The variety of transmissions available for sale today is continuing to grow exponentially within the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The result can be that we are actually coping with a varied number of transmitting types including manual, regular automatic, automatic manual, dual clutch, consistently variable, split power and 100 % pure EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle producers largely had two types of tranny to choose from: planetary automatic with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, nevertheless, the volume of choices available demonstrates the changes seen over the industry.
That is also illustrated by the countless different types of vehicles now being produced for the marketplace. And not merely conventional vehicles, but also all electric and hybrid automobiles, with each type needing 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, that is changing, with the restrictions and complications of this method becoming more more popular, and the constant drive among producers and designers to provide optimal efficiency at decreased weight and cost.
New powertrains feature close integration of components like the prime mover, recovery systems and the gearbox, and also rely on highly sophisticated control systems. That is to ensure that the best amount of efficiency and functionality is delivered at all times. Manufacturers are under increased pressure to create powertrains that are completely new, different from and much better than the last version-a proposition that’s made more complex by the need to integrate brand elements, differentiate within the marketplace and do it all 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 usage of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to build up drivelines. This process involves parts and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the organization that lean toward proven component-level analysis equipment. While they are highly advanced tools that allow users to extract extremely reliable and accurate data, they remain presenting data that is collected without account of the whole system.
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