The variety of transmissions available for sale today is continuing to grow exponentially in the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The result can be that we are now coping with a varied number of tranny types including manual, standard automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, continuously adjustable, split power and pure EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of transmission to pick from: planetary automated with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, nevertheless, the volume of options avaiable demonstrates the adjustments seen across the industry.
This is also illustrated by the countless different types of vehicles now being manufactured for the market. And not simply conventional vehicles, 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 the rest of the powertrain and vehicle. However, this is changing, with the limitations and complications of the method becoming more widely recognized, and the constant drive among producers and designers to deliver optimal efficiency at reduced 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. This is to make certain 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 better than the last version-a proposition that’s made more complex by the necessity to integrate brand components, differentiate within the marketplace and do everything on a shorter timescale. Engineering groups are on deadline, and the advancement process needs to be more efficient and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to develop drivelines. This technique involves components and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the organization that lean toward verified component-level analysis equipment. While they are highly advanced equipment that enable users to extract extremely dependable and accurate data, they remain presenting data that’s collected without factor of the whole system.
While this may produce components that all work nicely individually, putting them together without prior Driveline gearboxes account of the entire program can create designs that don’t work, leading to issues in the driveline that are difficult and expensive to correct.