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Maker Space equipped by Bendix helps students engage in STEM

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ELYRIA, Ohio — Soaring drones. 3D printers. Laser cutters. These are the tools of future engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and STEM scholars.

With help from Bendix, these tools are now in the hands of Elyria Catholic High School (ECHS) students in their new Maker Space.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a North American provider in development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, understands the importance of encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and careers.

This fall, the company donated $12,500 to ECHS to equip a collaborative classroom for students to develop STEM-related technology and entrepreneurial skills.

“Education and STEM are key activities that Bendix supports, as we believe they are the foundation for self-sufficiency and align with who we are as a company – technology driven,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix’s director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “I get particularly excited with maker spaces because that is the best way to learn and get kids excited – when they get to physically touch, experiment, and create. It’s like playing, but with the science behind it. To me, that is the root of innovation.”

The Elyria Catholic Maker Space includes two 3D printers, 10 drones, a tilting interactive board, a vinyl cutter, a laser cutter, an iPad kiosk, computers, and collaborative workplace furniture. These technologies will allow for new curricular opportunities and extracurricular activities to develop students’ skills. ECHS hopes this space will prepare more students for college and careers in STEM-related industries.

“The Maker Space at Elyria Catholic allows our engineering students to explore technologies and our business students to experience the entrepreneurial process,” said Michelle Hoffman, director of advancement at ECHS. “The Maker Space is truly inspiring our faculty and students to pursue more STEM projects in all of their classes.”

The Maker Space opened on October 14 at the school’s open house for prospective students. Students in business and entrepreneurship, engineering, and physics classes were the first to use the room, along with those participating in the Science Olympiad. The space has sparked so much interest that a team was created to compete in local drone competitions, and the school is considering forming a For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics team.

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Sponsoring the Maker Space is part of Bendix’s ongoing commitment to support local education and STEM initiatives. In addition to Bendix, the Maker Space was made possible by Ridge Tool, a Catholic Community Foundation Rooted in Faith grant, and proceeds from Elyria Catholic High School’s 2018 Forward Gala.

For more information, visit www.bendix.com.

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Future of diesel technologies in transportation bright, exec says

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Today, more than one-third of all the largest heavy-duty trucks in operation use the newest generation of near-zero emissions clean diesel technology, according to the Diesel Technology Forum. (The Trucker file photo)

DALLAS — The future for diesel technologies in freight transportation is bright, even as new fuels and technologies enter the marketplace, thanks to diesel’s improving efficiency, even lower emissions, advanced biofuel capabilities and unique combination of value for moving freight.

This is the insight shared by Diesel Technology Forum Executive Director Allen Schaeffer, speaking Wednesday on a panel at Fuels2019, the annual meeting of the Fuels Institute. Schaeffer cited the continued overall dominant role of diesel technology in commercial trucking applications and offered perspective about its role in the future.

“Forecasters seem to agree that, for the next five to 15 years and beyond, diesel will remain the primary technology for commercial trucking, thanks to its unique combination of features,” Schaeffer said. “Will there be some inroads made in niche fleets and operations using all electric, hybrid or hydrogen technologies? Yes, of course. Some of these technologies are in development and limited use today, as manufacturers are developing a range of fuels and technologies to best serve their customers. It’s safe to say we’ll also see an increasing use of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels, as well as the next-generation of diesel that is even nearer-to-zero emissions.”

Research from the Forum, conducted with IHS Markit, shows that numbers of the newest, most advanced and lowest emitting technologies in today’s commercial trucking fleet are rapidly on the rise.

Today, more than one-third of all the largest heavy-duty trucks in operation use the newest generation of near-zero emissions clean diesel technology.

The Forum said this translates into substantial societal benefits: 26 million tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 59 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) removed from the air; 98% fewer emissions of particulate matter; and an average $2,600 in fuel-cost savings per truck, adding up to 138 million barrels of crude oil saved.

“The real winners in all of this will be truckers who will have more fuel-efficient fuel and technology choices than ever before,” Schaeffer said, adding that the Forum was confident diesel’s proven strengths will be challenging to beat.

He listed what he felt were those strengths:

  • The diesel engine is the most energy-efficient internal combustion engine, delivering power density, reliability and durability at a low cost of ownership. Diesel technologies retain a high resale value and are able to be remanufactured and rebuilt over and over again.
  • Truckers have access to a nationwide network of fueling stations, and an unmatched global service and parts network.
  • Modern diesel engines boast near-zero emissions performance for nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and particulate matter (PM) – and new rules on the horizon from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board mean that we’ll soon see even further reductions in NOx emissions from heavy-duty commercial trucks.

“Diesel technologies have a proven track-record of continuous improvement. Engine manufacturers are always looking to the horizon, developing new technologies and strategies to deliver more fuel efficiency, further emissions reductions, and more optimized performance,” Schaeffer said. “Breakthrough demonstrations of long-haul diesel truck efficiency have proved these technologies capable of nearly doubling the MPG of previous generations of commercial trucks. There are also some very thoughtful discussions about matching technologies with applications, such as dual-fuel battery/electric and diesel drayage trucks for port applications.”

Schaeffer said today’s generation of heavy-duty diesel trucks are the cleanest, and most scrutinized, diesel vehicles ever made.

“Over the last 15 years, truck and engine makers have worked to virtually eliminate emissions from diesel engines,” he said. “The transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel coupled with advancements in engine combustion, turbocharging and high-pressure fuel injection, and the addition of advanced clean air chemistry achieved by utilizing diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems coupled with particulate filters, has enabled today’s heavy-duty diesel truck engines to achieve near-zero levels of emissions.

“Five years from now, the new diesel trucks rolling off manufacturing lines will be even more fuel efficient and lower in emissions. We’re confident these clean, high-performance vehicles will continue to have a major role to play in ensuring fast, dependable freight delivery in the U.S. and around the world.”

 

 

 

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McLeod introduces details of new release of LoadMaster, PowerBroker

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — McLeod Software Monday released version 19.1 of its LoadMaster Enterprise, LoadMaster LTL and PowerBroker software solutions.

With the release of Version 19.1, McLeod Software has introduced LoadMaster Driver Choice, a tool fleets can use to give drivers the ability to record their load preferences, effectively requesting the loads that are the best match for those preferences, according to Kristan Hill, marketing manager.

LoadMaster Driver Choice also gives carriers the ability to offer drivers choices about available loads when possible, all while ensuring their success with any load offered to them, she said.

For owner operators in those fleets using Driver Choice, it means their carrier is giving the driver better tools to “run their business” successfully within the fleet, especially when paired with the McLeod Driver Mobile App and the information that app provides about pay, and the ways it expedites the entire settlement process.

LoadMaster Trip Management is also being introduced as part of McLeod’s Version 19.1 release. The new Trip Management module gives carriers the tools to interactively plan details of trips with the driver’s input, and actively manage those trips while they are under way.

“Using a driver’s current Hours of Service and position information, a trip plan is created and displayed in LoadMaster,” Hill said. “Taking into account road conditions, live and historical traffic patterns, and driver breaks provides better visibility for customers to enhance the accuracy of real-time estimated time of arrival at customer stops and actual arrival time at locations, giving planners and driver managers the ability to proactively deal with potential service incidents at future stops.”

The trip plan feeds McLeod’s ETA/out-of-route module to let the carrier’s staff know when trucks are late for scheduled stops or out of their recommended routes. It also interacts with McLeod’s existing driver feasibility functions to enhance the accuracy of planning.

McLeod’s driver feasibility function determines whether or not a driver can physically pick up and deliver the load on time based on their current position, the distances involved, the appointment windows for pick-up and delivery, and their available HOS to accomplish the trip. Hill said using all of this information to account for events, rest breaks, delays, detention, changing situations in weather, and even rerouting when necessary, allows planners to generate a significantly better dispatch trip plan. The interactive nature of McLeod’s new Trip Management module gives the driver the opportunity to be part of the planning process.

The delivery routing optimization module in LoadMaster LTL now optimizes the sequence of deliveries routed on a local movement. Route Optimization takes a set of routed deliveries and optimizes the stops based on minimal drive time, while also considering appointment commitment freight, a location’s open and close times, and the time spent unloading per stop. This module also considers potential turn time

McLeod Software offers PowerBroker users a new integration with HubTran to quickly process incoming carrier documents and invoices. Powerbroker communicates load and carrier data to HubTran and returns approved invoice data and documents to PowerBroker. When the carrier sends in invoices and supporting documents for billing, the audit process is completed more quickly to allow brokers to bill faster with less cost and effort from the back office.

Hill also said McLeod Software is also introducing expanded integration solutions with Manhattan Associates. A new interface offers visibility to Manhattan’s Load Analyzer scoring metrics upon receiving an EDI load tender. Tenders can be accepted and orders created automatically based upon predetermined score criteria. Another key interface introduced in version 19.1 is Manhattan Profit Analyzer. LoadMaster general ledger revenue and expense information is sent to analyze the key factors affecting profitability and target problem areas with poor utilization. With the Manhattan Fuel & Route interface, LoadMaster version 19.1 will automatically communicate movement data and current fuel levels to Fuel & Route during dispatch to determine optimal door-to-door routing and fuel recommendations while balancing driver requests and preferences.

For more information, visit www.McLeodSoftware.com.

 

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Germany opens first stretch of ‘electric highway’ for trucks

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A specially designed hybrid truck travels along a 6-mile section of the Autobahn near Frankfurt, Germany, running on electricity from the experimental eHighway system. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Way back in 1982, Eddy Grant encouraged us all to “rock down to Electric Avenue.”

In more recent times, the trucking industry has increasingly set itself on the road to a more electric future, with battery life being one of the main technological hindrances, especially since charging stations are still few and far between.

Germany has moved forward with its own version of Electric Avenue with the development of an eHighway system by which trucks can draw electricity from overhead cables. On May 7, the the German government introduced the system on a roughly 6-mile stretch of the Autobahn near Frankfurt, between the city’s airport and a nearby industrial park.

This is the first test of the system, which has been in development since 2010, on a public highway in Germany. Smaller-scale tests have been done in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2016 and in Carson, California, near the Port of Los Angeles, in 2017.

Currently, one truck is operating on the system, with four more trucks expected to join it by 2020. The eHighway system is also being installed in two other locations, as well, and will be tested through 2022. The German government will decide whether to expand the system.

To get this far, Germany has spent just under $15.7 million on installing the system and invested another $77 million in designing the hybrid trucks that will use it.

The system was designed by Munich-based Siemens AG, is somewhat similar to overhead electric systems used with trains and cable cars. The hybrid trucks were built by Volkswagen AG’s Scania truck division.

The trucks are fitted with conductor rods, called pantographs, on the top of the cabin. Sensors detect when the overhead wires are available, and the pantographs are then extended upward. The truck must be traveling at 90 kilometers per hour (56 mph) or less for the connection to be made.

Once connected, the truck draws from the 670-volt direct-current cables, and the truck runs entirely on electricity. Meanwhile, the truck’s batteries are recharged so that once disconnected, the truck can continue to run on electricity before switching over to diesel.

Siemens has estimated that a truck owner could save $22,370 on fuel for every 100,000 kilometers (62,137 miles) driven. The big motivator for the German government, however, is its potential environmental impact by reducing CO2 and other emissions.

Slashing carbon emissions from transportation is a key part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Truck transportation, meanwhile, is the world’s fastest growing source of oil demand, according to the International Transport Forum. Road transportation of goods is projected to account for 15% of the increase in global CO2 emissions until 2050.

Germany has set goals to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and up to 95% by 2050.

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