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Electronic management of driveline systems. (Mechanical Powertrain Component Report).

Transmissions and axles, especially those installed in heavy vehicles such as dump trucks, carry very heavy loads. A critical element of proper vehicle performance is the ability to transfer power as effectively as possible to the drive wheels. The slip that inevitably occurs with dump truck operation is countered by ZF's new modern driveline management systems.

The brain behind the drive is the electronic control system called ZF- Ergocontrol. This networks and controls vehicle components - typically, engine, retarder, clutches, longitudinal and transverse differential locks and brakes - to ensure the optimum timing for gear changing, ensuring the best use of power in every gear. The control also allows gears to be skipped at high accelerations - i.e., when the vehicle is empty - resulting in the target speed being achieved as quickly as possible. Further developments are underway to engage the retarder and differential locks automatically.

The mechanics of the Ergopower powershift transmission consists of a torque converter close coupled to a countershaft gearbox with integral output transfer gearing. Kick-down and manual override features are included, as is a torque proportioning output differential which transmits drive permanently to all axles and may be locked in difficult traction conditions. Six forward gears and three reverse gears are employed in the transmission.

ZF has also adopted a modular approach to its axle series called ZE- Multitrac. The design features of these components include slim axle housings, small differentials and high ratios in the wheel heads. The modular approach enables both the modern wet multi-disc brake and the dry disc brake to be used with identical wheel heads. The brake management system contains an electronically activated engine brake. Depending on the application, the axles can be fitted with a self-locking differential or engageable differentials. The axles are mounted centrally using spring pad supports, or are pendulum mounted above the center.

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Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:316
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