The new disc brake for trailers and light commercial vehicles from Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems, is setting new standards of economy in this segment. The new brake builds on the experience gained with 40 million disc brake systems in the field.
With its single-piston design and resultant low weight of 29 kg, backed up by Knorr-Bremse’s hallmark reliability proven millions of times over in the field, NEXTT sets new standards of economy in the class up to 19 kNm brake torque. Thanks to its modular design and standardized internal mechanical construction, the new disc brake can be quickly and efficiently adapted to suit specific applications and regional requirements. Additional optional equipment such as Active Caliper Release (ACR) open up further opportunities for vehicle operators to minimize costs.
As Bernd Spies, Chairman of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems explains: “When we set out to create NEXTT, our goals were to develop a product that is more compact, lighter and more flexible in terms of adaptability to different regional requirements; a product that features digital capability and is equipped for the challenges commercial vehicle manufacturers will face as levels of electrification and automation increase – all of which we have achieved.”
In the words of Ansgar Fries, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems: “In NEXTT we have a disc brake for our customers that has been developed to meet their specific needs. While for heavy-duty applications that call for up to 30 kNm we use the proven two-piston principle, in NEXTT we apply the single-piston principle to deliver a brake force of up to 19 kNm. Target applications are trailers in Europe on the one hand and the truck and trailer market in North America on the other. The basic version can be equipped with optional additional functions. Behind this solution there is an international team of development engineers with over 30 years’ experience in the development and production of disc brakes for global applications – the kind of expertise that only Knorr-Bremse can offer.”
Uncompromising performance with a single piston
On account of their design, single-piston calipers entail a risk of uneven pad wear, meaning that pads have to be replaced before the friction material is worn out across the pad as a whole. To prevent the need for premature replacement, this uneven wear needs to be reliably avoided. The new pad guidance system in NEXTT achieves this over the full permissible wear range of the pads and without any complex additional mechanical systems. At the same time, dispensing with a second piston makes the overall design of the brake far simpler. This pays dividends in terms of both weight and costs.
Fuel economy and predictive maintenance options
The basic version of NEXTT will be launched with a new equipment option: Active Caliper Release (ACR) is a mechanical system patented by Knorr-Bremse which, when the braking process is over, separates the pads from the brake disc and at the same time centers the caliper. This minimizes brake drag and the resulting power losses inherent to all floating caliper brakes. The resultant increase in fuel economy offers substantial potential savings for the vehicle operator, an outcome not achieved with any other mechanical concept. The electronic brake condition monitoring system currently at the development stage will also prepare the ground for flexible maintenance intervals and predictive maintenance planning. This represents a step into the future, because ongoing monitoring of braking system performance will be a core requirement for the operation of highly automated vehicles.
Powerful overall package
NEXTT forms part of the complete wheel end system from Knorr-Bremse. In conjunction with various brake discs, pads and actuators, the new brake generation offers clear customer benefits. These include the special friction pairings (discs and pads) that Knorr- Bremse has developed in collaboration with the pad manufacturers. Today, these pads already meet the requirements of anticipated future environmental legislation.
Along with traffic safety, the megatrends that will shape the mobility sector in the next few years will be connectivity, emissions reduction, electric mobility, and automated driving. Against this backdrop, Knorr-Bremse will be the systems partner for its customers going forward and will be driving forward developments in all four core areas in close collaboration with its customers.