All of the transmissions available in the market today is continuing to grow exponentially in the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The effect is certainly that we are actually dealing with a varied amount of transmission types including manual, typical automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, constantly variable, split power and genuine EV.
Until extremely recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of transmission to choose from: planetary automatic with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, nevertheless, 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 only conventional vehicles, but also all electric and hybrid automobiles, with each type requiring different driveline architectures.
The traditional advancement process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and all of those other powertrain and vehicle. However, this is changing, with the limitations and complications of the method becoming more widely recognized, and the continuous drive among producers and designers to provide optimal efficiency at reduced weight and cost.
New powertrains feature close integration of components like the prime mover, recovery systems and the gearbox, and in Driveline gearboxes addition rely on highly advanced control systems. This is to ensure that the best amount of efficiency and overall performance is delivered all the time. 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 complex by the need to integrate brand components, differentiate within the market and do it all on a shorter timescale. Engineering groups are on deadline, and the advancement process needs to be better and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the usage of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most typical way to build up drivelines. This process involves elements and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the organization that lean toward tested component-level analysis equipment. While these are highly advanced equipment that enable users to extract very reliable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that’s collected without consideration of the complete system.
While this can produce components that work very well individually, putting them with each other without prior concern of the entire system can create designs that don’t work, resulting in issues in the driveline that are difficult and expensive to improve.