Dana Adds More Options For Downspeed Powertrains
Steve Slesinski, Dana’s director of global product planning and commercial vehicle driveline technologies, believes that the downspeeding trend is likely to stay and the company will now be incorporating their efforts towards downspeeding powertrains in an aggressive manner.
Speaking at the Technology & Maintenance Council spring meeting, he was reported declaring, “Downspeeding is here to stay.” He proved this point by stating that with every 100 rpm slowdown in engines, a 1% gain in fuel efficiency is translated as a result. Dana plans to expand and offer more products and customized services to manage the augmented torque a drivetrain downspeeding produces. Drivetrain torque is increased by 36% whenever the ratios of rear axles are moved from 3.55 to 2.26, Steve said.
With fewer components and easy installation, Dana at TMC, also announced its newly designed driveshaft to sustain downspeeding. Steve also stated that the new product weighs about 30 lbs less than other standard products, enabling trouble-free maintenance for OEM customers and end users. Mark Wallace, the executive vice president of Dana, announced that the new driveshaft will lower the axle ratios from 2.26 to 1.
“Engine downspeeding is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each OEM implements this efficiency-boosting strategy in its own way, resulting in very specific torque-handling requirements. This next-generation driveshaft is the result of our continuous drive to deliver flexible solutions to meet each customer’s unique needs while further reducing weight and improving efficiency in our products,” he said.
Wallace also stated that OEMs can avail the opportunity for a pre-production evaluation is they want to.
Talking about the benefits of downspeeding, Wallace stated, “The benefits of engine downspeeding are undeniable, and we are partnering with industry leaders to advance this efficiency-boosting technology.” He further stated that, “Our joint collaboration with Cummins and Eaton allows Dana to take a comprehensive systems approach, examining the integration of all components throughout the vehicle in an effort to fully optimize performance and make further drivetrain enhancements.”
In the end, Slesinski also highlighted that further developments and innovations are on the way. These oncoming downspeeding technologies includes dual range disconnect axles which can easily be converted into a 6×2 motion to allow downspeeding up to 900 rpm. This is sufficient to provide an additional saving of 2% to 5% of overall fuel consumption. This dual range axle has been in the making for the past four years and many truck manufacturers are conducting tests to ensure its proper functionality.
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