All of the transmissions available for sale today has grown exponentially within the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The result can be that we are now coping with a varied amount of transmission types including manual, typical automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, constantly variable, split power and real EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of transmission to choose from: planetary automated with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, however, the volume of options avaiable demonstrates the changes seen across the industry.
That is also illustrated by the countless various kinds of vehicles now being produced for the marketplace. And not only conventional automobiles, but also all electric and hybrid vehicles, with each type requiring different driveline architectures.
The traditional development process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and all of those other powertrain and vehicle. Nevertheless, this is changing, with the restrictions and complications of the method becoming more widely recognized, 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 prime mover, recovery systems and the gearbox, and also rely on highly advanced control systems. That is to make sure that the best amount of efficiency and performance is delivered all the time. Manufacturers are under increased pressure to create powertrains that are completely new, different from and better than the last version-a proposition that’s made more technical by the need to integrate brand elements, differentiate within the market and do it all on a shorter timescale. Engineering teams are on deadline, and the advancement process needs to be more Driveline gearboxes efficient and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most typical way to develop drivelines. This process involves parts and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the business that lean toward verified component-level analysis tools. While these are highly advanced equipment that allow users to extract very reliable and accurate data, they remain presenting data that’s collected without account of the whole system.
While this may produce components that all work nicely individually, putting them together without prior consideration of the entire system can create designs that don’t work, leading to issues in the driveline that are difficult and expensive to improve.