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ASPRA Engineering "

Power of steam was revealed to the mankind some 500 years ago and it gave birth to steam engines and the power of steam was used extensively for many years in locomotives, turbines etc. and industrialization and mass production on the globe began.

Henry Ford more than 100 years back invented horseless carriage – the automobile. Since its advent relentless research has continued to improve various components of an automobiles. The pursuit is still continuing and we came across these improvements regularly, almost daily.

Of late, environment protection and pollution control became a vital issue and auto industry had to research and find various ways to protect our mother Earth and save its habitat, from the damages caused by the automobiles.

A lot has been achieved and lot is likely to be achieved in the near future. Research is going on full throttle, around the globe.

Motive power of the prime mover- internal combustion engine has been transmitted to the wheels through series of gears (pinions) and differentials and both the gear box and the differential had to be enclosed in a case to confine the lubricant, necessary for smooth and long drive. To prevent lubricants from leaking seals were used on axles, propeller shaft pinions etc.

However, necessity of a Breather, a device that would allow the air under pressure, caused by churning of the lubricants by the pinions inside gear box / differential was felt even by Henry Ford, and he simply drilled a hole on the top of the casing for air to breath out and breath in, as per the demand. That is breath out when hot and breath in when cold.

This simple solution continued to be adopted till date with some improvements like a nipple in the hole with female thread and a pipe clamped over it. The pipe tucked along the body of the automobile with a few clips screwed under chassis and end of the pipe left open at some higher point underneath the body.

Around 25 years back a young graduate engineer, Sameer Sinha, while persuing his post graduate studies in U.S University was told by an automobile Engineer, associated with Ford Motor company that a proper breather was a necessity, that the auto industry has overlooked for centuries, as focus was on improving various other faculties / functions of the automobiles, due to pressing demand / competition in the market.

The necessity for a proper breather was more driven by the fact that the then solution - nipple, pipe, clamp clip had to be done manually, which came in the way of automation (through robot installation), the assembly line was going through, to deal with shortage of skilled manpower, and need to improve production, productivity and reduce cost.

However, inherent weakness in venting must also be haunting the minds of the automobile engineers, which were as below :

Splashes from the enclosures would force some of the lubricants out of the system and thus cause the system to work under starvation. More so, when rubber pipe would give away due to constant exposure to oil vapour / environment etc. and only nipple remain intact.

Water ingestion was inevitable in a flooded road condition. With obvious danger of water mixing with lubricant, which will forth out of the system due to emulsion formed, resulting in total starvation of the system with obvious melodies.

In case of an accident and vehicle setting upside down, all lubricant will drain off with possible danger of their coming in contact with some hot part of the vehicle, where appearance of flame cannot be ruled out which would endanger the occupants trapped inside the vehicle due to accident. – AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS THREAT TO THE LIFE / SAFETY OF THE PASSENGERS.

Due to regular breathing out of hot air along with oil vapour and breathing in of SPM (suspended particulate matter) laided atmospheric air the nipple gets chocked and work like a plug causing inevitable damage to the lip seals on the axle and other seals on the gear box / differentials. (this aspect was revealed during research by the inventor of the Breather. He found 7 out of 10 vehicles had chocked nipples and leaking axle seals on the roads in India).

Lubricants viscosity was adversely damaged due to dirty water ingestion and SPM of the air, needing frequent changing of the oil, that unnecessarily cost the customer regularly.

Lubricants in the gear box / differential also gets polluted due to SPM in the air, even when the vehicle does not run, due to difference of day and night temperature.

Lubricants splashed on the road and discarded lubricant from vehicle besides oil vapour in the air, caused strain on the environment of our mother earth.

Since all these weakness were never revealed to the customers as it all went quietly under the chassis and warranty period was, usually crossed smoothly, serious thought to improve the situation was never applied. Customers accepted frequent changing of the gear oil / differential oil and damage to axle seals or damage to gear / differential pinions, inevitable

However, a wish, a desire to lay hand on a magic breather, which will give relief from all these maladies, was always nursing in the hearts of the automobile engineers.

Last 15/ 20 years, to get rid of manual operation (i.e. nipple , pipe , clamp, clips) and to ensure robotic application, some alternatives were adopted by some automobile manufacturers they were:

A ribbed plug pushes in the hole.

A pressure release valve (a spring loaded valve , which allowed pressure to release but not take care of vacuum created, when the enclose was cold).

A nipple capped like an umbrella with some metal shredding inside.

None of these solutions fulfilled all the basic requirements of a proper breather that is:

Breath out when hot.

Breath in when cold.

Not allow any water ingestion / dirt.

Not allow oil expulsion in normal running condition as well as when a vehicle meets an accident and settle upside down.

No choking / plugging and also no oil vapour expulsion into the atmosphere, of the device, due to SPM of the air.

In 2006, Arun Sinha,(now 74) the inventor, while on a visit to U.S.A had an opportunity of interacting with Mr. Sameer Sinha ( who was working on the breathers, since he landed in USA in early nineties).Research took off in right earnest, since then and by 2008, three ways of dealing with the issue were found. Proto type Breathers were available for testing, Mr. Sameer Sinha , gave the samples to a few organizations in USA, but it was beginning of the recent recession in USA and extremely tough time for the auto industry. So nothing much progressed then, in USA.

However, someone from R&D of M&M, facing expulsion of oil on couple of his new vehicles, on testing, made him communicate with Borg Warner, then power train manufacturers at USA who’s designed system was installed on their new vehicle. It was throwing oil like a pump. He learnt about our research on Breathers through Borg Warner and communicates with us. They got couple of samples and the outcome was a brief communication from him.

This is how, more samples were tested and adopted on couple of their new systems installed on M&M Vehicles, after testing the 1st solution Fig. 1, Double shaft with piston like valve, one loaded with spring above and another with spring below seats firmly over properly designed seat to deal with the pressure and vaccum, was first tested and approved. While negotiating price, the inventor suggested them to adopt the breather on all the existing and new platforms, so that with increased volume, cost could be reduced. The matter was examined by M&M and the inventor was informed that possibility of fitting our breather on all vehicles manufactured by M&M was possible if the breather could be supplied in 17mm hex instead of 22mm hex, that they had tested.

At that stage, we had perfected Double shaft only in 22mm hex. We had, however, perfected Double ball coaxial ball breathers Fig 2, in 17mm hex and as such offered the same to M&M for testing and adoption. And this design has been fitted in lakhs of M&M vehicles, since then (more than 5 years) with satisfactory results.

This double ball co-axial Breather fig 2 has for both steel balls, specially designed seats on top and bottom of it, so when it (the ball) seats on it, it makes a seal and does not allow any water ingestion. If the vehicle settles upside down, again ball seats on the specially designed seat in the housing and as such does not allow any oil expulsion. Vaccum is dealt with by rattling of the balls on the seat as it seats on its seat by its own weight /gravity.

This Double Ball Coaxial Breather fig 2 design was comparatively easier to manufacturer and cheaper to produce and sell and so was promoted amongst Indian manufacturers. USA however, were interested more in twin shaft version fig 1 even at higher cost and hence were supplied the same.

In last four years both these designed Breathers has been fitted and tested on vehicles with no complaints, whatsoever, in India as well as abroad.

The third version, though perfected, has not been released yet for marketing. It works with wind force to open and close. The valve seats on a specially designed seat and the valve lifts at pre-fixed speed of the vehicle, say 40 km/hr and remains open till the speed is in excess of 40 km/hr. it will shut off when the speed drops below 40 km/hr.

Since this product is not in market so far, there is no point in elaborating on its functions, further.

All these years, further research on finding ways and means of reducing cost of manufacturing of 22mm hex, double shaft version was going on and significant development has resulted. Now this version can be marketed for around 2 dollars instead of earlier 3 dollars.

Yet another area of research have been to find ways and means of manufacturing two shaft Version in 17mm hex, so that it could be adopted on all the vehicles without any handicap.

This has also been achieved and now double shaft version, (which is no doubt, technically a better / solid breather design) in 17mm hex, can also be manufactured and marked for around 2 dollars only. (Intricacies of its design forces us to price it at par with 22mm hex breathers).

Customers are free to choose either of them for the same price i.e around 2 dollars. To reduce inventory and adopt> ” ONE PART , ONE VENDOR ” theory of modern management practices (taught by W.Edward Demings), 17mm hex may find favor with auto manufacturers.

Double ball version continues to be marketed for around 1 dollar and one and a half dollar with high Nitrile housing / lock etc and Viton rubber housing / lock etc respectively.

The functioning of the breather and query from the customers will be satisfactorily answered by the Patent holder and his team manufacturing and marketing is being done in India by ASPRA ENGINEERING INDIA PVT. LTD based at Delhi , India. Marketing abroad is being done presently by ASPRA WORLD LLC, based at Detroit, Michigan , USA.

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Benefits of ASPRA Breather

1. PRODUCTION:

Automation of assembly line, through robotic application replacing manual fitting of current venting system of nipple, pipe, clamp, clip is bound to improve capacity utilization of the facility and increase production.

2. PRODUCTIVITY :

Reduced manpower on the assembly line, logistics such as inventory, warranty claim, servicing, storage etc. will reflect substantially in productivity.

3. PROFIT :

Reduced cost on Human Resources, reduced capital employed, increased capacity utilization, increased sales due to more customer’s satisfaction, is bound to reflect in the balance sheet, favorably.

4. SAFETY :

a) Directly, eliminating chances of expelled oil coming in contact with some hot part of the vehicle (after it settles upside down after meeting an accident), resulting in appearance of flame, while passengers are trapped inside the vehicle .
b) Indirectly, causing slippery surface around accident site with obvious dangers.
c) No oil vapour in the air and no spilled oil on road and discarded oil at regular interval, protects our environment and thus prevents health hazard to the habitats of this globe.

5. Customer’s Benefits :

a) Burden of frequent oil change, repair of Gearbox / Axle, oil seals will go a long way. Benefitting the customers perennially, through the life of the vehicle.
b) Smooth drive as viscosity of lubricant is maintained.
c)Improved mileage as sluggishness due to contamination of lubricant eliminated.
d) Hassle free drive in flooded road condition as no water ingestion, on emulsion , no foaming out of lubricant , stalling the vehicles midway.
e) No plugging of vent due to S.P.M of air and resultant damage to oil seals on the axle etc. (Breathing out of oil vapour and Breathing in of S.P.M laided air clog the nipples).

6. ENVIRONMENT :

a) Prevents oil vapour expulsion and air Pollution.
b) Prevents oil spillage in normal running condition and even in case of an accident.
c) Burden of discarded oil at regular interval, is eliminated.
d) Reduced / eliminated breakdown of Gearbox / Axle reduces exploitation of Mother Earth’s resources.

LIKE SEALED BEARINGS, WHICH DOES NOT NEED REGULAR GREASING, GEAR BOX / AXLE FITTED WITH ASPRA BREATHERS IS PROTECTED FOR LIFE TIME, ELIMINATING NECESSITY OF REGULAR OIL CHANGE.