From humble beginnings with the invention of the ‘Brisk Blast’ tire pump in 1919, through to the development of the first original equipment passenger vehicle shock absorbers, Monroe has continued to lead the way in ride control component innovation and design. Monroe’s shock absorber developments have enhanced the road safety of millions of road users worldwide.
Monroe remains unstoppable when it comes to ensuring improved road safety through new ride control technology and there is a Monroe shock absorber product to suit almost every vehicle on the roads.
The world’s most demanding car manufacturers: Mercedes, BMW, Audi & Lexus… demand it. It’s sold over a million units as original equipment. And it’s helped win both the Paris to Dakar Rally and the World Rally Championships… twice.
Welcome to Monroe’s game-changing Continuous Control Electronic Suspension (CCES) system. With axel, bodywork and steering sensor control every 6th millisecond, it is, quite simply, the best ever built.
In 1916, cars still rode on unforgiving and uncomfortable carriage springs. After all, early drivers had bigger things to worry about than the quality of their ride, like keeping their cars rolling over the rocks and ruts that often passed for roads. Flat tires were frequent and service stations were not. Drivers had no choice but to patch and reinflate their own tires along the roadside.
For a young entrepreneur named August F. Meyer, this was an opportunity too great to pass up. It seemed logical to Meyer that, with all those flat tires, there should be quite a market for tire pumps. Meyer established the Brisk Blast Manufacturing Company in Monroe, Michigan. Under Meyer's leadership, Brisk Blast soon became a leading producer of tire pumps.
In 1918 a local Dodge dealer named Charles S. McIntyre became Meyers's partner and vice president. The company continued to grow and diversify and Brisk Blast became the Monroe Auto Equipment Company.
The Monroe spirit of innovation was already hard at work when the company perfected the first self-oiled, single-barrelled tire pump. Sales climbed from 5,000 per week to over two million a year.
A vision becomes a revolution
By the mid 1920s, Monroe was busy applying the technology of the single-barrelled tire pump to a purpose no one else had yet envisioned: providing a better ride for drivers.
In 1926, the first Monroe shock eliminator was introduced. Within 25 years, the Monroe-Matic, the first double action shock absorber, was the best known shock absorber in the world, used by most American car makers through the 1950s.
The company went international in 1964 and in 1974, to better serve the expanding world market. Monroe purchased Unamuno, S.A., a leader in the Spanish shock absorber market, and MAP Auto Pecas S.A. in Brazil.
Monroe became renowned as the world leader in both original equipment and aftermarket ride control, making shock absorbers for specialty vehicles from golf carts to high-speed railroad cars.
In 1977, Monroe became part of Tenneco Inc. Tenneco's many diversified and multinational resources allowed for new opportunities on a global scale.
In 1980, Monroe began manufacturing its first struts and soon, thereafter, Monroe produced its first gas charged shock.
Monroe's global expansion continued in 1985 with the acquisition of W.H. Wylie & Co., a manufacturer of tools, metal pressings, precision machine components, household items and motor vehicle parts. The company was renamed Monroe Australia Pty Ltd.
In 1989, the company gained increased visibility in Europe when Monroe acquired the suspension division of Armstrong Equipment PLC of the United Kingdom. The move enhanced Monroe's presence in the UK and improved customer service throughout Europe.
Groundbreaking products such as Sensa-Trac and Reflex first came to market during the 1990s, cementing Monroe's position as the global leader in ride control. The first great product breakthrough of the new century in the ride control sector was Monroe's popular Quick-Strut in 2003.
We can't say for sure what the future of the automobile holds, but you can be sure Monroe will be there with the innovations that continue to provide motorists across the globe with safety and control.
With a network of 14 advanced engineering centres on five continents, Tenneco is at the leading edge of technology for the original equipment market. Tenneco meets the needs of customers - including Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Daimler, BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Nissan and Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) - expertly tuning the ride of any vehicle to the most exacting specifications.
Here's a look at cutting-edge technology for Monroe ride control products including:
Award-winning Acceleration Sensitive Damping (ASD) shock absorber delivers both a soft, comfortable ride and firm vehicle handling. The technology is a mechanical valve system that instantaneously changes damping force to adjust vehicle ride to bumps and changes in the road surface.
As a next generation shock absorber, frequency dependent damping is environmentally friendly - it uses no oil. The shock absorber can be mounted in any position and has a more consistent damping performance over a wide range of temperatures.
Micro-Amplitude Damping (MAD) technology is a position sensitive hydraulic circuit designed to eliminate the energy transfer caused by tire imbalances. This circuit is engineered to directly react to the displacement of the shock absorber.
Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension
Tenneco's Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CES) provides next generation capabilities in vehicle handling and ride comfort. CES is a semi-active suspension system that continuously adjusts damping levels according to road and driving conditions. At the heart of CES is an advanced valve system, developed with Ohlins Racing. The valves are integrated with an electronic controller and chassis sensors and work together to deliver the most advanced damping characteristics.
CES was first commercialized on the 2003 Volvo S60R and V70R performance vehicles, offering sport car handling with luxury sedan comfort.
Kinetic™ Suspension Systems
Kinetic suspension systems use technology that improves vehicle stability, handling and ride comfort and helps reduce the risk of vehicle-roll-over.
The Kinetic suspension technology can be adapted to the CVS market. This cost-effective passive system enhances vehicle stability by reducing vehicle roll while maintaining a comfortable ride.
Integrated Kinetic™ H2 CES system
This technology combines the passive Kinetic™ H2 system with CES damper valves to provide continuously controlled damping and high roll stiffness with reduced articulation stiffness.
Designed for sports cars and high-end SUVs, this intelligent system allows for both comfort and handling, as well as offers all the advantages of a semi-active suspension.