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Yokohama opens new R&D facility in North Carolina

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SANTA ANA, Calif. — Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has officially opened its new tire research and development facility – the Yokohama Development Center America (YDCA) – in Cornelius, North Carolina.

Local officials joined Yokohama executives for the ribbon-cutting festivities.

The high- tech, 25,000 square foot building in Mecklenburg County replaces the temporary R&D office Yokohama has utilized in Concord, North Carolina since 2016.

“In 1969 – almost 50 years ago – Yokohama entered the U.S. market and since then our name has been associated with quality, technology and innovation,” said Shinichi Takimoto, president & CEO of Yokohama Tire Corporation of North America (YCNA), and chairman & CEO of YTC. “This will continue with YDCA, which represents another major milestone for Yokohama in the United States.

“The opening of YDCA is another example of our continued investment in North America,” said Tetsuya Kuze, executive vice president of YCNA.  “We are committed to developing new products for this market across multiple segments.”

The Cornelius facility will consolidate separate R&D staffs currently operating at a number of locations throughout the U.S. and will be led by Shoichiro (Sho) Matsuda, YCNA vice president of corporate technical.

“Our primary focus here will be tire development,” Matsuda said. “We will also support other technical groups such as quality assurance and technical services.”

Thomas Kenny, director of consumer tire development, Dan Steltmann, director of commercial tire development, and Jeremy Kahrs, director of technical service, will all be based out of the company’s new location.

Kuze said the U.S. Development Center is Yokohama’s largest overseas R&D center in both functions and number of employees.

“Consolidating our R&D activities will strengthen our R&D structure and further accelerate our ability to deliver new products that meet the demands of the market. Cornelius is a great fit for our company,” Kuze said. “The proximity to the airport and the skilled workforce is going to make this facility very successful.”

“Yokohama’s expansion in Cornelius is a great win for our community,” said Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam. “This is an excellent example of how the town has worked to add additional tax base and high-quality jobs.”

Yokohama Tire Corp. is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917.

For more information on Yokohama’s broad product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

 

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Design Interactive says Augmentor training program now available on Android, iOS

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The new mobile applications for Augmentor include an augmented reality mode that lets technicians visualize procedure steps where they are conducted. (Courtesy: DESIGN INTERACTIVE)

ATLANTA — Design Interactive Inc, providers of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) training solutions for fleet maintenance personnel, vendors and OEMs, said here at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition that its Augmentor transportation focused, augmented reality training solution is now available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

“With the new ability to use Augmentor  on mobile devices, fleets can deploy our transportation focused training solutions more quickly and effectively to their technicians,” said Matt Johnston, division head of commercial solutions for Design Interactive. “Now, content like procedures and troubleshooting methods can be accessed from mobile phones across individual shops and multiple maintenance locations. With this mobile application, fleets can use our augmented reality and video- and computer-based technologies to train technicians for a lower cost.”

The new mobile applications for Augmentor include an augmented reality mode that lets technicians visualize procedure steps where they are conducted. For example, if a vehicle requires an inspection of its tires or brakes, the step is placed near or on that component or system. Users can also see 3D virtual representations of parts for reference during inspection or repairs.

The mobile app also includes videos, audio messages and text instruction.

For fleets, Johnston said Augmentor helps lower training, labor and parts costs, and increases vehicle uptime and shop productivity. Especially as new technologies continue increasing the complexity of the repairs, tools and skills needed by technicians, the transportation-focused solution ensures training consistency by enabling access to updated content.

Design Interactive Inc (DII) develops and deploys augmented, virtual and mixed reality training and enterprise solutions for the transportation, medical, aerospace, manufacturing, and energy/oil/gas markets, as well the military. Design Interactive’s extensive research and development expertise in using augmented and virtual reality technologies delivers innovative solutions that keep people safe, improve efficiency, and achieve optimum performance. Founded in 1998 and based in Orlando, Florida, Design Interactive is a woman-owned business.

For more information, visit www.designinteractive.net.

 

 

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Michelin launches aerodynamic trailer solution kit

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Michelin officials said third-party testing of the trailer solutions kit revealed 10 gallons in fuel savings every 1,000 miles, or 8.75 percent fuel savings, and $3,972 in fuel saved annually per vehicle. (Courtesy: MICHELIN)

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Michelin North America recently launched Michelin Energy Guard, a SmartWay-verified aerodynamic trailer solution kit, for use on 53-foot dry-van truckload, refrigerated-truck load and other long-haul and super-regional applications.

Now, after third-party fuel testing by Mesilla Valley Transportation Solutions (MVT Solutions), Michelin officials said the Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic solution boasts proven results:

  • 10 gallons in fuel savings every 1,000 miles, or 8.75 percent fuel savings
  • $3,972 in fuel saved annually per vehicle

“The Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic kit has the potential to be a game-changing solution for fleets. Its fuel savings are impressive at 10 gallons per thousand miles, or 8.75 percent. Even more impressive is the solution achieving this with no driver interaction and no moving parts,” said Daryl Bear, lead engineer and chief operating officer of MVT Solutions.

Michelin Energy Guard is an easy-to-use, fuel-efficient, aerodynamic solution. Consisting of a resilient trailer skirt, trailer-end fairings, aerodynamic mud flaps and a wake reducer, the integrated kit eliminates the need for “boat tails” or combining elements from various vendors. With the biggest drag on fuel efficiency occurring at 65 miles per hour, fleets and owner-operators look for aerodynamic solutions that cut fuel costs but do not increase maintenance costs nor require driver attention and costly repairs.

“Michelin looked to MVT Solutions to provide accurate, 21st-century fuel testing of our Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic kit to prove the fuel savings achieved by this offer,” said Calvin Bradley, technical lead of services and solutions, Michelin North America. “Coupled with the fact that the kit requires no maintenance costs or driver hassles like some other systems, it can still save up to 60 gallons of fuel for fleets running coast to coast and back.”

The patent-pending, fully integrated Energy Guard kit’s components are designed to complement one another, helping fleets reduce fuel consumption without increasing maintenance expenses. The kit consists of a resilient trailer skirt, designed to bend if it strikes an obstacle or debris, while the trailer-end fairings direct airflow around the back of the trailer. The wake reducer minimizes the effect of the recirculation zone behind the trailer. The trailer-end fairings and wake reducer are constantly functioning, requiring no moving parts or driver actions. The aerodynamic mud flaps reduce vehicle drag and road spray.

 

 

 

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Mack displays second generation hybrid-electric drayage truck

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Mack Trucks recently displayed its second-generation zero-emission capable Class 8 drayage truck at the California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Transportation Heavy-Duty Showcase in Sacramento, California. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks displayed its second-generation zero-emission capable Class 8 drayage truck at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Low Carbon Transportation Heavy-Duty Showcase in Sacramento, California, recently.

The plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) truck, which is based on a Mack Pinnacle axle back daycab, has been operating in revenue service with a customer drayage fleet for more than 12 months.

The CARB showcase features projects funded under the California Climate Investments program. Grant awardees presented key project findings, lessons learned and next steps to advance clean technology in heavy-duty applications on one of three technology panels. The morning began with a legislative press event and also included a poster session to facilitate dialogue and networking.

“Mack Trucks has been a powertrain innovator for more than a century, and we’re proud to showcase our current and developmental technologies to help reduce emissions,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president, North American sales and marketing. “Testing of this truck has allowed us to validate the emission reduction potential of the PHEV technology in combination with self-learning algorithms to control electric operation. We look forward to continuing real-world testing, as well as collaborating with CARB, SCAQMD and others.”

The truck is being tested as part of a $23.6 million project led by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The goals of the project include reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at locations with heavy freight volumes, including ports, rail yards and the freight corridors connecting them.

The truck is an evolution of the first Mack PHEV drayage truck, which was built as part of an earlier SCAQMD-sponsored project and displayed during Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2016. That truck underwent more than six months of successful testing in a customer drayage fleet at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Similar to the first-generation truck, the second-generation PHEV drayage truck is capable of zero-emission operation as a result of the integration of a Mack MP7 diesel engine with a parallel hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike the first-generation truck, which utilized geo-fencing capabilities similar to those enabled by Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform to switch between zero-emission and hybrid operating modes, the second generation truck relies on an adaptive self-learning algorithm to identify and create zero-emission zones in order to maximize all-electric operation.

During normal operation, the truck records the load, speed, and power and torque demand, analyzes that data and combines it with GPS location information to identify, create and store in its memory zones where the electric driveline is capable of operating in zero-emission mode. The truck learns from its operating patterns and, on subsequent trips through these zones, the truck automatically switches from hybrid operation to zero-emission operation. The driver can also use a button in the dash to manually override the mode selection if needed.

This innovative, self-learning approach has enabled the second-generation truck to operate in zero-emission mode more than twice as much as the first-generation truck, which relied solely on preset geo-fences. The dramatic increase in all-electric range was achieved with no changes to battery pack size or capacity, or truck performance, Randall said.

 

 

 

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