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American Axle & Manufacturing Introduces New Exclusive 3.42 PowerDense® Gear Set Designed to Improve Fuel Economy – AAPEX Show Booth #1458

AA&M LogoDetroit, Michigan, October 16, 2007American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), which is traded as AXL on the NYSE, today announced a new exclusive aftermarket 3.42 PowerDense® gear set for 2003 to 2007 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500/3500 turbo diesel pickups.  2007 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500/3500 Turbo Diesel

The gear set and its technology will be showcased at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX), October 31 through November 2.   

AAM Aftermarket now offers Dodge Ram diesel pickup owners the 3.42 ratio gear set as an alternative to the numerically higher ratio gear sets that are currently available.  The lower ratio set reduces engine rpm, which helps improve fuel economy under normal driving conditions which exclude hauling, climbing grades, or pulling a trailer.                

The 3.42 ring and pinion is designed to fit inside the original equipment AAM 9.25-inch front and 11.5-inch rear axles without modifications to the transmission or the truck’s on-board computer.  In pre-2007 pickups the front axle requires a new redesigned differential case along with new side and differential pinion gears.  All 2007 models have the advantage of coming with a factory installed redesigned differential case, side and pinion gears making the installation process easier.  

 AAM PowerDense® Ring and Pinion Gear Sets – AAM utilizes state-of-the-art face hobbing to generate the gear tooth form in a two-cut process.  This represents AAM’s latest effort to enhance NVH, durability, quality and reliability of its ring-and-pinion gear sets.  The key advantage of a two-cut gear set occurs when the components are being hobbed or generated.  Hobbing creates more surface area and equal tooth depth.  This produces lower alternating bending stress levels while creating a more even distribution of loading across all of the teeth.  The results are reduced levels of NVH and increased durability.   Another key advantage of the two-cut process is the use of continuous indexing.  In the manufacturing process the gear teeth are generated simultaneously with uniform tooth spacing and no imperfections.        

Additionally, the two-cut manufacturing process permits tighter backlash specifications between the gear and the pinion.  Backlash is defined as the amount of free play between two gears in their operating positions.  The results are reduced heat, NVH, driveline clunk and increased gear set durability.   Finally, two-cut manufacturing is an environmentally friendly process.  Since the components are dry cut, the presence of a coolant medium at the point of engagement of a tool and a component is eliminated.  Without coolant, no mists or smoke are produced.   

Tough Stuff – AAM PowerDense® gear sets are made from high quality Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) steel purchased only from approved AAM and OEM steel suppliers.  Special high core hardenability steel is utilized to enhance the design and manufacturing process of the gear sets.   

AAM Ring and Pinion GearMade Even Tougher  – The specified steel also lends itself to precision shot peening which extends the life of AAM PowerDense® gear sets.  In this process spherical shot is targeted at the root of the gear teeth and bombards the surface, resulting in compressive stresses to combat fatigue loading.  The compressive stress increases AAM ring-and-pinion durability and reliability.  AAM parts are also forged, lapped and heat treated to meet OE manufacturers’ stringent standards.  Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) are then used to inspect the parts for accuracy.   

AAM – Tough to Beat  AAM engineering teams have advanced the design and manufacturing processes of driveline systems, chassis systems and metal formed products since 1994.  AAM designs, tests and validates its ring and pinion sets to vehicle manufacturers’ exact specifications.  AAM’s on-going programs in NVH, thermal management, vehicle-system efficiency, dynamics and vehicle handling and other disciplines assure customers that the parts they are getting incorporate the latest product, process and systems technology. For more information on AAM gear sets and other products and services, visit the Internet at http://www.aam.com or dial 1-800-299-AXLE.  

About AAM AAM is a world leader in the manufacture, engineering, design and validation of driveline and drivetrain systems and related components and modules, chassis systems and metal-formed products for light trucks, sport utility vehicles and passenger cars. In addition to locations in the United States (in Indiana, Michigan, New York and Ohio), AAM also has offices or facilities in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, South Korea and the United Kingdom.     

Certain statements contained in this press release which are not historical facts contain forward-looking information with respect to the Company’s plans, projections or future performance, the occurrence of which involves risk and uncertainties that could cause the company’s actual results or plans to differ materially from those expected by the company which include risk factors described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

For more information…

Renee B. Rogers – Manager, Communications & Media Relations                         

(313) 758-4882                                                                     

Renee.Rogers@aam.com 

Or visit the AAM website at www.aam.com

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October 16, 2007 Posted by | Automotive | 1 Comment

MTU holds topping-out ceremony in Überlingen

MTU Friedrichshafen holds topping-out ceremony: The new Logistics Center for spare parts which is currently under construction in Überlingen will provide the future hub for MTU’s entire spares logistics processes, ensuring significant benefits for the whole sequence from order through to dispatch. Precisely coordinated IT systems will be available to control and monitor every stage of work in the new stores which are located on a covered site extending over a total of 20,000 square meters or the equivalent of three football pitches. The Logistics Center will house around 60 workers and provide approximately 14,000 storage locations in a 14-meter high-bay pallet store served by high-lift stackers.

The Center will also accommodate a fully-automatic small parts store with around 35,000 storage locations served by automatic rack storage and re-trieval units. Other storage and order-picking systems will also be in place to handle bulky and heavy items such as crankcases.

Central location simplifies spare parts logistics

The new facility is MTU Friedrichshafen’s response to the increasing de-mands associated with spare parts logistics. 20 years ago, MTU erected a logistics center at its Friedrichshafen-Manzell plant. Over the years, how-ever, demand has outstripped the capacity available there so that the company had to rent several different off-site stores and was no longer able to process spare parts storage centrally. The processes involved be-came ever more complex whilst the market demand for just-in-time supply continued to grow with customers expecting same-day processing of their orders.

Integration of IT systems

MTU’s economically efficient and comprehensive concept for spare parts logistics at a new, central location satisfies these market requirements as well as benefiting its lucrative spare parts business. The concept involves storage systems which are automated and mechanized to a high degree so that the integration of the materials flow and the IT systems is a vital factor in ensuring fast and trouble-free operation.

In future, all orders will be processed online at MTU with computerized control from receipt of order to dispatch. To achieve this, amongst other tools, MTU will be using the “Extended Warehouse Management” program which was specially developed by the SAP company. This warehouse administration software was conceived with large-scale spare parts stores and complex processes in mind and it controls all the processes which run within the stores. When an order is received, the parts required need to be removed from the store and collated. In the case of items from the small parts store, this is accomplished using fully automatic rack storage and retrieval units moving at up to four meters a second. Items from the 14-meter high pallet store are retrieved by high-lift stackers.

With 14,000 storage locations in the pallet store and 35,000 in the fully-automated small parts store, powerful software is needed to ensure a clear overview. The warehouse administration software to be used can depict the entire warehouse in detail on screen. The quantity of any particular spare part available can be determined with a click of the mouse and the system can also identify the parts’ exact location.

The software controls order collation and processes procedures between the placement of an order and dispatch of the goods rapidly and reliably. As a result, even urgent, last-minute orders from foreign customers can be made up on the same day and passed on to the relevant logistics partner ready for dispatch and with the correct transport order. In future, orders received before 16:00h will be guaranteed for same-day dispatch without the need for any special procedures.

Operation to start in mid-2008

MTU placed the first orders for the new storage facility in April 2007 and tendering for various fitting-out contracts is currently in progress with the aim of completing the building by December 2007. Installation of the technical facilities is scheduled to begin in parallel.

Comprehensive systems and facilities tests are planned for the first quarter of 2008 with relocation due for completion by the end of June 2008 when the entire spare parts logistics system will be run from the Überlingen facility.

October 12, 2007 Posted by | Parts | 2 Comments

MTU DETROIT DIESEL SERIES 106 ENGINES FOR TRUCK AND LAV APPLICATIONS

 MTU Detroit Diesel has unveiled its latest offering for the defense market, the Series 106 diesel engine family for trucks and light armored vehicles (LAV). These engines available in four- and six-cylinder in-line versions produce between 100-325 horsepower and are rated the lightest in their power class.

The Series 106 has already been proven in military applications. The engines come equipped with electronic engine management systems, direct injection, turbocharging and air-to-air charge air cooling.  The engines have wet weights of only 917 lbs. for the 4R and 1,248 lbs. for the 6R. Both are compatible with diesel and jet fuel and have passed NATO 400-hour testing.

“These are commercial, off-the-shelf engines currently in high-volume serial production,” said Tedd Grulke, Director of Defense Sales. “MTU Detroit Diesel has a long-term perspective on the defense business, so we will be making this engine for some time to come.”

The Series 106 engine family will be manufactured both in the United States and Germany, and is currently being demonstrated in the Combat Tactical Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (CTVTD) at the Nevada Automotive Test Center. 

October 9, 2007 Posted by | Defense | Leave a comment

MTU Detroit Diesel 5R890 Successfully Tested for US Army FCS

The newest member of the MTU Series 890 family had a successful initial run on a test bench at the company facilities in Friedrichshafen, Germany in September 2006.  The in-line, five-cylinder diesel engine, 5R890 (MT 895), is rated at 590 horsepower (440 kW) at 4,250 rpm. This configuration will be used in the US Army Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicle.

Since the initial run, the company has built, tested and delivered four 5R890 engines with plans to produce eight more by December 2009.  In addition to the many engineering verification tests accomplished, HALT (highly accelerated life testing) and cold testing has been initiated in 2007 and is currently ongoing.

The Series 890 family takes power density to new levels for conventional diesel engines. The demonstrated design targets are one kilowatt of power per kilogram of weight, coupled with the smallest possible external dimensions. The engine uses all of the available packaging space for integrating oil system components within the crankcase, resulting in straight line exterior contours. The crankcase and pistons are made of aluminum to reduce weight, while the cylinder heads are cast iron and the connecting rods and crankshaft are made of steel to increase strength.

The five-cylinder configuration joins the other family members now on test or in the hands of customers, including the V10 in the German Army Puma; the V6 for US Army Tank Automotive R&D Center, and the in-line 4 used in Rheinmetall Landsysteme GeFas vehicle. Through September 2007, the total running hours of the series 890 engines now add up to nearly 7,000 hours with the 5R890 accounting for approximately 1,000 of these.

October 5, 2007 Posted by | Defense, Uncategorized | 2 Comments