are also automatically exhausted. Conversely, the auxiliary axle ride bags are automatically refilled when the control is deactivated. Operators no longer need to raise the lift axle when dumping primary suspension bags to stabilize the vehicle. A single control operation ensures stability throughout the entire suspension system.

The NEMA 4X enclosure is heavy-duty, corrosion-proof, and molded over fiberglass with stainless steel hinges and latches. The assembly includes a legend plate inside complete with operating instructions and color-coded DOT-approved fittings in the back for mistake-proof connections.

“Inside and behind the legend plate, the Eagle X-I contains a module of pneumatic controls,” he said. “The consolidated module eliminates expensive fittings and minimizes potential leak points. The modular design also provides for all I/O porting in one location and in one plane for convenient plug-and-play installation. AIRman has reduced a normally complex system of controls into a compact and effective alternative, minimizing installation time and labor.

“Just as importantly, this module relies on the tried and true AIRman air-control valve platforms proven by years of field service and independently tested for the extreme environmental conditions prevalent in the mobile heavy transport application. It uses the same internal technique that AIRman has provided for millions of valves that currently control lift axles, suspension fill and dump, tailgate latch and lift operations, tire maintenance controls and more.”

AIRman has developed thousands of unique pneumatic solutions for a wide variety of industrial applications, including heavy transport, construction, food processing, petroleum production, textiles, auto production, agriculture, military, and medical.

AIRman products currently serve in applications as diverse as lift axle controls to breathable circuit gas components for anesthesiology equipment.

Located in Wixom, Michigan, AIRman facilities consist of two new buildings, one for manufacturing and one for assembly. The CNC shop produces over 90% of the parts used in our products. The factory includes the capacity to perform our own welding, sawing, grinding, finishing, and cleaning, in addition to turning and milling.

Stemco Offering PPS+7

Brad Stinson said Stemco has been a leader in the manufacturing of high-performance commercial truck products for over 60 years, including hub seals, hub caps, Pro-Torq axle fasteners, precision bearings, and hubodometers. Stemco has complemented its wheel-end approach to the trucking industry with brake lining, shoes, new shoe kits, Stemco Crewson automatic brake adjusters and Stemco Centrifuse lightweight brake drums.

Stemco is now offering the new PPS+7, a seven-year warranted wheel-end system.

“The PPS+7 system is built on the proven PPS and PPS+ packages that have been the industry standard for over a decade,” Stinson said. “To increase the durability of the system, Stemco engineers redesigned the flagship Guardian HP seal and built a world-class factory to build ultra-precise high performance bearings. The combination of these two significant improvements creates the core for the PPS+7 and testing shows significant reliability and durability improvements.

“This new high-performance package is available in two configurations. The Platinum Performance System PLUS 7 Light Weight builds on the industry-standard PPS five-year system by adding the Stemco CentriFuse drum and hub assembly. Customers remove approximately 150 pounds of trailer weight, improve braking performance and extend their wheel-end warranty to seven years.

“The Platinum Performance System PLUS 7 Tire Inflation also builds on the PPS+ system by adding the Stemco AERIS high-performance tire inflation system. The AERIS system was developed by STEMCO to increase fleet safety, reduce maintenance costs, and improve overall wheel-end performance for inflation-equipped trailers. Customers will immediately experience the benefits through such innovative features as the integrated tire-pressure check points, the patent-pending high/low precision air-flow sensing, and patent pending multi-vent ensuring that your wheel ends never see air pressure from your inflation system. Customers will never have to compromise wheel-end performance if they utilize the AERIS tire inflation system.

“Testing on critical components has shown a B Ten life of nearly one million miles. Purchasing the PPS+7 Inflation system also creates an upgrade path for customers that are interested in Stemco’s patent pending ‘Smart Sense’ product that shows inflation customers which tires are leaking. Both PPS+7 systems are available for ‘N’ and ‘P’ spindle configurations and can be used with both oil and synthetic semi-fluid grease.”

Whiting Door celebrates innovations

Chuck Oakes said Whiting Door Mfg Corp has made innovations to its Command Life automatic door system that reduce the physical activity by the driver, which reduces driver injuries a fleet’s insurance claims, and will increase security.

Enhanced features recently added include reduced wiring, an upgraded electrical box, and optional charging system to provide continuous power to the system.

The company just introduced the Whiting Secure Shield lock that is meant to reduce cargo theft.

“It has a simple, case-hardened steel cover that covers our standard lock and keeper system,” he said. “It’s fully assembled and a very cost-effective solution to the fleet.”

Two recently developed products hold open the devices that allow the rollup door to be locked in the full open position. One is called 1184HD and the other is an auto lock device with a hinged roller bracket.

“They increase the opening length of the trailer and are less costly and easier to install than previous designs,” he said.

Whiting recently introduced a Shield Series door, an all-weather thermal plastic panel in automotive grade polymer. It’s about 20% lighter than a plywood door and environmentally friendly with no PVCs and an improved panel and joint design to keep water out.

“It has superior UV properties with good decal adhesion,” he said.

Oakes said Whiting is working on an innovative panel technology that utilizes an embossed, light-gauge steel core.

“It’s adhered with an aerospace-grade structural adhesive system,” he said, “and panels are available in various thicknesses and options. The advantages are that it’s light, strong, 100% green, and easy to recycle. Applications include swing doors from trailer and side walls. They may include rollup doors, flooring, and aero skirts.”

Kinedyne’s Kaptive Beam System

Paul Wolford said fleets ask for Kinedyne’s Kaptive Beam System by name.

He said this decking solution provides added value to prospective customers because: it increases load average, which then reduces the number of schedules and equipment required; reduces damaged freight expense incurred from the shifting or double-stacking of cargo; and lowers the cost of ownership as compared to conventional series E beams.

The Kaptive Beam System stays with the trailer, ensuring that the system benefits are always available where and when they are needed. Plus, the system reduces damage to the rear door by eliminating shifting or falling freight.

“The result? Improved overall customer satisfaction and increased fleet profitability,” Wolford said.

He said a Kaptive Beam system, including the initial capital investment and routine maintenance, offers fleet owners the lowest overall cost of ownership compared to any other double decking systems on the market.

“Kinedyne has been supplying the heavy-duty transportation industry with cargo-securement products for over four decades, and has earned the reputation of supplying quality products you can count on and trust,” he said. “With a focus on continuous improvement, the Kinedyne Kaptive Beam System is regularly enhanced and tested against other similar deck systems on the market today. The data collected from this testing is used to ensure the Kaptive Beam system remains the ‘go-to’ solution for fleet operators.

“Kinedyne’s Kaptive Beam systems are built with the highest standards, selecting only quality materials and components with an emphasis on system strength, and the reduction of friction and wear. The body of the beam foot assembly and guide shoe are made of hard, anodized aluminum. The locking pawls are steel. And the heavy-duty, spring-loaded trigger mechanism provides a decking system nearly impossible to wear out during the life of the trailer.

“Proprietary manufacturing and quality control processes ensure Kinedyne’s Kaptive Beam Systems consistently meet or exceed the operator’s performance expectations throughout the life of the system.

The reduction of friction reduces wear and tear on the beam’s foot assembly trigger mechanism, lock pawl, and track, thereby increasing system durability and life expectancy. Wolford said Kinedyne’s Kaptive Beam Systems will perform as designed long after other systems on the market wear out. And Kinedyne now offers a five-year warranty on the Kaptive Beam System.

“Prior to investing in a Kaptive Beam System, the Solutions Team is available to provide your customer with a free needs assessment and to assist in developing an ROI analysis. Following the sale of your Kaptive Beam equipped trailers, the Solutions Team is committed to working with your customer to validate the original ROI analysis, and to assist in making sure the system operators are properly trained to use the Kaptive Beam System.”

Testing is Key for CMC Impact Metals

Andy Annakin said CMC Impact Metals recognizes that every product made at the company’s three facilities goes into a high-stress environment, so the products need to be reliable in tough applications.

“Testing and re-testing is the norm to make sure everything will perform perfectly,” he said. “We want our customers to stay satisfied. Quality is very important to us.”

He showed a video that touched on these key points:

“Safety in our plants and products is the primary focus of the entire team. The metal products we produce are held to the strictest standards in the industry. We are the heat-treated experts, from flat bars to plates and round bars. Let our decades’ worth of experience go to work helping your business.

“We also offer custom sizes—something a little different than the standard-size availability of others. Collaborate with CMC Impact Metals to custom-engineer sizes that minimize your production scrap. Our multiple plant locations create built-in redundancy unique in the heat-treated products market. All of the products we sell are both melted and manufactured in the USA. That’s important to us and it shows in our products.

“CMC Impact Metals offers a wide range of products targeted to customers in the military, vehicle, transportation, and construction equipment markets. We also offer commercial heat-treating services. We are one of the largest independent processors of SBQ round bar in the USA, with over two decades of experience producing bars and tubes to ASTM, API, and even custom specifications.

“Helping North America become energy-independent will require more tempered products than ever before and we stand ready to help. We also offer a variety of finishing and testing services, including ultrasonic and particle-testing, shot-blasting and powder-coating. Our plasma and laser-burning machines have some of the longest beds in North America, allowing us to perform a wide variety of precision cutting for the most demanding applications.”

Optronics’ GloLight Offers a Change

Marcus Hester of Optronics presented a video that offered the following viewpoints on the company’s new GloLight product:

Brett Johnson, president and CEO of Optronics International: “The GloLight is the stunning combination of premiere lighting technology meeting world-class styling capabilities. The introduction of the GloLight Series represents the first truly different approach in years to the visual presentation of stop, tail, turn lamps. Most LED lamps have hotspots or patterns of bright light. GloLight lamps are visually distinctive from other LED lamps because their lenses diffuse the light, giving them a smooth, bright, glowing appearance. The GloLight optical technology is so different—it’s patentable—and Optronics has 35 new products with GloLight technology in its pipeline right now.”

Charlie Mudd, president of Vanguard National Trailer Corporation: “Lighting is one of the most visibly predominant features on any vehicle, and this is a completely different looking, yet highly effective light. We’re focused on integrating the latest technology into our manufacturing process and these new lights clearly represent the innovative partnership between Vanguard and Optronics. Innovation is important to Vanguard, our customers and our industry.”

Robert C Bartkowski, national sales engineering manager, HD OEM, Optronics International: “GloLight technology looks different because it is different—different in its optical approach and different all the way down to the circuit boards. We design and manufacture all of our lamps using the most advanced engineering techniques. And test them in our own world-class, state-of-the-art optical testing facility. Lamps are engineered to resist everything from shock to dust to high-velocity water spray.

“We’re committed to designing and manufacturing corrosion-resistant LED lighting products and GloLight lamps are produced using solid-state, surface-mount device, or S-M-D technology. Most LED lamps sold in the heavy-duty market today use what is typically referred to as ‘through-hole’ construction. Optronics LEDs are mounted directly to the surface of the circuit board, eliminating exposure to connecting points. LED lamps with SMD technology like Optronics’ new GloLight, are so robust that they can continue to function even if their circuit board is completely submerged in water.

“The unique GloLight lenses and housings are made of tough polycarbonate material that is sonically welded to create an impermeable seal. GloLight lamps meet all FMVSS 108 and SAE photometric requirements for visibility and safety and our lamps are tested at a certified independent laboratory. I guess it’s redundant to say this, but our lamps come with a lifetime warranty.”

Mark Roush, vice president of engineering for Vanguard: “There’s nothing out there that’s as eye-catching and effective as these GloLight lamps. Vanguard is always drawn to component suppliers’ products that contribute to our customers’ efforts to operate more effectively and safely. GloLight lamps just look different and more noticeable. That means safer.”

Johnson: “With world-class manufacturing facilities, harness-making capabilities, and a global market presence, Optronics is now changing the competitive landscape in HD Lighting. OEs have access to a lighting manufacturer with global sophistication, fleets are enjoying increased product availability and everyone is benefiting from new, innovative technology and the industry’s most competitive pricing structure. With GloLight, Optronics is sending a signal that things have changed in the HD lighting industry.”

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About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.