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New York Air Brake, Bendix create laboratory at RIT

New York Air Brake, LLC (NYAB) and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, LLC have created the Knorr-Bremse North America Mechatronics Laboratory at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

The laboratory, which opens this fall and will serve both RIT students and engineers from the two companies, is part of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Elyria, Ohio–based Bendix made the announcement in a news release distributed this morning.


Both NYAB and Bendix are part of the Knorr-Bremse Group and together make up Knorr-Bremse North America (KBNA), Bendix said in the release.

Based in Munich, Germany, Knorr-Bremse is a manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles.

Bendix specializes in the development and manufacture of active safety and braking-system technologies for commercial vehicles, while NYAB focuses on braking systems and technologies for the rail industry.

Bendix and NYAB have had a “long-standing” relationship with RIT and helped the school develop its mechatronics-engineering certificate program, Bendix said.

The program seeks to enable engineers in the mechanical and engineering disciplines to become “stronger contributors” to multi-disciplinary design teams.

Mechatronics is the “intersection” of electrical and mechanical engineering and a “critical” component in advancing many commercial vehicle and rail-safety technologies, according to the Bendix news release.

Cross-competence and collaboration are “absolutely crucial” to the work that’s performed at both Bendix and NYAB, Richard Beyer, vice president of engineering and research and development at Bendix, said.

“Mechatronics projects require that approach, and we know that RIT also places a high value on cross-disciplinary work between its electrical and mechanical engineering programs. This laboratory emphasizes the importance of that philosophy in a valuable, real-world setting,” said Beyer.

The nearly 1,000-square-foot laboratory includes five equipment stations that use Bendix and NYAB technology for “hands-on experience” targeting aspects of the mechatronics curriculum.

They include vibration, pneumatic controls, and valve-control software.

The companies had the stations and lab work designed to expose participants to mechatronics equipment and situations, ranging from “pure mechanics to pure electronics,” according to the release.

The lab will also serve RIT’s mechanical and electrical-engineering students pursuing certification in mechatronics.

Bendix and NYAB are working with RIT to develop elective mechanical and electrical-engineering courses that can also use the laboratory resources.

The companies expect the KBNA Mechatronics Laboratory to open in October for RIT students.

The first round of KBNA employees will use the facility in January 2015, Bendix said.

Contact Reinhardt at


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