Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 42

Midwest

American Axle & Manufacturing

Engine of Growth

with an engineering presence in
north america, south america,
asia and europe, aam can serve
customers worldwide.

existing technology wasn't enough to become a force
in the all-wheel drive space; AAM needed a system that
represented the next-generation of driveline systems.
"We looked for an opportunity where we could leapfrog
their technology," Simonte says.
AAM found that opportunity in its EcoTrac Disconnecting All Wheel Drive. EcoTrac is a new approach to
minimizing the effect of inertia and drag on a vehicle's
driveline system by disconnecting many of the rotating

For more than 20 years, OEMs have entrusted AAM to produce one of the
backbones one their vehicles. "You earn that trust over time and you earn
that trust through performance," President Mike Simonte says.
Simonte believes the company's diverse portfolio of global customers is recognition that AAM is one of the top suppliers in the automotive
world. "This trust that we've earned has allowed our company to grow
faster than our industry," he adds. Since the auto market bottomed
out in 2009, AAM has grown its sales by 15 percent annually, making it a
leader in the industry's recovery.
"We are known in our industry for quality, operational excellence
and technology leadership," Simonte says. "This is the engine of
growth for our company."

components from the driveline when they are not needed. The result? Simonte says consumers can have the
benefits of an all-wheel-drive system without the sacrifice to fuel economy and emissions.
EcoTrac is a driveline system that disconnects allwheel drive until the traction is required. The technology uses sensors and actuators that work with the vehicle to identify events where the extra power is needed,
such as driving on an icy road, and only then activates
all-wheel drive. Simonte says that selective operation
allows vehicles to recover between 75 percent and 80
percent of the energy loss associated with conventional
all-wheel drive.
Those numbers are already impressive, but AAM is
aiming even higher going forward. Simonte says the next
generation of EcoTrac is expected to return 90 percent of
the energy loss.
"When you think of the pressure our customers are under to provide fuel efficiency, being in the position to offer this technology while still offering the all-wheel drive
customers want is tremendous," Simonte adds.
AAM anticipates all-wheel drive technology will be
replaced by disconnecting drive wheel systems over the
next five years. By 2017, the company projects EcoTrac
will reach $500 million in revenue annually. mt
Burke E. Porter Machinery has more than sixty years' experience providing
advanced, premium intelligent testing and production machinery on a global scale.
Burke Porter's Epic Equipment and Engineering Division is a Full Systems Integrator
and long term partner of AAM; they have successfully designed, built and launched
many mission-critical projects.
Burke Porter's group of companies, which also includes Universal Balancing
(another partner of AAM), can design, build and deliver a fully integrated testing and
assembly solution, including NVH testing, Balancing and Assembly Systems, and will
help you respond to business initiatives throughout your manufacturing facility. Burke
Porter will help you lower your cost of ownership by providing a vertically integrated
testing and manufacturing solution, minimizing training, operator intervention, downtime, and revalidation.

42

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Contents
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover4
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