February 11, 2020

All of the transmissions available for sale today has grown exponentially in the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The effect is usually that we are actually dealing with a varied amount of transmission types including manual, regular automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, continuously variable, split power and genuine EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle producers largely had two types of transmission to select from: planetary automated with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, nevertheless, the volume of options avaiable demonstrates the changes seen across the industry.

This is also illustrated by the countless various kinds of vehicles now being manufactured for the market. And not just conventional automobiles, but also all electrical and hybrid automobiles, with each type requiring different driveline architectures.

The traditional development process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and the rest of the powertrain and vehicle. However, this is changing, with the limitations and complications of the method becoming more widely recognized, and the constant drive among producers 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. That is to assure that the best degree of efficiency and functionality is delivered at all times. 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 need to integrate brand elements, differentiate within the marketplace and do it all on a shorter timescale. Engineering groups are on deadline, and the development process must be better and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to develop drivelines. This technique involves parts and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the business that lean toward proven component-level analysis tools. While they are highly advanced equipment that enable users to extract extremely dependable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that’s collected without thought of the complete system.

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