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Bendix celebrates record year for company patents

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Bendix employees post with patent plaques at the company's annual dinner. (Courtesy: BENDIX)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Discovery and curiosity drive inventors to create solutions that have a lasting impact on the world around them.

In 2018, inventors from across Bendix (Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake) made their own lasting impact by earning 52 U.S. patents, the most ever for the company in one year, according to Richard Beyer, vice president of engineering and R&D.

Spurred by their passion for safety technologies, 59 inventors contributed – individually or in groups – to the record patent total.

In all, Bendix received 60 U.S. patents, including eight filed on its behalf by parent company Knorr-Bremse. Among the recipients, 22 inventors received their first patents and several Bendix employees gained personal milestones: six inventors were granted their fifth patents, two reached their 10th, and three attained the 15-patent mark. This year’s honorees also include two prolific innovators, individuals who each hold 42 patents.

Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, honored the inventors at its annual patent dinner.

The dinner celebrated the inventors’ achievements, including 150 new invention disclosures submitted by employees last year. At the end of 2018, Bendix reached a total of 317 active U.S. patents and 171 active foreign patents.

“We are proud to celebrate the inspiring work of our inventors as they strive to advance Bendix safety products and technologies through ingenuity,” Beyer said. “The patents are a testament to their passion for finding solutions to even the most complex problems. Together, these innovators are helping Bendix shape tomorrow’s transportation, and contributing to a safer future on our highways.”

According to Beyer, the engineers and other inventors celebrated at the patent dinner also help define the Bendix culture of stressing training and education – and reflect the company’s emphasis on providing an environment that fosters creativity and knowledge expansion.

Bendix employs more than 325 North American-based engineers performing R&D, design, quality, manufacturing, testing, and technical sales roles. To aid new and experienced professionals as they work on the forefront of technology, the company provides a variety of career development and hands-on activities, Beyer said. In addition, Bendix has in place a long-standing engineering co-op program across many of its North American facilities, along with a selective Engineering Development Program for new graduates.

The Bendix Co-Op program offers engineering students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs the opportunity to obtain meaningful, hands-on work experience that complements their classroom learning. Working closely alongside seasoned professionals in North America, as well as with Knorr-Bremse colleagues around the globe, the program offers participants a wide range of disciplines and enables Bendix to help develop a pipeline from which to recruit new talent.

The Engineering Development Program (EDP), established in 2011, is a three-year rotational program that allows newly degreed engineers to develop in rotations of one year each in system development, product development, customer application, and/or advanced manufacturing engineering. The range of dynamic engineering challenges, at a variety of Knorr-Bremse global locations and Bendix North American facilities, increases the exposure to key areas within the organization and rounds out the capabilities of participants, providing significant experience, as well as the skill sets required to help deliver the next generation of commercial vehicle safety technology.

“The commercial vehicle industry is evolving like never before. It’s an exciting time to be an engineer with the many emerging requirements of electric vehicles, highly automated driving (HAD), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and advanced safety systems. But with these new technologies comes the need for new skill mixes and skill sets.  That’s why continuous learning and growth are essential,” Beyer said.

A part of that growth opportunity is the company’s Technical Skills Enhancement (TSE) program. TSE is a robust engineering curriculum that offers diverse technical skills training and features the mechatronics educational curriculum at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, New York. The 18-month certification program, hosted primarily online, is open to practicing engineers at Bendix.

Bendix and New York Air Brake LLC (NYAB) – a North American sister company within the Knorr-Bremse Group – enjoy a long-standing relationship with RIT, and helped develop the Knorr-Bremse North America Mechatronics Laboratory at RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Mechatronics – the intersection of electrical and mechanical engineering – is a critical component in advancing many commercial vehicle and rail safety technologies. The laboratory serves both RIT students and engineers from NYAB and Bendix.

While helping its engineers develop, Bendix also strives to prepare future technology leaders and generate interest in the commercial vehicle industry overall. Following on its strong commitment to education and to help advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs, the company supports a growing list of initiatives within the communities in which it operates – including robotics programs and maker spaces – as well as an annual Discover Engineering program, open to children and grandchildren of Bendix employees.

The Discover Engineering program enables middle and high school students to visit company headquarters for a firsthand engineering experience. Bendix professionals provide an overview of engineering fields, plus lead demonstrations, site tours, hands-on activities, and more to show how a career in engineering can make a long-lasting impact on people’s lives.

To further inspire the next generation, Bendix also regularly opens its doors to local schools to learn about engineering, including design, prototype, test, hardware-in-the-loop, and materials engineering. These tours give students an up-close look at the daily lives of engineers to help develop an interest in STEM.

“Bendix engineers strive to reshape the world for the better – through everything from designing safer trucks to pioneering remanufacturing solutions,” Beyer said. “Their passion for engineering and innovation is visible not only through their work, but also in their commitment to inspire up-and-coming engineers. With their continued effort inside and beyond our walls, the future is bright for engineering – and brighter for all of us.”

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Weak finish to 2nd quarter

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The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index (June data) showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity again the lone exception.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, falling to 43.2 (seasonally adjusted) in June from 46.7 in May.

The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history.

“Volumes and utilization have been down seven of eight months, and the supply-demand balance has been loosening for eight straight months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “In line with several second quarter earnings warnings from truckload carriers this week, this is further confirmation of a weak freight environment. May’s Pricing Index looked a little anomalously bad, so it was good to see that pick back up, though still not a great level in June.”

Denoyer said volumes reached a new cycle low in June, likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets, the slowdown in the industrial sector and some inventory drawdown.

“This coincides with most other freight metrics,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 41.4, from 42.1 in May. The past eight consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with June the largest yet.”

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, major trucking and logistics firms, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.

 

 

 

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Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious

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After six weeks of declines that totaled 13 cents, the price of a gallon of diesel went up 1.3 cents a gallon for the week ending July 8 but dropped four tenths of a penny last week. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S. said it had destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf, where a lot of the world’s oil is shipped through. Stock markets were largely stable as investors monitor earnings and the ongoing trade talks between China and the U.S.

Energy prices were ratcheted higher after President Donald Trump said a U.S. warship had downed an Iranian drone that had been threatening. While Iran denied the incident, it’s the latest incident to increase tensions and uncertainty in the region, where oil tankers have been attacked or threatened.

About 20% of all oil traded worldwide passes through the Persian Gulf, so investors are aware of the potential for disruptions to ship traffic.

The U.S. benchmark for crude oil advanced 71 cents, or 1.3%, to $56.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international oil standard, picked up 98 cents, or 1.6%, to $62.91 per barrel.

Obviously, the price of on-highway diesel is an outgrowth of the price of oil.

Diesel has gone down seven of the last eight weeks.

After six weeks of declines that totaled 13 cents, the price went up 1.3 cents a gallon for the week ending July 8 but dropped four tenths of a penny last week.

Stock markets were mixed, with Britain’s FTSE 100 shedding 0.1% to 7,484 and the CAC 40 in Paris falling by the same rate to 5,543. In Germany, the DAX rose less than 0.1% to 12,236. Wall Street looked set for small gains, with the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2% and the future for the S&P 500 adding 0.1%.

Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with their Chinese counterparts as planned, with more talks to come, helped ease some concerns over the deepening trade war between Washington and Beijing.

The standoff over China’s longstanding trade surpluses and its policies aimed at building up advanced high-tech industries has added to concerns over slowing demand and weaker Chinese growth.

Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will move quickly to cut interest rates have also helped buoy sentiment recently.

Comments by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, John Williams, suggesting central banks need to “take swift action” when conditions turn adverse, have whetting investors’ appetites for buying, analysts said.

“Investors are highly sensitive to dovish comments from Fed presidents these days, as they are trying to figure out whether the Fed would lower its interest rates by 50 basis points by the end of this month,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya of London Capital Group said in a report.

“Given that a 50-basis-point cut would trigger a further rally in global equities, any remark of dovish nature translates immediately into higher asset prices,” she said.

In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 2% to 21,466.99 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.1% to 28,765.40. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.8% to 2,924.20, while in South Korea, the Kospi added 1.4% to 2,094.36. India’s Sensex slipped 1.3% to 38,390.88. Shares rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Investors are looking ahead to corporate earnings.

So far, in the U.S. the results have been mixed, though only about 13% of S&P 500 companies have reported, according to FactSet. Analysts expect profits to fall 2.4% overall by the time all reports are tallied.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 107.60 Japanese yen from 107.30 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1239 from $1.1279.

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ACT Research: Industry currently astride Class 8 demand inflection

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This chart shows the Class 8 North American build out backlog and the backlog to build ratio. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. – According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report, June’s Class 8 orders broke the string of falling order volumes with the opening of 2020 order books, garnering a 19% rebound.

While better orders slowed the rapid backlog decline, the situation is temporary, as coming months represent the seasonally weakest order period of the year, suggesting rapid backlog declines should continue in the near-term, according to Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.

“The industry is currently astride the Class 8 demand inflection,” Vieth said. “On one side of the ledger, weak freight volumes and rates will increasingly pressure carrier profits, thereby moderating demand for new equipment. On the other, significant new capacity additions and steadily increasing inventory volumes suggest current build rates are unsustainable.”

Vieth said medium duty metrics remained in-line with expectations again in June, with most metrics close to their prevailing trends, if displaying some fraying at the edges.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

 

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