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August 6, 2011

The No Cam, No Crank, No Carbon Engine

The first time I visited Sturman Industries, I found a handsome office building perched high on a mountain in Woodland Park, Colorado. Inside, people gaze out of the three-story windows at the breathtaking views of the mountains. They are being creative. They are the engineers of Sturman Industries.

And the creations of the 40 or so managers, engineers and technicians all lead in one direction: environmental care through advances in the management of fuel and air in an internal combustion engine. This is done by controlling emissions, performance and economy independently of conventional mechanically-connected camshaft and crankshaft.

Sturman Industries is a research and development hothouse. Its designs are licensed. And many are based on the digital valve technology, originally developed by Eddie Sturman for the Apollo space program of the mid-60s. Sturman Industries was created by Eddie and Carol Sturman to develop and commercialize applications for his innovative latching digital valve.

August 5, 2011

The Three Points of Economy Driving

Drivers have a major influence on trucking costs, just how much was driven home for me at Mercedes-Benz, when I was in Germany late last year. It came as no real surprise as we know through work done here by the Technology and Maintenance Council of ATA that a driver can impact fuel use by 30% ‒ far more than can be gained by all the fuel saving gizmos that can be hung on a truck.

Of course, in Europe where fuel is $7+ per gallon, the drive to deliver fuel-efficient products at the manufacturer level is intense. So the driver won’t negate those fuel economy efforts, since the early 1970s Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand has partnered with its trucker customers to do something about the driver impact on fuel economy.