CAMERI, ITALY.  As two senior Meritor executives based here at one of the component manufacturer’s  engineering Centers of Excellence see it, technology and product development must advance hand-in-hand  for end users of commercial vehicles to have all their requirements met— let alone exceeded.

Marco Meliga, gm of Sales & Marketing for Europe , stated that Meritor has recently made substantial investments in key manufacturing operations on the continent and in the UK expressly to build on the company’s product strengths in this region.

Meliga highlighted those strengths as:

  • Focusing on high-efficiency designs for axles to improve fuel economy
  • Providing “top performance” in brake torque, light weight and pad life
  • Advancing controls and electronics for efficient performance
  • Supplying a “robust and dependable” hub-reduction portfolio for the most demanding truck applications
  • Producing the “most comprehensive” axle offerings for Europe

He noted that those investments are being put to work on everything from advancing manufacturing automation to increasing both flexible and lean manufacturing processes, all with the goal of in mind of delivering “high-value, robust and efficient products.”

Meliga added that keeping these strengths on the cutting edge is the simple reason why Meritor has invested $16 million in its Lindesberg axle plant, $4 million in its Cwmbran, Wales, brake plant and R&D center, and more than $30 million in just the last four years here at its Cameri axle plant.

Marco Bassi, senior director of Europe & South America Engineering, advised that the component maker’s view is that all technological and product development should be focused on the needs of the customer and of Meritor as well as those arising from society’s desire to enhance motor-vehicle safety, cut fuel consumption and reduce environmental impacts.

“Our customers,” he pointed out, “expect components from us that are differentiated for their needs using value-added technology to ensure they are receiving high-value, robust products.

“Looking internally,” he continued, “our mission is developing margin-enhancing technology and product that are applicable globally.”

But that doesn’t mean, according to Bassi, that what’s good for European or American customers may very well be good for customers in the rest of the world and vice versa.

Rather, he explained, Meritor is committed to seriously networking its two U.S.-based (Troy, MI, and Newark, OH) and its seven other global engineering Centers of Excellence (including the one here at Cameri.)

“What we seek to do,” Bassi summed up, “is to foster across our network of centers an exchange of both cultural and technological knowledge so that it can be leveraged fully and efficiently to the customer’s benefit. Overall, our approach is to tailor both technology and product to meet specific regional needs.”