Chang­ing gears for the auto fu­ture

En­gines and trans­mis­sions are talk­ing to each other

Big Rigs - - DRIVE LINE FEATURE -

MUCH is hap­pen­ing now in terms of con­nect­ing the in­creas­ingly con­verg­ing tech­nolo­gies of the man­ual gear­box and the au­to­matic gear­box to a fast ap­proach­ing world dom­i­nated by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

In April the ‘power man­age­ment’ com­pany Ea­ton and ‘global power leader’ Cum­mins an­nounced an agree­ment to form a joint ven­ture for au­to­mated trans­mis­sions for heavy-duty and medium-duty com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

The new joint ven­ture will be named Ea­ton Cum­mins Au­to­mated Trans­mis­sion Tech­nolo­gies. Cum­mins and Ea­ton will each own 50%.

“Cus­tomers are fo­cused on pow­er­train so­lu­tions that pro­vide the best com­bi­na­tion of tech­nol­ogy, per­for­mance and qual­ity,” Ea­ton CEO Craig Arnold said.

“Our joint ven­ture with Cum­mins will lever­age the tech­ni­cal strengths and ex­pe­ri­ence of two in­dus­try lead­ers with long his­to­ries and deep in­dus­try ex­per­tise to pro­vide su­pe­rior au­to­mated trans­mis­sion tech­nol­ogy for our global cus­tomers.”

“Our growth strat­egy in­cludes ex­pand­ing our prod­uct of­fer­ings and ex­tend­ing our global foot­print by be­com­ing the world’s lead­ing pow­er­train sup­plier,” Cum­mins CEO Tom Linebarger said.

“Our joint ven­ture with Ea­ton will de­liver the most ad­vanced au­to­mated trans­mis­sions and de­velop an in­te­grated pow­er­train and ser­vice net­work that sup­ports our cus­tomers like never be­fore.

“We will use our ex­pe­ri­ence in part­ner­ships and tech­no­log­i­cal ex­per­tise to en­sure suc­cess.”

The global joint ven­ture will pro­vide cus­tomers with in­dus­try-lead­ing trans­mis­sion tech­nolo­gies and so­lu­tions that de­liver fuel ef­fi­ciency, per­for­mance and up­time and will be de­liv­ered by the Cum­mins and Ea­ton global ser­vice and sup­port net­works.

The joint ven­ture will de­sign, as­sem­ble, sell and sup­port all fu­ture medium-duty and heavy-duty au­to­mated trans­mis­sions for the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle mar­ket.

Ea­ton’s cur­rent medium-duty au­to­mated trans­mis­sion, Pro­ci­sion, and next gen­er­a­tion heavy-duty au­to­mated trans­mis­sions will be part of the ven­ture.

On the Euro­pean scene, Ger­man-based trans­mis­sion spe­cial­ists ZF launched their next gen­er­a­tion heavy duty au­to­mated gear­box, the TraXon, in late 2016.

It de­buted in Aus­tralia at the Bris­bane Truck Show this year.

ZF’s TraXon au­to­mated trans­mis­sion is the first in the world to of­fer a mod­u­lar de­sign. It meets the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle mar­ket’s re­quire­ments for a ver­sa­tile, flex­i­ble so­lu­tion.

Its mod­u­lar de­sign en­ables the ba­sic trans­mis­sion to be com­bined with var­i­ous set­ting-off and shift mod­ules, mak­ing TraXon more eco­nom­i­cal in prac­tice and giv­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers and op­er­a­tors the best pos­si­ble flex­i­bil­ity for ev­ery ap­pli­ca­tion.

Its com­pact, ro­bust de­sign and the claimed high­est trans­mis­sion ef­fi­ciency in its cat­e­gory com­bine to make TraXon de­liver ex­cel­lent cost ef­fec­tive­ness.

It is avail­able with 12 or 16 for­ward gears and as di­rect drive or over­drive ver­sions with up to four re­verse gears, and is suit­able for torque re­quire­ments up to 3400Nm.

The in­te­grated ZF-In­tarder aux­il­iary brake re­duces the wear of the ser­vice brakes and in­creases safety. The wear-free In­tarder pro­vides ad­di­tional safety since it re­duces the load on the ser­vice brakes with up to 4000Nm of brak­ing torque.

Re­cov­ered brak­ing en­ergy

❝ The joint ven­ture will sup­port all fu­ture au­to­mated trans­mis­sions...

can be used to power large aux­il­iaries such as cool­ing sys­tems.

TraXon also fea­tures ZF’s in­no­va­tive elec­tron­ics in­clud­ing soft­ware, com­bin­ing PreVi­sion GPS as well as a rolling and ‘rock­the-ve­hi­cle-free’ func­tion.

PreVi­sion GPS is the com­bi­na­tion of trans­mis­sion and GPS which makes it pos­si­ble to fac­tor in up­hill and down­hill gra­di­ents in ad­vance for the se­lec­tion of gearshift points, pro­vid­ing an an­tic­i­pa­tory GPS-based gearshift­ing strat­egy.

Trans­mis­sions will prob­a­bly al­most dis­ap­pear from the driver’s en­vi­ron­ment and be­come just an­other com­po­nent ‘down there’ and the slick skills of gear chang­ing will be­come his­toric be­hav­iour.

PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED

GO­ING FAST: Trans­mis­sions will dis­ap­pear from the driver’s en­vi­ron­ment just as so many other con­trols have.

In the TraXon trans­mis­sion, the in­te­grated aux­il­iary brake re­duces wear on ser­vice brakes.

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