Modern transmissions do a lot to help cut fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. They are defined by a large number of well-stepped speeds and broad spacing – yet every additional component takes its toll on costs, weight and package. In generating transmission structures, we use software we have developed ourselves to examine all potential topology combinations – several billion or even trillion of them – for automatic planetary transmissions, countershaft transmissions as well as continuously variable transmissions with several drive positions – and find the optimum solution under the given boundary conditions. This way, for instance, we have developed an eight-speed automatic planetary transmission and a nine-speed hybrid dual-clutch transmission for front-transverse applications that manage with a minimum of components. Besides transmissions, we also simulate coolant and lubricant circuits at the beginning of the design phase and make sure all requirements are met with minimum energy input.
Computation and simulation for “virtual releases”
Our objective in computing and simulating entire powertrains is to put you in the picture as early as possible on vibrational and acoustic behavior, life span and mileage – long before the initial hardware is available. We do so using 1D simulations, followed later on by 3D simulations. Particularly in the early phases, we use our own Engineering Toolbox that lets us define layout without CAD data. We are also constantly working on improving methods to make “virtual releases” feasible – with the aim of reaching the ideal of only needing to subsequently confirm results on the test bench.