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Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Likelihood of Binding in Distorted Stepped Radius Cylinder Bores

Interference assessments of a stepped-radius power-train component moving within a deformed stepped bore often arise during engine and transmission development activities. For example, when loads are applied to an engine block, the block distorts. This distortion may cause a cam or crankshaft to bind or wear prematurely in its journals as the part rotates within them. Within an automatic transmission valve body, care must be taken to ensure valve body distortion under oil pressure, assembly, and thermal load does not cause spool valves to stick as they translate within the valve body. In both examples, the mechanical scenario to be assessed involves a uniform or stepped radius cylindrical part maintaining a designated clearance through a correspondingly shaped but distorted bore. These distortions can occur in cross-sections (“out-of-round”) or along the bore (in an “s” or “banana” shaped distortions).
Journal Article

Development of Additional SAE J2643 Standard Reference Elastomers

The first set of SAE J2643 Standard Reference Elastomers (SRE) was developed in 2004. It was composed of a group of 10 compounds covering multiple elastomer families. Since then, more advanced materials from many elastomer families have been introduced to the automotive industry. The purpose of this study is to add a few more reference compounds to SAE J2643, to enhance the portfolio on FKM, AEM and ACM to reflect advancements in elastomer technology, and make it suitable for a variety of fluids, such as transmission fluid and engine oil. Fourteen standard elastomer compounds were involved in this study, covering various materials currently used in automotive powertrain static and dynamic sealing applications. Participants include OEMs, major rubber manufacturers, a fluid additive company and an independent lab. Manufacturers of each test compound provided formulations, designated ingredients from defined sources, and detailed mixing and molding procedures.