Innovation for Comfortable Rides

As the pursuit of greater fuel efficiency, whether it’s for achieving miles-per-gallon increases or carbon dioxide emissions decreases, continues with seeming increased vigor, it seems as though “energy on demand” is something of a mantra, whether this means providing energy to throttle response or simply to provide what’s needed to actuate something only when needed.

As the pursuit of greater fuel efficiency, whether it’s for achieving miles-per-gallon increases or carbon dioxide emissions decreases, continues with seeming increased vigor, it seems as though “energy on demand” is something of a mantra, whether this means providing energy to throttle response or simply to provide what’s needed to actuate something only when needed.

Wankstabilisator (000993D1)

Case in point of the latter is an electromechanical active roll control system developed by Schaeffler AG that recently won a “2016 German Innovation Award” but, more importantly, is being used in two luxury vehicles, a sedan and an SUV, which we’re guessing are from Germany, given that production of the units is occurring in a plant in Schweinfurt, Germany.

The system consists of a gearbox, control motor, and an integrated torque sensor. The control motor has a high-ratio, three-stage planetary gearbox that twists the two halves of the roll control in opposite directions so as to create sufficient torque to stabilize the vehicle body. The non-contact torque sensor provides input to the control motor quickly to help assure that roll motions of the vehicle are quickly mitigated.

Unlike hydraulic systems, the electromechanical system’s electric motor is powered only when it needs to twist the actuator and that once torqued, only a relatively low electrical loss of resistance must be compensated for in order to maintain the moment. Which means that energy is deployed strictly on demand.

While there is plenty of attention given to large electrical motors for vehicles, the number of fractional kW motors is gaining tremendous traction in all areas of the vehicle. Certainly the Schaeffler system is innovative, but with the proliferation of motors in place of things like hydraulic pumps, it will very soon become more the norm.