Weifang Shengrui Power Machinery Technology Company has contracted Ricardo to collaborate on developing a technically advanced and globally competitive 8-speed automatic transmission (8AT) for manufacture in China. The team of Ricardo and Weifang Shengrui engineers will be based on site both at Ricardo Shanghai and Ricardo’s UK Midlands Technical Centre.
Weifang Shengrui Power Machinery Technology Co Ltd is a successful independently held supplier of engine components to the automakers and engine builders in the domestic Chinese market as well as to the leading manufacturers of Europe. The company has set its strategy of expansion into transmissions and hybrid powertrain components and systems.
As a first step in this process it has acquired a development and production licence for an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission concept proposed by leading transmission specialist, Professor Peter Tenberge, director and chair of machine elements in the faculty of mechanical engineering at Chemnitz University, Germany.
The 8AT transmission concept uses a combination of epicyclic and parallel axis gearing in which three simple planetary gears are used together with a single brake and four clutch units. Key advantages of this new 8-speed transmission concept include:
- Simple arrangement requiring no special gear design or manufacture;
- The potential for excellent shift quality;
- A compact design providing significant packaging benefits;
- Flexibility for further adaptation for four-wheel drive or integration with hybrid powertrain systems.
The production version of the new Weifang Shengrui 8AT transmission is planned for manufacture in late 2011.