Exclusive Interview with Advisory Board Member Troy Muransky, American Axle & Manufacturing
Tuesday, 29 August 2023
Q1) What does your role at American Axle involve?
My role at American Axle & Manufacturing is the Lead Organic Material Engineer and Technical Expert, with global responsibility to support past, current, and future automotive programs. Lubricants is only one of my responsible material categories, but also all other organic materials including, but not limited to, paints/coatings, surface treatments, sealants, adhesives, plastics, seals, rubbers, and rust preventatives. My focus is on proper material selection, testing, troubleshooting, and launch support for driveline applications.
On a day-to-day basis, I support AAM plants, customers, and suppliers through virtual meetings and onsite visits globally, to address to part and manufacturing process issues and optimization, system audits, new part design, material, and process development, and overall provide technical recommendations and direction as needs arise.
Q2) How do American Axle use lubricants in their products?
American Axle & Manufacturing uses lubricants in various ways in their products. More traditional products for ICE vehicles uses greases and oil to lubricate the gearing and bearings, as well as transfer heat due to interface friction. Newer products for EVs uses these lubricants to lubricate the gearing and bearings, while also cooling the motor, stator, and/or inverters, depending on the architecture.
Q3) American Axle place a high importance on sustainability objectives – what role can the lubricant industry play in helping the company achieve these objectives?
As a company, AAM does place high importance on sustainability and have a large team addressing it in every way we can. Lubricants are unique that the chemistry related to sustainability is very new, and while has some great performance benefits, also comes with technical and commercial risks since it is new, low volume product, much of which is from new suppliers in the market.
Q4) What are you hoping to see at Lubricant Expo North America?
I am hoping to see more hardware and OEM manufactures involved. This seems to be the gap at most of the lubricant related conferences and as a result, has created a gap in the perceived need between the lubricant suppliers and the users.
Q5) What is the biggest thing you need your lubricant suppliers to change to help with your objectives?
Create chemistry that is 100% compatible with copper, yet still maintains high gearing and bearing durability such as scuffing, scoring, and other adhesive wear.