Dana Corp. made a big splash at this year's edition of Europe's biggest automotive exhibition, held in late September in Frankfurt, Germany.

For starters, the Toledo-based manufacturer said it would open a state-of-the-art R&D center in Pamplona, Spain.

Other news from the Heavy Axle and Brake Div. included a new family of drive axles designed specifically for European truck applications. The new line covers four axle families.

Dana's Spicer Driveshaft released information on several innovations at the show:

n A patented, electronically controlled, "intelligent" magneto-rheological (MR) center bearing. This provides the ability "to achieve a semi-active driveline suspension system that can change the apparent stiffness of the mount." (They said it, not us!)

n A Quick-Disconnect tube yoke design has been added to medium-duty Spicer Life 55, 70 and 100 Series driveshaft assemblies. By replacing a full-round design, the tube yokes reduce removal/installation time for a multi-piece driveshaft by as much as 75%.

n A new telescoping steering shaft design, primarily for cabover configurations, is aimed at saving maintenance time and expense.

n Two new adhesive technologies are adhesive bonded tube yokes and "UV FlexBond" balance weights. Both are said to reduce noise, vibration and harshness and provide for lighter-weight driveshafts.

n Further improvements to a patented magnetic-pulse process for joining ferrous and nonferrous materials to manufacture lighter, more efficient driveshaft and structural members for vehicles.