Eaton forms unit for electronic products

Eaton Corp. has formed a new division for the purpose of integrating its electronically driven truck products, including the company's FleetAdvisor and VORAD collision warning systems, plus the AutoShift transmission line. Tim Morscheck, who has been named vp-general manager, will head the Trucking Electronic Systems division.

"We're focused on developing 'smart' products for smart trucks," said Morscheck. "We need to provide high-tech products to trucking customers that help them manage their business better." The new division will carry out that mission in three areas.

Gopal Singh, who will head up the Trucking Information Systems group, plans to upgrade Eaton's FleetAdvisor mobile computer system by incorporating Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software functions. This option will bring supply-chain management into the cab itself, creating what Singh calls an XRP, or Extended Resource Planning system.

"What we're attempting to do is expand ERP capabilities to a company's trucks, as well as its suppliers and customers," said Singh. "FleetAdvisor is not just an onboard computer and communications system anymore. It will be a way to integrate trucks into the supply chain to provide order entry and tracking functions, route editing, archiving, etc."

Chris Royan, who will lead Eaton's VORAD collision warning systems group, is focused on updating the SmartCruise function introduced this February, as well as improving VORAD's "black box" capabilities.

When the VORAD system detects vehicles in front of the truck, the SmartCruise option automatically tells the engine to slow down to maintain the proper distance between vehicles.

The real challenge for Royan, however, will be increasing VORAD's black box options in terms of data recording for accident reconstruction.

Finally, Steve Edelen, responsible for the AutoShift transmission line in Eaton's new division, introduced a new 7-speed version earmarked for municipal, P&D, and LTL fleets.

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