Headline of the Week
Fleece Steps in to Help Fight COVID-19
What can you do with a massive manufacturing facility and some invaluable engineers in the spring of 2020? You can save lives. Redeploying its engineers and using some of its flexible manufacturing space, Fleece Performance Engineering has developed a full face shield for medical professionals who are running short during the COVID-19 (a.k.a.) coronavirus pandemic. The patent pending full face shield protects the wearer from spraying or splashing, is disposable, and is manufactured from optically clear, lightweight polyethylene. The shield can be worn over glasses or N95 surgical masks, and unlike comparable products it can be shipped flat, requiring less than 2-percent of the shipping storage space of other shields. Fleece is currently producing 500 shields a day, but will be ramping up to 100,000 units per day soon.
FCA Extends Manufacturing Suspension to April 14
Taking what it believes to be important steps in helping to flatten the curve of the spread of the coronavirus and keep its employees safe, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has extended its U.S. and Canadian plant closures to April 14th. This extension also applies to FCA’s headquarters operations and construction projects. Of course, FCA acknowledges that any given plant’s ability to reopen will depend on that state’s stay-in-place orders and the readiness of that facility’s capability to resume production. The automaker’s Mopar Parts Distribution Centers, which are listed as essential in keeping first responders and commercial vehicles on the road, will continue to remain open and staffed with paid volunteers.
Super Duty Production To Resume 4-14-2020
Like FCA, Ford Motor Company tentatively plans to restart most of its key North American vehicle production on April 14th. Among the plants Ford plans to bring back online are its Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, the Kansas City Assembly Plant’s Transit line, and its Ohio Assembly Plant. To support these production plants, Ford will also attempt to resume production at its Dearborn stamping plant, Dearborn diversified manufacturing plant, Sharonville transmission plant, its integrated stamping plants in K.C. and Kentucky, and portions of Van Dyke Transmission, Lima Engine, and Rawsonville Components plants. Even earlier than April 14, Ford has announced that its Hermosillo assembly plant in Mexico will reopen on April 6th.
More From Ford
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt various industries in America, it goes without saying that the Big Three automakers are making the most of it. To help speed production of the respirators that are vitally needed right now in the medical industry, Ford has partnered with 3M, GE, and the UAW. Ford and 3M are currently working to manufacture more Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR’s), which includes a new design that leverages parts from both companies to meet demand. Ford has also teamed up with GE to produce a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design. Last but not least, and in working with UAW workers, Ford plans to assemble 100,000 plastic face shields each week to help protect those in the medical field, as well as store clerks.
Spin-on Upgraded Filtration For The Allison Trans
Stock spin-on transmission filters come up short. PPE recognized the need for better filtration for the Allison 1000 and 2000 transmissions, so a superior filter was developed which addresses limitations of the standard “shorty filter”. Inside the PPE Double-Deep Spin-On Filter is 2.72 times more filter media surface area. This increased surface area allows improved fluid flow as well as filtering. The PPE Double-Deep Filter actually traps particles down to 15 microns, that’s half the size of what the standard spin-on filter catches. These improvements help create a cleaner flow of fluid to vital internal components, resulting in smooth, more responsive shifts.
Firepunk Puts Its Anteater On Sale
Firepunk Diesel has opted to drop the price of its Anteater Pro transmission controller through April 15th. The plug-and-play Anteater Pro offers full control over your 47 and 48 series Dodge four-speed transmission, and is ideal for drag racers, truck pullers, daily drivers and trucks that tow a lot. The device offers both manual mode and auto mode, an Overdrive cancel function, and can store up to three custom tuning files, which can be changed on the fly. Firepunk’s $100 off sale drops the price of the Anteater to $1,150 in base form. Just make sure to enter promo code PRO100 when you buy.
A Performance Cummins Head That’s Priced Just Right
When it comes to common-rail hard-parts, it’s difficult not to notice what D&J Precision Machine is doing for the diesel industry. The company’s Stage 1 2003+ Cummins head is enticingly priced at $2,626.50 given all the work that goes into one. After disassembly and all soft plugs are removed, the core head is cleaned, blasted, checked for cracks, and gets treated to all new bronze valve guides. Heavy duty intake seats are pressed into both the intake and exhaust side, 5-axis CNC porting is performed with the stock intake shelf in place, and the head receives a high performance valve job. Each head is also resurfaced, cleaned, painted, reassembled with new valve seals, soft plugs, HD valve springs and titanium retainers. The Stage 1 head for ’03-newer Cummins flows 23-percent more than stock.
Emission Standards Moratorium?
In response to the vast worldwide disruption the coronavirus pandemic has caused, associations representing the European non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) segment are calling on the European Union to adopt an immediate suspension of NRMM exhaust emission regulations. The emission standards moratorium stems from what are being called Stage IV “transition” engines, which—due to the global disruption in the supply chain—will lead to a delay in the production of engines that meet the looming regulatory deadline. Even with interruptions in the supply of parts and components in China coming to an end, new component supply shortages are worsening in countries such as Italy and neighboring states.