Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a North American developer and manufacturer of active safety and brake system technology, recently marked a major milestone with delivery of its millionth Bendix ABS-6 braking system. The Bendix ABS-6 braking system is installed on Class 6, 7, and 8 air-brake tractor-trailers, trucks, motorcoaches and specialty heavy-duty vehicles.
Introduced in late 2004, the Bendix ABS-6 family includes three types of braking systems: the standard Bendix ABS-6 antilock braking system, the premium system with Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control) and Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP Electronic Stability Program (Bendix ESP).
Bendix ABS-6 braking systems are available from most major truck manufacturers, including International, Kenworth, Mack, Peterbilt, and Volvo; coach manufacturers such as Prevost; and a variety of specialty vehicle manufacturers.
“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the capability of the technology that the Bendix and Knorr-Bremse team developed,” says Kevin Romanchok, product line director for electronics at Bendix. “The ABS-6 family has not only proven itself to be the premier heavy-duty air-brake system, but it also enabled the age of robust active safety with electronic activation of the brakes with Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP (Bendix ESP) full-stability technology.”
The Bendix ABS-6 braking system consists of wheel speed sensors, ABS pressure modulator valves and an electronic control unit (ECU). The ABS-6 ECU monitors individual wheel-turning motion during braking and adjusts or modulates the brake pressure at the wheel end. When excessive wheel slip or wheel lock-up is detected, the ECU activates the pressure modulator valves to automatically reduce the brake pressure at one or more of the wheel ends. By these actions, the ABS system helps to maintain the vehicle’s lateral stability and steering ability during heavy brake applications, as well as during braking on slippery surfaces.
In addition to the ABS function, ABS-6 premium systems provide an automatic traction control feature. Bendix ABS-6 Premium with Bendix Smart ATC can improve vehicle traction during acceleration and lateral stability while accelerating through curves. The system employs engine torque limiting, where the ECU communicates with the engine’s controller, and/or differential braking, where individual wheel brake applications are used to improve vehicle traction.
Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP Electronic Stability Program is an ABS-based full-stability system. The system includes automatic traction control and enhances vehicle stability both by reducing engine throttle and applying vehicle braking, based on actual vehicle dynamics.
Unlike roll-only systems, full-stability technology addresses both roll and directional stability. Full-stability systems recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss-of-control situations sooner on dry surfaces and in a wider range of driving and road conditions, including snowy, ice-covered and slippery surfaces. As the market leader, Bendix was the first North American brake system manufacturer to make a full-stability solution widely available for the commercial vehicle market.
“The advancement of ABS systems to deliver stability control is a significant event,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government relations. “Full-stability control is the foundation of innovations, such as radar-based adaptive cruise control with braking and collision mitigation braking. Understanding the value of full stability, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering rulemaking for ESP/ESC on tractors and motorcoaches.”
Bendix advanced safety technologies do not replace the need for good drivers, safe driving practices, and ongoing driver training.