ZF to launch dual pinion steering systems in China; Electric Power Steering for enhanced safety and automated driving
ZF has secured contracts for its dual pinion steering systems with three domestic Chinese manufacturers.
ZF’s pinion drive electric steering system delivers enhanced fuel economy, advanced functions and will be a key contributor to automated driving.
The dual pinion EPS mechanical configuration is based around a steering rack carrying two sets of teeth. Each set of rack teeth are driven by a separate pinion. Driver input torque is transmitted to the rack via a “steering pinion” and the EPS assistance torque is transmitted to the rack via a “drive pinion”.
The overall cost and performance position of dual pinion EPS means that it is particularly well suited for vehicle applications with a maximum rack force in the range 9 to 12 kN, and so is ideal for the mid-size car and small SUV segments.
Thanks to its clear cost and environmental benefits, dual pinion represents an excellent solution for the Chinese market and globally. The technology can deliver a fuel saving of up to four percent with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions when compared to a conventional hydraulically powered steering system, important considerations as China implements new regulations to meet heightened air quality standards.—Thilo Bitzer, senior vice president, Steering Engineering for ZF
The technology also plays an important role in advanced safety, convenience and in the move toward semi- and fully automated driving due to the electronic control and flexibility of the system. It can be integrated with other systems to yield functions such as park assist and lane keeping assist/lane centering (when combined with ZF camera technology).
ZF first started production of its EPS technology in 2001 and has since produced more than 35 million units for customers worldwide. ZF has produced nearly 10 million electric systems for the Chinese market since launching full production of the technology in China in 2012.