The variety of transmissions available in the market today has grown exponentially in the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The effect can be that we are actually dealing with a varied amount of transmitting types including manual, typical automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, continuously adjustable, split power and genuine EV.
Until extremely recently, automotive vehicle producers largely had two types of transmission to pick from: planetary automated 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 many different types of vehicles now being manufactured for the market. And not just conventional automobiles, but also all electrical 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. However, this is changing, with the restrictions and complications of the method becoming more more popular, and the constant drive among producers and designers to deliver optimal efficiency at decreased weight and cost.
New powertrains feature close integration of components like the prime mover, recovery systems and the Driveline gearboxes gearbox, and in addition rely on highly advanced control systems. That is to ensure that the best degree of efficiency and performance is delivered at all times. Manufacturers are under improved 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 teams are on deadline, and the advancement process needs to be better and fast-paced than ever before.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most typical way to build up drivelines. This technique 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 allow users to extract extremely dependable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that’s collected without consideration of the whole system.
While this can produce components that all work nicely individually, putting them collectively without prior thought of the entire program can create designs that don’t work, leading to issues in the driveline that are difficult and expensive to correct.