The variety of transmissions available for sale today has grown 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 tranny types including manual, regular automatic, automatic manual, dual clutch, continually adjustable, split power and natural EV.
Until extremely recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of transmitting to pick from: planetary automated with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, however, the volume of choices available demonstrates the adjustments seen over the industry.
That is also illustrated by the countless various kinds of vehicles now being manufactured for the market. And not simply conventional automobiles, but also all electrical and hybrid automobiles, with each type needing different driveline architectures.
The traditional development process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and the rest of the powertrain and vehicle. Nevertheless, this is changing, with the restrictions and complications of the method becoming more more popular, and the continuous drive among manufacturers 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 ensure that the best degree of efficiency and functionality is delivered all the time. Manufacturers are under increased 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 necessity to integrate brand elements, differentiate within the marketplace and do it all 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 typical way to develop drivelines. This process involves parts and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the business that lean toward tested component-level analysis tools. While these are highly advanced equipment 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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