Dana Producing New Transmissions in China

Feb. 29, 2012
Developing products for domestic construction market there

Tier One powertrain supplier Dana Holding Corp. reported it has started manufacturing a new line of powershift transmissions at its assembly plant in Wuxi, China, for front-end loaders manufactured there. The Spicer TZL 16 transmission was developed especially by Dana for 19-ton vehicles, which account for over 60% of the front-end loaders manufactured in China.

Dana has been manufacturing in China since 1991, and now produces off-highway axles, driveshafts, and transmissions; commercial vehicle driveshafts; light-duty axles and driveshafts; and thermal products, there. This summer it will open a 130,000-ft2 R&D center at Wuxi, where it will research, design, and test driveline, sealing, and thermal products, including electric vehicle battery coolers.

Dongfeng Dana Axle was formed in 2005 to produce truck axles in China, including drive, steer, tandem, and hub-reduction axles for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks, and buses. It is the primary supplier of truck axles to Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd. Last summer, Dana invested $124 million to raise its equity in the venture to 50%.

"The production of the TZL16 transmission marks a significant milestone in our 20-year commitment to our Chinese customers," stated Aziz Aghili, president of Dana Off-Highway Driveline Technologies. "The Chinese construction market is growing steadily, and there is an increasing number of Chinese manufacturers pursuing global expansion. Dana can best support this growth opportunity with an increased presence in both product range and in-region operational capability."

The Spicer TZL Series is a four-speed transmission platform introduced in 2010 for the high-horsepower requirements of front-end loaders. It uses components designed for the Spicer powershift transmissions already supplied to off-highway vehicle builders around the world.. The Spicer TZL Series has been specially designed to supply front-end loaders with higher horsepower capability, reduced maintenance, and smoother, quieter operation.

Dana indicated it is developing more products for the TZL Series, including the Spicer TZL18 transmission for 23-ton front-end loaders and the Spicer TMG14 transmission targeted for 110-160 kW (150-215 horsepower) motor graders. Manufacturing for those products will begin this spring, also in Wuxi.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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