All of the transmissions available for sale today has grown exponentially within the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The effect is that we are actually coping with a varied quantity of tranny types including manual, standard automatic, Driveline gearboxes automatic manual, dual clutch, continuously variable, split power and genuine EV.
Until extremely recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of transmission to select from: planetary automatic with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, however, the volume of choices available demonstrates the adjustments seen across the industry.
That is also illustrated by the many different types of vehicles now being manufactured for the market. And not merely conventional automobiles, 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. Nevertheless, that is changing, with the limitations and complications of the method becoming more more popular, and the continuous drive among manufacturers 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 addition rely on highly sophisticated control systems. This is to assure that the best amount of efficiency and functionality 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 complex by the need to integrate brand components, differentiate within the market and do everything on a shorter timescale. Engineering teams are on deadline, and the development process must be better and fast-paced than ever before.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to build up drivelines. This technique involves elements and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the organization that lean toward confirmed component-level analysis tools. While these are highly advanced equipment that allow users to extract extremely reliable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that is collected without concern of the whole system.
While this can produce components that all work very well individually, putting them jointly without prior factor of the entire program can create designs that don’t work, resulting in issues in the driveline that are difficult and expensive to correct.