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Innovative power train solutions result in improved vehicle refinement and better energy efficiency Analysis results figure of the Ford 6-speed transmission and drivetrain
Innovative power train solutions result in improved vehicle refinement and better energy efficiency
Innovative power train solutions result in improved vehicle refinement and better energy efficiency

Powertrain refinements

  • Innovative power train solutions result in improved vehicle refinement and better energy efficiency

A 15-year collaboration between Loughborough researchers and the Ford Motor Company has improved automotive powertrain design resulting in improved vehicle refinement and enhanced driver experience.

The partnership has addressed the conflict between the drive for greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions with the desire for ever-greater performance – a situation that invariably results in design modifications late in the manufacturing process.

The research investigated the causes of three noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues related to drive trains – clutch in-cycle vibration (whoop), driveline elasto-acoustic response (clonk) and transmission rattle.

The findings have brought about a systematic and cost-effective approach to engine design that greatly reduces these problematic phenomena, obviating the need for costly late-stage trouble-shooting remedial action or potential vehicle recalls.

Since 2004, Ford has adopted the research solutions in a range of their models and reported production cost savings of $10m over five years as well as 5% fuel efficiency gains and significantly improved noise and vibration refinement.

The research findings have been published in a number of international journals, and cited and/or adopted globally by automotive companies including Mitsubishi, Japan; AVL, Slovenia; DAF Trucks, Netherlands; and Valeo Transmissions, France.

Impact

  • REDUCED PRODUCTION COSTS 

    Ford has reported production cost savings of $10m over five years.

  • JOB CREATION 

    Ford has invested £240m in its engine and transmission work at Bridgend, creating 600 jobs.

  • FUEL EFFICIENCIES 

    Reductions in transmission rattle have led to 5% fuel efficiency gains and significantly improved vehicle refinement.

  • GLOBAL IMPACT 

    The research findings have been widely cited or adopted globally by automotive companies including Mitsubishi, Japan; AVL, Slovenia; DAF Trucks, Netherlands; and Valeo Transmissions, France.