The variety of transmissions available in the market today has grown exponentially within the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The result is that we are now dealing with a varied quantity of transmission types including Driveline gearboxes manual, typical automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, consistently adjustable, split power and genuine EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle producers largely had two types of tranny to select from: planetary automated with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, nevertheless, the volume of choices available demonstrates the changes seen across the industry.
That is also illustrated by the many various kinds of vehicles now being produced for the market. And not just conventional vehicles, but also all electric and hybrid vehicles, with each type requiring different driveline architectures.
The traditional advancement process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and the rest of the powertrain and vehicle. Nevertheless, this is changing, with the limitations and complications of the method becoming more more popular, and the constant drive among producers and designers to provide optimal efficiency at decreased weight and cost.
New powertrains feature close integration of elements like the primary mover, recovery systems and the gearbox, and also rely on highly advanced control systems. This is to guarantee that the very best amount of efficiency and functionality is delivered at all times. Manufacturers are under increased pressure to create powertrains that are completely new, different from and much better than the last version-a proposition that’s made more technical by the need to integrate brand elements, differentiate within the marketplace and do everything on a shorter timescale. Engineering teams are on deadline, and the development process must be more efficient and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the utilization of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to develop drivelines. This process involves parts and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the organization that lean toward proven component-level analysis tools. While they are highly advanced tools that enable users to extract extremely reliable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that is collected without account of the whole system.
While this can produce components that work nicely individually, putting them collectively without prior thought of the entire system can create designs that don’t work, leading to issues in the driveline that are difficult and expensive to correct.