TAMPA, FL. A new automatic tire inflation system displayed here at the 2012 Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting by Stemco should hit the market this May, once ongoing field trials are wrapped up, the company said.

“We also plan to release it to select fleets in low volumes ahead of May to get feedback on its performance,” Bob Montgomery, vice president of Stemco’s intelligent transportation systems (ITS) group, told Fleet Owner.

Stemco, a division of EnPro Industries, said its new system, called “Aeris,” incorporates a patented rotary sealing technology and precision electronic airflow detection sensors to prevent the higher pressures needed to inflate commercial tires, roughly 100 pounds per square inch (psi), from leaking into the wheel end, which typically can handle no more than 6 psi.

Excess pressure can in some cases lead to premature wheel end seal failure, causing lubricants to exit the wheel hub and leaving moving parts susceptible to wear and seizure, Stemco noted. Montgomery added that the Aeris system also incorporates several one-way pressure relief valves per axle to ensure that the wheel-end is never pressurized.
The system also uses electronic flow detection technology capable of informing the driver whether it’s making a minor adjustment to tire pressure or if a major leak is present, he added. A “Smart Sense” wheel end identification option will inform the driver which wheel end is taking air – saving time and labor in the search and repair of tire leaks, Montgomery noted.
While Aeris is initially being targeted to the trailer axle market, he pointed out that it can also be used on tractor drive axles as well.