A Conversation with Jason M. Klein, Innovator & Co-Founder of Cush Suspensions.
Interview by Aaron Lancaster
Give us a background on your education:
"I knew since I was a litle kid that I wanted to invent things when I grew up, so I decided to follow in my father's footsteps and become an engineer. I spent 4 long years, including fulltime in the summers, at University of Missouri-Rolla and received a Bachelor of Science degree as a Mechanical Engineer in 1990." How did you get into the air-ride suspension business? "After graduation, I was hired by the founder of another air ride suspension company to work closely with him and his head of engineering to develop the most inovative heavy-duty air ride suspension systems of that time.
How did you get into the air-ride suspension business?
“After graduation, I was hired by the founder of another air ride suspension company to work closely with him and his head of engineering to develop the most innovative heavy-duty air ride suspension systems of that time. It was asmall company then, but these two were pioneers of the heavy-duty truck & trailer suspension industry from their previous work experience. Being a kid fresh out of college, I knew very little about anything, let alone suspension systems. However, working directly with them at that time when air ride suspensions first started to be viable solutions in that industry, couldn’t have been better. Basically, as their protégé in the early days of air rides, they taught me many things and I also learned firsthand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to developing heavy-duty air ride suspension systems. I feel very blessed the stars aligned like they did.”
What compelled you to start your own suspensions company?
“So, I had 10 great years at that suspension company, and I am very appreciative for them. I have nothing but good things to say. They were a great company to start my career with; they are still a great company. However, as time goes on, businesses typically evolve, and they decided on a path they wanted to go which is completely understandable, but with that, a need started to appear in the marketplace that I felt wasn’t being addressed.”
What need was that?
“For a truly engineered-to-order heavy-duty air ride suspension system with the most advanced and innovative features to be available. We don’t ask our customers to design their vehicle around a cookie-cutter suspension that everyone else gets. We design our suspensions to be a perfect fit for our customers’ application.”
Ok, enough about Cush. Can you tell us how Cush utilized Autodesk software?
“Well, just so you know, I started using 2D AutoCAD in the early 90’s and then migrated to their first 3D package for manufacturing which was called Mechanical Desktop at that time. Today at Cush, we use the full suite of Autodesk Manufacturing solutions to design our suspension systems. We use Inventor for conceptual design, engineering and detailing, Autodesk Simulation to validate our designs, 3DS Max for a lot of our marketing materials, A360 to collaborate internally and externally, Vault to manage our data, and we even have to use some AutoCAD to accommodate some customers. We use it all, honestly. The funny thing is, our customers have been so impressed with the engineering documentation we create, I’m pretty sure we’ve sent business your way.”
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