Driveline gearboxes

The variety of transmissions available for sale today is continuing to grow exponentially within the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The effect is that we are actually dealing with a varied number of transmission types including manual, conventional automatic, automatic manual, dual clutch, continuously adjustable, split power and real EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of tranny to choose from: planetary automatic with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, however, the volume of options avaiable demonstrates the changes seen across the industry.

This is also illustrated by the countless different types of vehicles now being produced for the marketplace. And not just conventional vehicles, but also all electrical and hybrid vehicles, with each type needing different driveline architectures.

The traditional development process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and the rest of the powertrain and vehicle. However, this is changing, with the limitations and complications of this method becoming more more popular, and the constant drive among manufacturers and designers to deliver optimal efficiency at decreased weight and cost.

New powertrains feature close integration of elements like the prime mover, recovery systems and the gearbox, and in addition rely on highly sophisticated control systems. That is to make sure that the very best amount of efficiency and efficiency is delivered all the time. Manufacturers are under increased pressure to create powertrains that are brand new, different from and much better than the last version-a proposition that’s made more technical by the necessity to integrate brand elements, differentiate within the market and do everything on a shorter timescale. Engineering groups are on deadline, and the development process needs to be better and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to develop drivelines. This process involves components and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the organization that lean toward proven component-level analysis tools. While these are highly advanced equipment that enable users to extract very reliable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that is collected without consideration of the complete system.

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June 2024