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Dana presenting VariGlide beltless transmission technology at International VDI Conference

Dana Holding Corporation will present its VariGlide planetary variator for beltless continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) at the International VDI Conference, to be held 21-22 June 2016, in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Dana’s VariGlide technology features a unique planetary, coaxial configuration, which eliminates belts and pulleys used in conventional CVTs. In addition to providing fuel economy benefits relative to 6-, 8-, and 9-speed transmissions, the VariGlide variator has the potential to improve fuel economy by up to 10% when compared with conventional CVTs with belts.

In 2012, Dana formed a strategic relationship with Fallbrook Technologies Inc. under which Fallbrook licensed its NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology to Dana (earlier post).

VariGlide uses a set of spinning balls fitted between an input disc, driven by the engine, and an output disc, which transfers power from the variator to the drive axle. As power enters the input disc, the balls shift on their axes and change contact ratios, depending on engine demands and controller input. This allows the VariGlide variator to provide shifting that is smooth, fast, and controlled.

To efficiently transfer torque, a thin layer of traction fluid flows between the balls. This traction fluid becomes momentarily rigid, allowing the torque to transfer between the balls and discs without slipping. With numerous powerpaths and no abrupt ratio changes, VariGlide technology provides an infinite number of gear ratios for improved shifting, driver comfort, and even greater efficiency when compared to automatic transmissions and CVTs.

VariGlide offers superior NVH characteristics through its smooth and seamless operation. The scalable nature of the technology provides solutions for vehicle architectures ranging from subcompacts to pickups and internal combustion to hybrid powertrains. The ability to support more than 300 powerpath configurations provide OEMs the unique opportunity to customize transmission solutions for specific applications and markets to align with critical attribute needs.

Developed as a modular, bolt-in solution, the VariGlide variator provides a highly flexible, highly adaptable, power-dense solution that easily integrates into existing front-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, and rear-wheel-drive vehicle configurations with the added ability to support towing.

With more than 70,000 hours of durability testing accumulated on the core technology, the VariGlide variator provides OEMs a superior and robust CVT technology. The VariGlide variator functions without the need for a high-pressure pump and associated complex supporting control system. It also protects against traditional CVT slip-related damage.

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