Technology drives Dana return after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcyWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is moving forward with the introduction of several new product and technology developments in 2013.
“Dana is a global technology leader in efficient power conveyance and energy management solutions that enable our customers to achieve their sustainability objectives. In short, we are a technology solution provider, and we focus on delivering those products and systems to our customers that are going to help them deliver to their customers what they need,” said Dana President and CEO Roger Wood.
He and Executive Vice President and CFO Bill Quigley provided a brief overview of the company’s financial status in a formal presentation May 30 at the 2013 KeyBanc Capital Markets 12th Annual Industrial, Automotive and Transportation Conference in Boston.
They will also participate in the Deutsche Bank 2013 Global Industrials and Basic Materials Conference in Chicago on June 13.
Dana Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 3, 2006, and submitted a proposed Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement in September 2007, which became effective Jan. 31, 2008.
The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as Dana Holding Corporation at that time. The United States Bankruptcy Court of Southern New York closed Dana’s bankruptcy case on Feb. 21, 2012.
When the company entered bankruptcy, its leadership was committed to fixing its business — financially and operationally — and implementing fundamental change rather than just incremental improvement, according to statements from Mike Burns, Dana’s chairman and CEO at that time.
Dana sold its corporate headquarters on Dorr Street in Toledo and moved its corporate offices to the site of its technology center
Today, the company has 500 employees at that facility and a total of 800 in the Toledo area, according to a company spokesperson.
The current corporate offices and technology center are split with 90,000 square feet of office space and 90,000 square feet of laboratory space. Most of the company’s engineering, research and development staff works in that facility, according to the spokesperson.
Spring trade shows
Dana recently completed its spring trade show season during which the company introduced several new product developments and technologies to the automotive, truck and off-the-road industries, said Steven Wesolowski, senior director of global engineering at Dana.
The company is a leading supplier of driveline, sealing and thermal management technologies that improve the efficiency and performance of passenger cars, trucks, commercial and off-highway vehicles with both conventional and alternative energy powertrains.
Dana’s current business is concentrated in three areas and brands — Spicer drivetrain products, Victor Reinz sealing systems and Long thermal products — Wesolowski said. Dana serves more than 1,000 vehicle assembly and manufacturing facilities of light and heavy vehicles and off-highway equipment in 30 countries.
In April, Dana was presented with a 2013 Automotive News PACE Award for its innovative Spicer® Diamond Series™ drive shaft, the first one-piece drive shaft to combine dissimilar metals, helping to reduce weight by up to 40 percent.
The aluminum drive shaft utilizes Dana’s advanced proprietary manufacturing processes to significantly reduce weight while maintaining the strength of an all-steel system. The result is a robust and significantly lighter drive shaft for improved fuel efficiency and load carrying capacity, according to the company.
Dana introduced the Spicer® AdvanTEK 40 tandem axle at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2013 Annual Meeting in March. The all-new 40,000-pound tandem axle for a variety of Class 8 truck applications features a design that increases fuel economy, improves reliability, reduces vehicle weight and decreases total ownership costs.
Last September, Dana announced its Spicer Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) was specified on all three of the vehicles selected by the Department of Defense for the Army and Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.
The JLTV program entered into the engineering and manufacturing development phase earlier this year when six vehicle manufacturers submitted bids for three contracts. Roughly 22 prototypes will be built during the next 27 months with a full production contract expected to be awarded in 2015 or early 2016, according to Dana officials.
The Spicer Diamond Series drive shaft, AdvanTEK 40 tandem axle and CTIS were all featured in Dana’s exhibit at recent trade shows. The exhibit and products were on display when a Toledo Free Press reporter toured the facility with Wesolowski and Jeff Cole, director of marketing communication at Dana.
In September, Dana announced strategic relationships with Allison Transmissions and Fallbrook Technologies Inc. to develop, manufacture, and market high-efficiency Continuously Variable Planetary Transmissions. These next-generation transmissions will be designed to increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve overall vehicle performance for passenger and commercial vehicles, and off-highway equipment, according to a news release.
Sealing and thermal areas
Dana officials demonstrated numerous other recent product developments and technologies in the sealing and thermal areas, including an electronic connector gasket to measure heat and pressure, cylinder head cover modules made from recycled carpet that is better than virgin nylon, air-oil separators that reduce usage and an exhaust gas heat recovery system, among others.
Wesolowski said the company has developed a gearbox for electric vehicles with motor driven wheels and an internal battery element cooler currently used in the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Focus electric model.
Dana has developed an exhaust gas heat recovery system, engine and transmission oil cooler, water-cooled charge air cooler and an active warm-up unit that can improve fuel economy by 3 to 6 percent during start-ups, according to Wesolowski.
Although Dana still has Ford, General Motors and Chrysler as major customers, it now serves more than 100 different automotive, truck and off-highway original equipment manufacturers around the world.
Light vehicles include passenger cars, crossover vehicles, minivans and vans, pickup trucks, sport utility and light commercial vehicles. Heavy vehicles include Class 5-8 medium- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, motor coaches, and specialty vehicles.
Off-highway equipment includes agricultural, construction, material handling and mining equipment as well as nonvehicular industrial products. It also serves related aftermarkets for all three primary markets.
Dana announced May 16 that it has launched its Spicer™ iPhone application, a free tool kit that was developed to provide aftermarket customers with a fast, convenient way to access interactive calculators to help compute key product data and meet target performance and safety goals.
“It’s an exciting time for Dana because we do have such good strength in a lot of different areas of the company: where we are positioned, the brand recognition, new-product driven and focused on profitable growth. We believe market share will come by putting the solutions in the marketplace that our customers value,” Wood said.
Dana currently ranks 356 on the Fortune 500 listing with $7.2 billion in revenues and $300 million in profit. For more information, visit the web site www.dana.com.