Torotrak and Univance enter cooperation and license agreement for variator components and assemblies
Gearless traction drive company Torotrak PLC has signed a cooperation and licence agreement with Univance Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of passenger and industrial vehicle transmission units and other automotive parts headquartered in Japan. The new non–exclusive license agreement allows Univance to develop, manufacture and supply core variator components (discs and rollers) and variator assemblies to Torotrak licensees.
Univance has committed to substantial investment to support the development and initial industrialisation of core component manufacture. Torotrak will contribute its engineering support and intellectual property and knowhow; in return, it will earn an effective revenue share on all sales of Torotrak related parts or sub assemblies.
The agreement also supports a joint marketing program and provides for the supply of components and systems branded under the Torotrak name.
The arrangement supports the industrialization of Torotrak technology in both the commercial vehicle (on- and off-highway) markets, as well as the passenger car markets. It allows a reliable production source of cost-effective and quality validated parts or sub assemblies.
Prior to this new agreement, Torotrak had been working with Univance on a shared cost basis over the last two years to develop production processes for the manufacture of discs and rollers. Univance has developed its processes over several iterations and Torotrak has been testing the components produced on its dedicated rigs at Leyland. Univance has reached full conformity within 12 months.
During the year, at Univance’s request, Torotrak specified, built, commissioned, validated and supplied bespoke test equipment, along with the necessary technical transfer. This enables Univance to conduct their own internal research and development programs looking at cost-reduced disc and roller manufacturing techniques and processes.
At the same time, Torotrak has continued with the on-going joint development program to reduce substantially the cost of manufacturing, material and heat treatment processes. Torotrak has also made further improvements to the already excellent contact fatigue life and robustness of its variator.
In addition to application in gearless traction drive systems, Torotrak’s variable-drive technology is also being developed for superchargers, engine auxiliary applications. It also enables energy to be recovered efficiently through flywheels, improving fuel economy.
Major customers of Univance are: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Motor Corporation; JATCO Ltd; CNH America LLC (USA), Mazda Motor Corporation; UD Trucks Corporation; Isuzu Motors Limited; Kayaba Industry Co., Ltd.; Buhler Versatile Inc. (Canada); Aichi Machine Industry Co.,Ltd.; Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; AISHIN AW CO., LTD.; Yutaka Giken Co., Ltd.; Exedy Corporation; Nissan Shatai Co., Ltd.; Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.; Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd.; and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.