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ROCKWELL UNVEILS SIGNIFICANT ADVANCES IN ITS AUTOMATIC SLACK ADJUSTER

 LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockwell International Corporation's Automotive business has announced significant advances in its automatic slack adjuster by providing enhanced brake adjustment capabilities and an overall weight reduction of up to 17 percent.
 Prakash Jain, Rockwell's director of sales and marketing for Brakes, said the company's latest model represents a further evolution of the industry's most popular automatic slack adjuster. It will be available to all tractor and trailer OEMs for production on July 1.
 The development was introduced here at a Rockwell press briefing held in conjunction with the Mid-America Trucking Show.
 Field-proven over billions of road miles by North American motor carriers, more than 4 million Rockwell automatic slack adjusters have been sold since the product's introduction in 1975. Studies indicate that today's Rockwell automatic slack adjuster outperforms competitors' units in direct comparisons.
 "Making the best ASA even better with the new improvements is one more example of our commitment to offering our customers products that are both light weight and extremely reliable," Jain said.
 A number of important differences can be found in the company's latest ASA, including:
 -- Improved external sealing around the worm gear to prevent external corrosion and provide lower internal torque;
 -- A redesigned worm gear tooth profile for additional strength;
 -- A new housing that offers better packaging for an overall weight reduction of 17 percent, making it the lightest ASA in the industry; and
 -- A 200-percent increase in boot thickness to provide additional puncture resistance.
 Jain explained that the stainless steel side washers, snap rings and O-rings used on previous designs have been replaced by two side seals, which will perform two functions: the seals will help reduce internal torque or friction by 33 percent, resulting in more reliable, consistent adjustment; and they will provide better resistance to external contaminants.
 In addition to the seals, Jain said the worm gear profile -- featuring a greater cross-section -- has been redesigned to provide 10 percent additional strength.
 He added, however, that the worm gear retains its grease passage hole and groove feature unique to Rockwell ASAs. These features permit improved lubrication of the slack adjuster and the camshaft splines to reduce the possibility of corrosion and wear, resulting in easier servicing.
 With respect to the increased boot thickness, Jain said that besides providing greater resistance to external contaminants, the extra thickness increases boot durability by three-and-a-half times -- helping to prevent accidental tearing of the boot.
 The ASAs' unique pull pawl assembly, introduced last year, is incorporated in the latest model and, according to Jain, its presence helps prevent accidental de-adjusting of the brake.
 The Rockwell automatic slack adjuster is driven by the interaction between the pawl or locking mechanism and the actuator. Jain said the pull pawl assembly requires lifting of the pawl during de-adjustment. Unless the pawl is lifted, the adjusting nut can be turned only in the adjusting direction, thereby eliminating the inadvertent de-adjustment of the slack.
 As to serviceability, Jain noted that this latest development still gives maintenance personnel the flexibility of changing select components for specific applications.
 Rockwell's On-Highway Products supplies vehicle manufacturers around the world with the industry's most complete drivetrain -- Drivetrain Plus(TM). Rockwell components include axles -- steer, drive and trailer; brakes -- cam, wedge, air disc and automatic slack adjusters; clutches, transmissions, driveshafts and universal joints; transfer cases, on-board, electronic management systems; vehicle control systems; and aftermarket parts.
 Rockwell International (NYSE: ROK) is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: D. Mike Pennington, 313-435-1933, or Becky MacDonald, 313-435-8796, both of Rockwell/
 (ROK)


CO: Rockwell International Corporation ST: Michigan, Kentucky IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE002 -- 2773 03/04/93 08:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1993
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