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JASPER CNC Machining Makes for Efficient Diesel Remanufacturing

DieselCNC                         JASPER recently acquired a Haas VF-6 CNC for its Diesel Division. This machine has the ability to resurface an engine block as well as bore the cylinders. "What makes the CNC machine better is that it can resurface a block twice as fast, compared to standard machining practices, without compromising surface finish," says Ryan Dooley, JASPER Diesel Division Manager. "The machine can bore out the cylinders five times faster than standard machining." "It would take about 40 minutes to manually set up a block to be bored and resurfaced," he added. "With the CNC machine, that process is cut in half." Dooley says the Haas VF-6 currently machines the bigger medium-duty engines remanufactured within the division. "It machines all of our Cummins engines, all of our Caterpillar and Duramax engines, and we have future plans to have it machine the counterbore inline International engines," he said. "This CNC machine currently accounts for about 35% of our production." With the new CNC machining process, Dooley says the customer will see added value and benefits from a JASPER product. "We’re able to machine the same block, without compromising quality, in half the amount of time," added Dooley. "So it’s helped us become more efficient in providing a product to the customer in a shorter amount of time."

A Smart Investment for Your Tax Returns

What are your plans for this year’s tax refund? How about spending it on one of your largest investments, your vehicle. That’s right! If you’ve been holding off on a major vehicle repair, now may be a favorable time to invest that tax refund on a one-time purchase for that much needed drivetrain component. I know this sounds like an advertisement, but it does makes sense. As we rebound from the recent economic downturn, I think most of us would like to get ahead in respects to our own financial situations. By making an investment and repairing that parked vehicle ,with a JASPER product, you’ll be able to save and build that nest egg by not having the hassle of monthly new car payments and inflated insurance premiums. We all like to treat our families and ourselves to nice things, maybe a vacation, the latest flat-screen TV, or just a simple dinner and a movie. My wife may disagree but, I am not a tightwad. I do enjoy making certain purchases, but I’m also conscience of things I can do to better secure our financial future. A couple of years ago, our minivan’s transmission was slipping horribly. To me, buying the JASPER replacement made sense, not just because I work the company, but because of the piece-of-mind and long-term savings. I can still remember the evening that I picked it up after the installation, it may seem silly but I felt like I was driving a new vehicle off of the lot. I think everyone should experience what I felt that evening, confidence in a product with a great warranty and the reassurance of making a great investment. Just something to think about when you get that refund from Uncle Sam.

‘32 Ford Transmission Gets Authentic

Just before the end of 2012, the transmission department of Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains remanufactured this three-speed manual transmission from a 1932 Ford Model B. The Model B was produced between 1932 and 1934 and was the successor to the Model A, which Ford produced between 1928 and 1931. "The biggest difference was that the transmission in the Model B used synchronizers to make shifting gears easier," says Dave Ernst, JASPER Special Projects Consultant. "The Model A did not use synchronized gears, so the driver had to be very careful not to rake the gears, and potentially damage the transmission." Obviously, this early drivetrain component is no longer offered new, nor does it fit into any production remanufacturing system. That’s where Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains comes in. For more information on the Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrain division, call 1-800-827-7455.

Call for Calendar Entries 2014

The Jasper Engines & Transmissions 2013 calendar is out. We had some great entries, and a big "Thank You" goes out to everyone that submitted their images. We’re in the preliminary stages for our 2014 calendar. Do you have a vehicle that’s calendar worthy? Don’t hesitate! Send us your entry! Entrants must submit a color photograph (35mm or larger) and information about their unique vehicle, or performance car or truck, along with information on the JASPER remanufactured product that has been installed. Vehicles should be placed in a "show" type setting. Low resolution digital images transferred onto photo paper cannot be accepted. High-resolution digital images, 8" x 10" at 300 dpi, are preferred. All entries will be judged based on adherence to the category, equipment appearance and the quality of the photograph. REMINDER!!! The deadline for 2014 Calendar entries is August 1st. If you have vehicle images, and would like to request an entry form, or for additional information, contact Roxanne Sherman at: rsherman@  

JASPER is Ready for Racing in 2013!

Brad Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for Penske Racing. Clint Bowyer finished second for Michael Waltrip Racing. What did these two drivers have in common? Their race cars used components built by the NASCAR Driveline Division of Jasper Engines and Transmissions. Keselowski ran a JASPER Differential in 2012, and Bowyer used a JASPER 4-Speed Transmission. Sprint Cup Series cars equipped with JASPER products accounted for 16 Wins in 2012, 72 top-five finishes and 134 top-ten finishes. "Everyone was very satisfied with our products in 2012," says Terry DeKemper, JASPER NASCAR Driveline Manager. "We had no issues with any of our components last year and we’re definitely looking forward to 2013, particularly with the new body styles the Cup teams will be using." The Driveline Division has not rested on the laurels of their previous season’s success. Their work has been non-stop in preparation for the new season. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will once again have their cars equipped with the JASPER traditional three-rail 4-Speed Transmission. Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex, Jr., Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer will use JASPER’s single-rail version of the 4-Speed. Both versions of the transmission utilize an exclusive ‘floating’ input shaft design. "Instead of using a solid shaft going into the clutch and the back of the engine, our patented design uses a splined hub that flexes with the car’s torsional movement," says DeKemper. "Any time the engine and transmission flex together, where the bellhousing absorbs the movement, the floating shaft will flex eliminating a bind up within the internal gears. Through dynamometer testing, this design has shown greater gearbox efficiency." Keselowski, and Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, will have their Sprint Cup Series cars equipped with a JASPER Differential for 2013. "When we prepare a differential, we use the same type of components that are available to any team," says DeKemper. "Our assembly process differs for each unit depending on track layout." During the off-season, JASPER has worked with each of the teams to make additional gains in the differential and the transmission. DeKemper says his department’s continuing goal is to repeat the successes of 2012 with no component issues. Another goal is to grow the division. "New teams have been looking," says DeKemper. "We have units currently being tested by a few teams while they prepare at Daytona. You never know where it will lead, but it would be great if we could pick up more teams."

Your JASPER Customer Advisory Council

The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Customer Advisory Council is made up of Independent Repair Facility owners and managers from around the country. Members make a two-year commitment to be on the Council. Meetings are held in Jasper, Indiana, twice a year. The Council discusses issues facing Independent Repair facilities as well as the automotive repair industry as a whole. Jasper Engines and Transmissions gains insight from these meetings and they help to guide future decisions made by the company. JASPER has utilized a Customer Advisory Council for over 25 years. Nominations to the Council are made by JASPER Factory Representatives. Since members can only serve one 2-year term, we have been able to get many customers involved over the past 25 years. We want to thank our current members as well as past members for helping to shape Jasper Engines and Transmissions as a company committed to our customer’s success.  

Weinzapfel Ends Term as PERA President

Matt Weinzapfel, JASPER Vice President of Engine Manufacturing, recently completed a two-year term as President of the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA). Matt began his term in 2010 and felt his greatest accomplishment as PERA president was for his board to provide direction in an organization that dealt with change from the economic difficulties of 2008-09. “During that time, our industry dealt with massive consolidation and fallout of competitors within the engine remanufacturing business,” says Weinzapfel. “We were left with just a handful of players in the industry and, therefore, our industry association shrunk as well.” Weinzapfel said decisions were made on how PERA could remain viable. This included a reduction in the number of meetings PERA holds each year, but Matt added the Association’s mission remains two-fold. “First, PERA needs to be a technical resource for our remanufacturing membership, which includes how to improve the processes to build a better engine,” he said. “Second, PERA must be a forum within the industry for people to share information and provide information for our supplier base to offer the quality products remanufacturers demand.” Weinzapfel was the fourth JASPER Associate to serve as PERA president, joining Doug Bawel, Brad Bawel and Mike Schwenk. “I think it speaks highly of JASPER to have had a high level of involvement within the industry,” says Weinzapfel. “We view that as important, not only for our company, but to support remanufacturing as an industry. It’s all about making a remanufactured product a viable alternative for the end-user, and we’re trying to do that.” As JASPER’s Vice President of Engine Manufacturing, Matt oversees the remanufacturing processes of the Gas Engine and Diesel Engine Divisions, as well as the Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains Division.

Branch Profile: Birmingham

                        The Birmingham Branch of Jasper Engines and Transmissions opened in Shelby County, Alabama, on October 1, 2007. Nestled at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, as the fastest growing county in Alabama, Shelby County offers diverse amenities with dramatic landscapes - from the city, and county parks, to the 10,000 acre Oak Mountain State Park. Our branch is situated within the 390 acre Shelby West Corporate Park, a sample of the industrial developments that provide an increased economic benefit to the area.

JASPER Updates Transmission Hydraulic Clutch Testing

JASPER’s Quality Engineers have updated the company’s transmission hydraulic clutch testing process. Hydraulic clutch testing is a method of simulating the operation of a transmission clutch. The process identifies defective clutches not typically identified by dynamometer testing. "This is not a new technology at JASPER," says David Kassebaum, JASPER Transmission Quality Engineer. "But it has been improved through the use of computerized data acquisition." Hydraulic clutch testing the transmission, prior to final assembly, will check for cracked drums or pistons, imperfections in the fluid channels, and defective or damaged seals. The test is performed using a transmission-specific plate designed to direct oil to each of the individual clutches in the transmission. A normal transmission dynamometer does not test the individual clutches. It only tests the gear ratio, which only shows that the clutch has applied. During the dynamometer run, the transmission pump sends significant amounts of oil to the clutch, which typically makes it difficult to identify leaks, or imperfections, in the clutch. Hydraulically testing the clutches individually is used to reduce, and prevent, complaints of harsh or soft shifts and other driveability complaints caused by ineffective clutches. "Until recently, the process of hydraulic clutch testing was done with analog gauges, and the clutch pressure measurements were not recorded or stored," says Kassebaum. "With hardware and software developed by JASPER, our method of testing has been greatly improved." During JASPER’s remanufacturing process, each transmission is given an identification number. As the transmission is assembled, the identification number is typed into the hydraulic clutch test software, allowing the software to pull the correct test for the transmission. As the builder is prompted through the test, the software records the pressure measurements using two pressure transducers. The software compares the measurements to the specifications within the test and determines whether the clutch passed or failed. "If the transmission fails the test, the unit is repaired and the test is repeated to ensure proper clutch operation," says Kassebaum. "The software will not allow the unit to be dynamometer tested until the unit passes the hydraulic clutch test. Once the transmission has passed this test, its measurements are saved in JASPER’s computer database." By utilizing this software, JASPER Quality Engineers are able to drive improvements in the remanufacturing process by analyzing this data to determine the perfect method to improve the assembly of transmission clutches.

Branch Profile: Milwaukee

The Milwaukee branch opened its doors in June of 1974. In those 38 years, the branch has seen many changes as the company continues to grow and new product lines are introduced. Currently, the Milwaukee branch serves most of the state of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 2007, JASPER's St. Paul Branch was added as a satellite branch to Milwaukee's responsibilities. Additionally, with the recent acquisition of Canam Marketing, JIS sales rep Scott LaTour now considers the Milwaukee branch his home base. Our Milwaukee team is well equipped and prepared to meet the challenges and celebrate the successes that lie ahead.