Continental is supplying the transmission control unit (TCU), sensor cluster unit (SUU), and application software for Great Wall Motor’s (GWM) seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT). The new 7DCT transmission is Great Wall’s first in-house developed automatic transmission; the new GWM luxury brand “WEY” now is equipped with this this newly-developed 7DCT.
Dual clutch transmissions (DCTs) have become popular in the Chinese automobile market, because drivers benefit from improved fuel efficiency, smooth gear shifting and increased overall vehicle performance. Most manufacturers of the popular sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are concentrating on improving driving dynamics by using automated transmissions. DCTs are particularly suited for this goal as they provide an uninterrupted power flow even during shifting.
|The controller is based on a 32 bit microprocessor and is engineered in China with support from Europe. Click to enlarge.|
Continental has been advancing DCT control since the end of the 1990s. The first DCT was successfully launched worldwide in 2003. The Continental transmission control system for GWM consists of an attached-to TCU and a sensor cluster integrated into the transmission. This solution ensures high quality requirements while at the same time offering excellent cost efficiency.
Both transmission control unit and sensor cluster went into mass production in April at the Continental Tianjin plant. This is the first time that Continental developed a complete system in close partnership with a Chinese OEM. The successful market introduction was achieved in only 3 years.
The TCU software controls hydraulic valves that actuate gears and clutches. To achieve best fuel economy, an electric oil pump is also controlled and actuated according to an efficient power-on-demand principle.
The EAST TCU is designed as an electronic platform, which can monitor and control continuously variable transmissions (CVT), wet double-clutch transmissions (DCT), hydraulic and electric automated manual transmissions (AMT) as well as traditional step-automatic transmissions (AT). In future, the TCU will be able to cover hybrid powertrains via additional software functionality.
Another key part of the system is Continental’s sensor cluster, which provides relevant information to the TCU about gear positions, speed of shafts as well as oil temperature, all of which are necessary to control the system. The sensor cluster is a transmission-integrated module increasing the robustness of the overall sensor system. This is achieved by reducing the number of electrical connections compared to stand alone sensor solutions and integrated protection against electromagnetic interference. The cluster is designed and manufactured with injection molding technology using an integrated lead frame instead of wires.