A Design for Six Sigma Approach to Optimize a Front-Wheel-Drive Transmission for Improved Efficiency and Robustness
Environmental concerns and government regulations are factors that have led to an increased focus on fuel economy in the automotive industry. This paper identifies a method used to improve the efficiency of a front-wheel-drive (FWD) automatic transmission. In order to create improvements in large complex systems, it is key to have a large scope, to include as much of the system as possible. The approach taken in this work was to use Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) methodology. This was done to optimize as many of the front-wheel-drive transmission components as possible to increase robustness and efficiency. A focus of robustness, or consistency in torque transformation, is as important as the value of efficiency itself, because of the huge range of usage conditions. Therefore, it was necessary to find a solution of the best transmission component settings that would not depend on specific usage conditions such as temperatures, system pressures, or gear ratio.