ORLANDO, Florida—ConMet unveiled some of its upcoming product and capability expansion plans for each business unit here at American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2023 Annual Meeting.
“Our approach to innovation is to disrupt ourselves by looking inward, analyzing and improving our own products and services,” said Beto Dantas, ConMet chief technology and innovation officer. “We have dedicated teams responsible for pursuing and verifying novel technology concepts to feed into our business units.”
During a press event at TMC, ConMet announced it is broadening various product offerings and building its latest developments upon the company's wheel end “Since 1964, our innovation-first mindset has enabled us to solve the problems of the commercial vehicle industry,” said John Waters, ConMet president. “Our deep industry roots and expertise—especially surrounding the wheel end—allow us to continually develop new ways of making vehicles lighter, safer, and more efficient.”
Here are some of ConMet's product updates:
ConMet has a new PreSet Plus efficiency package for its PreSet Plus hub assemblies, which are first fit in most North American commercial vehicles to achieve precise levels of bearing adjustment and calibration. The new PreSet Plus efficiency package will be optimized with a low-drag seal and advanced bearings to further decrease resistance at the wheel end, improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, ConMet noted during a TMC press conference.
In addition, ConMet has developed a coated, flat rotor to improve corrosion resistance in high-heat brake rotor applications, reducing wear and tear while extending rotor life.
“The industry is moving toward advanced friction materials, so we had to do something in response to that,” Dantas said of ConMet’s new rotor.
ConMet’s casting business supports OEM-proprietary designs, from concept to full production, of aluminum and iron castings. The company has expanded manufacturing capabilities and capacity in its North American foundries, utilizing advanced materials science and casting and machining processes to enhance ConMet’s cast product offerings further, Dantas noted.
ConMet’s plastics business is a full-service offering, supporting OEM-proprietary designs and leveraging. With the aid of engineering tools and simulation technology, ConMet said it ensures “maximum efficiency” in the production and assembly processes.
Many existing processes have been expanded and automated, including:
- In-house validation and testing with additive printing capabilities to generate prototypes.
- Production capabilities with presses varying from 120 to 4,400 metric tons (132 to 4850 U.S. tons) that include modern materials, textures, primer and topcoat painting, and hydrographic finishes.
ConMet continues to expand its global reach, developing technologies for commercial vehicles in North America, Europe, and Asia.
ConMet expanded into China more than 10 years ago to meet the need for wheel end systems with PreSet technology. Today, the company noted, PreSet wheel ends are standard or an option on eight of the top 10 Chinese heavy-duty truck OEM vehicle platforms.
ConMet’s recent European expansion focuses on lightweight wheel end solutions and aluminum chassis components, amid the European market’s focus on sustainability and electrification.
Established in 2019 with the introduction of PreSet Plus SmartHub, ConMet Digital has been expanding its suite of products, leveraging the vehicle network, and making updates that aim to enhance fleet integration.
Available today are ConMet’s PreSet Plus SmartHub, SmartTrack asset management, and SmartAir TPMS. In addition, a new ConMet Digital online dashboard provides users with more customized and easily consumed data to promote uptime and safety. Dashboard improvements include added reports, asset summaries, and simplified historical trend charts, the company stated.
Coming soon, the company is releasing the ConMet Digital Driver App to give drivers an optimized view of the data needed to increase accuracy of and speed up pre-trip inspections, determine when to take action during a route, and streamline communication between the driver and the service team to increase uptime and efficiency.
ConMet is also developing its SmartAir axle load and SmartAir line pressure monitoring.
Since the release of the PreSet Plus eHub in 2020, ConMet’s eMobility team has worked to expand electrification options for fleets seeking a path to reduce emissions and meet demanding regulations.
ConMet eMobility, currently available, is expanding the PreSet Plus eHub system’s array of customizable options, meeting fleets’ specific routes and assets needs. The eHub technology is currently available through a partnership with Carrier Transicold as the key power generation source for the Vector eCool system, enabling zero-emission refrigeration.
ConMet is also developing an electronic wheel hub disconnect technology has been developed that, when incorporated in an electric drive axle, enables 6×4 to 4×2 conversion via electronic switch or automated by speed via software controls. This new technology helps to extend EV vehicle battery range when applied at highway speeds and can also be used for transport of new tractors.
This story originally appeared on FleetOwner.com.