2007 Finalists

2007

  1. Alcoa Wheel Products

    Dura-Bright Wheels with XBR Technology

    Exceptional braking performance is in demand in the heavy trucking industry. Even with advanced systems, this often means excessive brake dust, which can permanently stain and corrode wheels. For the trucking industry, wheel-cleaning is significant in time, effort, and cost. In the automotive market generally, wheels are a critical appearance item. Shine and luster are important to marketing, especially for high performance passenger cars and sedans, as well as for heavy trucks.

    Alcoa’s Dura-Bright forged aluminum wheels represent a winning innovation that not only eliminates the impact of penetrating brake dust but can be cleaned very simply and without harsh chemicals, simply by rinsing with water. Dura-Bright’s finish is actually an integral part of the surface structure of the wheel. This breakthrough chemical compatibility involves a proprietary method of pre-treatment of the aluminum substrate, then an application actually bonds with the aluminum, becoming integrated with the surface.

    Not only has Dura-Bright been designed to meet customer expectations of reflectivity, durability, and “cleanability,” but also with manufacturing in mind. Unlike conventional wheel coatings which use highly toxic chromium compound,, the innovative Dura-Bright process involves no harsh chemicals in either manufacturing or subsequent maintenance. Dura-Bright wheels are safer to manufacture and safer to maintain.

    Alcoa’s Dura-Bright wheels have been sold to all major global commercial truck and trailer OEMs, and several automotive OEMs will introduce Dura-Bright products shortly.

  2. Autoliv ASP, Inc.

    Safety Vent Airbag

    Although airbags save thousands of lives every year, they can be dangerous to children, small females, and out of-position passenger seat occupants, particularly when too close to a deploying airbag. Autoliv’s customers had expressed concern with the cost and reliability of the standard practice of using occupant and weight sensors to detect out-of-position children. They wanted to remove weight sensors and still be able to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS 208.

    Autoliv convened a team of engineers and the Safety-Vent passenger airbag resulted. This airbag incorporates large safety vents which allow gas to be dumped from the inflating airbag when an out-of-position occupant is encountered by the bag. In this case, the airbag deploys relatively slowly, a “low-risk deployment.” Conversely, if an occupant is sitting in a normal position, a safe distance from an inflating airbag, straps inside the airbag pull on drawstrings around the vents to close the openings. The full amount of inflation gas is allowed into the airbag, with no venting. The risk of injuring a child or small adult or out-of-position passenger due to full pressue deployment of an airbag is thus drastically reduced.

    Autoliv’s patented Safety-Vent Airbag is a simple but effective device that automatically and naturally controls the inflating gas during a passenger-side airbag’s deployment. This is a revolutionary and cost-effective solution. Sensors and electronics which are expensive and require complex installation are no longer needed.

    The Autoliv’s Safety-Vent airbag is in use on five DaimlerChrysler platforms launched in 2006, the Grand Cherokee, Commander, Patriot, Sebring Coupe and Avenger. It is in queue for Pacifica and is forecast for 19 passenger platforms over multiple customers in the CY 2006 – 2009.

  3. Federal-Mogul Corporation

    High Temperature Alloy (HTA) Exhaust Gaskets

    Today’s powerful commercial diesel engines, with the performance and reliability demands of modern emissions-legal engines, require a trouble free seal of exhaust gases. The introduction of new, more stringent, emissions requirements has forced adoption of new measures, including exhaust gas recirculation, higher combustion temperatures and pressures, and smaller yet more powerful engines, operating within more compact compartments. Overall, this has led to a rise in exhaust gas temperatures. This has also resulted in engines with advanced on-board diagnostics and continuous monitoring of combustion efficiency. The advent of this “closed system” has raised the exhaust gasket to an entirely new level of importance. Leaking gaskets are simply unacceptable.

    In anticipation of these conditions, Federal-Mogul developed high temperature alloy (HTA) exhaust gaskets engineered to withstand extremely high temperatures. The innovation combines proprietary alloys with an ultra-high temperature coating that stand up to severe sealing conditions. HTA is the only existing solution capable of sealing exhaust systems beyond 550o C. Previous conventional gaskets used stainless steel, graphite, mica, and molybdenum coatings, which cannot perform in these conditions. They either do not seal at low temperatures or fail prematurely. A major benefit derived from the use of HTA gaskets is the reduction of equipment downtime due to failure in the field.

    The importance of this innovation lies not only in the gasket, but in what it allows engine designers to do in terms of higher efficiency, better emissions control, improved fuel economy, and greater reliability. It has gone beyond the root causes of gasket failure. As one customer put it, “the gaskets will be there after the engine dies.” Federal-Mogul is being rewarded in the marketplace for their farsightedness and ingenuity by a growing list of customers who recognize the superior properties of HTA gaskets.

  4. Halla Climate Control Corporation

    Wave Blade Fan & Saw Tooth Shroud

    Large fans are inherently noisier than small ones. Thus larger vehicles must often use two small cooling fans to lessen NVH. Halla’s innovation – wave fan and sawtooth shroud – reduces noise substantially, allowing the preferable use of one large fan. Their unit draws less power, pulls as much or more air, and is cheaper to produce. First used by Hyundai, Halla’s innovation results in a 3.7 db noise reduction, while reducing weight by 1.2 kg and power draw by 70 W in the Sonata.

    Underlying the innovation was careful research and experimentation to understand noise production. Halla’s engineers embedded highly sensitive pressure sensors in the surface of fans to measure the extremely small variations in pressure across a rotating blade. No one had done this before, and over a year just to find an appropriate sensor. Halla’s studies revealed pressure variations no one knew existed that were significant sources of noise, which Halla’s wave-shape fan blade eliminated. Similarly, laser doppler airflow measurements of the backpressure-induced leakage around the fan rim led Halla to develop the sawtooth shroud. Tthis is an exemplary use of empirically driven engineering that led to the redesign of fan blade and shroud, components long considered settled art. Using fundamental understanding of a fan’s noise production, Halla changed the shape of the blade and shroud to eliminate the source. The result is radically different-looking.

    Halla was able to replace the two-fan cooling units previously used on the Hyundai Sonata (and other vehicles) with a single large fan. It is a very noticeable 3.7 db quieter than the two-fan unit it replaced – and 11 db quieter than the comparable-sized module used on some European luxury cars. The resulting NVH advantage allows Halla’s customers to have quieter cars while cutting costs.

  5. Valeo Raytheon Systems, Inc.

    Multi-Beam Radar (MBR) Blind-Zone Radar Sensor

    Studies show that virtually every driver has experienced dangerous incidents or close-calls relating to changing lanes with an unseen, nearby car in the blind spot. Just in the US, blind spot detection errors each year cause 826,000 damaged vehicles, 160,000 injuries;,hundreds of deaths, and over $36 billion in damages.

    Various attempts at solving this problem through multiple technologies have met with limited success due to external conditions, including extreme external temperatures, fog, rain, snow or mud, and false alarms due to proximity to infrastructure such as bridges or guard rails. In addition, technologies with wideband radar are subject to strict European statutory limitations, and eventual banning.

    The joint venture Valeo Raytheon Systems is devoted to designing and manufacturing radar sensor systems for automakers around the world, utilizing Raytheon’s advanced phased array radar technology and Valeo’s knowledge of the automotive industry. Their PACE winning application is for the Multi-Beam Radar for Blind-Spot Detection.

    The core radar technology from Raytheon has undergone massive compression and shift from mechanical to silicon based function. It represents a fundamentally new capability. The key advantage of the technology is that it offers reliable, intuitive guidance with minimal intrusion into the driver’s consciousness, to alert the driver to a vehicle present in a blind spot. The technology offers automaker-programmable detection zones and alert modes. The radar unit is a small box that can be mounted on the inside of fascia or body panels. The radar technology offers promise for additional future safety applications.

    The Multi-Beam Radar is in production for 2007 vehicles for a large North American OEM and is scheduled for production with several other automakers. Valeo Raytheon Systems has shown a commitment to invest in a difficult technological path with confidence that it will win an important long term role in the industry.

  6. BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems GmbH

    The BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems Gasoline Turbocharger with Variable Turbine Geometry

    The performance, NVH performance, and fuel economy advantages of variable-geometry turbines are well understood and have made them a fixture in advanced Diesel engines. However, the longstanding and very significant barriers to translating these benefits to the broader world of gasoline engines were equally well understood. Mainly this is due to the temperature extremes and variations of a gas engine’s exhaust stream. By forging an innovative customer partnership with Porsche and adapting aerospace materials, BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems broke through longstanding barriers and created a winning entry with their VTG variable-geometry gasoline turbo.

    VTG’s ability to optimize intake airflow has enabled significant benefits in acceleration, and effectively broadens an engine’s optimum operating range while moderating the typical “turbo-lag” and waste-gate induced “peaki-ness.” The advantages of variable-geometry turbines have long been sought by gasoline engine builders, but the extreme heat and the extreme variation of heat cycles in a gas engine’s exhaust pushed requirements beyond the limits of traditional materials and production processes. BorgWarner’s VTG is the first time a variable-geometry turbo has ever successfully been installed in a gasoline engine series production vehicle.

    For automakers at large, the benefits of VGT are obvious, that the trend to smaller engines may still be met with good, responsive performance. and its impact in the Diesel market suggests that it will follow the same path. For BorgWarner’s competitors, the bar has clearly been raised, as VTG gives automakers a more flexible solution for optimizing the balance between small engine fuel economy and performance than traditional turbos.

    Variable Turbine Geometry launch is on Porsche’s flagship 2006 911-Turbo (997), and is also slated for several programs in the sub-two-liter class of engines.

  7. Federal-Mogul Corporation

    Federal-Mogul Goetze Diamond Coating

    The evolution of piston rings has necessarily been in the direction of increased sealing against the cylinder wall, accompanied by decreased friction, which means increased sliding properties and reduced scuffing. Trends in engine design have increased demands placed on piston rings, such factors as increased heat, increased pressures, reduced oil viscosity, environmental concerns and regulations, and generally much harsher conditions inside the cylinder overall.

    Piston rings have over time been improved by chromium plating, and then in 1995, Federal-Mogul improved piston ring performance still further with their CKS technology, which embedded nanoparticles of aluminum oxide in microscopic cracks in the chromium surface coating. This allowed Federal-Mogul to become market leader in piston rings worldwide.

    Anticipated market pressures and demands on the performance of piston rings, particularly in Diesel applications, led Federal-Mogul to tackle, in 2003, a hypothetical solution that was “known” in the industry to be impossible. This was to embed diamond nanoparticles in the chrome surface plating through electro-mechanical dispersion. They were nevertheless able to get to volume production of rings with chromium coating, embedding nano-diamonds in microscopic cracks of a layered chromium coating.

    Engines using diamond coated rings are expected to exhibit a 50 to 70% increase in durability, while engine temperatures were simultaneously being raised by 30-80o C., pressure increased to 200 bar, oil consumption reduced by 30%, and blow-by by 20-30%.

    Adoption of the GDC diamond coated rings has included DaimlerChrysler, Volvo, MAN, DAF, and IVECO in Heavy Duty Diesel markets, and DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, and BMW in Light Diesel Vehicle engine applications.

  8. DuPont Automotive Systems

    DuPont EcoConcept

    Automobiles have long required four coats of paint: e-coat, primer, color coat, and clear coat. DuPont’s EcoConcept paint and process enabled Volkswagen de Mexico to eliminate the need for the primer coat, so Volkswagen can now paint a car with three coats, not four. This eliminated one spray booth and the associated oven, which yielded significant savings for Volkswagen, increased profit for DuPont, and decreased volatile emissions from the paint process. EcoConcept is a water-based paint system.

    After long development, DuPont formulated a color coat that adheres directly to the e-coat as it would to a primer, but without it. To prevent separation, they also developed a basecoat additive that greatly attenuates UV transmission through the clear coat and base coat. However, to prevent premature separation from the e-coat, the color coat thickness must be carefully controlled. This paint thickness depends on the color. DuPont established these thicknesses to include a safety factor allowing for variability in the paint application process.

    In Mexico, DuPont developed a laser-based in-line process to measure the “wet” paint thickness on each body, with feedback to adjust the system on subsequent bodies if necessary. This was the final step in making EcoConcept Paint operational.

    The system is in full production in one of the VW Jetta paint shops in the VW Puebla, Mexico, complex, and in the VW paint shop in Pamplona, Spain. It will soon start up in VW South Africa. At present, the plant level of defects from other causes and overall paint rework are about the same as with the old paint system, but the new system has more diagnostics for improvement of paint process quality. The new paint is repairable with no new problems, in dealer body shops.

  9. Behr GmbH & Co. KG

    BehrOxal

    Aluminum HVAC components such as heat exchangers are always damp, and must be surface treated for corrosion protection, to facilitate water run-off, and to prevent growth and propagation of molds and noxious odors. The industry’s record at achieving these essential aims has been checkered at best. What made it worse, the usual process for surface treating aluminum HVAC parts has been “chemical attack,” using a yellow (hexavalent) chromium bath, which is itself environmentally hostile and very toxic.

    Behr, about to build new plants to expand their automotive HVAC business into two new countries, began to experiment with alternative surface treatment approaches, in search of a process that would give better quality and be environmentally satisfactory. In fact, they, like the rest of the industry, were facing strict new EU regulations governing hexavalent chromium.

    Their innovation is a process that operates in a totally different way, heating the work pieces to relatively high temperatures, and then spraying them with a non-toxic aqueous solution. The result is a better-perfoming surface quality, plus the process is now a totally closed-loop system, where the aqueous solution can be reused, resulting in a 90% energy saving, and virtually eliminating the prior effluent waste problem.

    The result for Behr is a big head start with a new industry best-practice that exceeds impending EU regulations, while competition is still dependent upon non-compliant hexavalent chromium or compliant yet toxic treatments for aluminum. BehrOxal has allowed the company to start up two new HVAC lines with far less investment, lower operating costs, and industry new environmental best-practices, giving them an uncompromised future and competitive advantage.

  10. Hirotec America

    E3 Hemming Press

    The manufacture of car doors, hoods, trunks, and other closures made of sheet metal, requires a process known as hemming, utilizing a variety of available presses and hemming dies.

    Automakers are constantly searching for better hemming systems and methods – lower cost, greater flexibility, increased speed, less noise, reduced maintenance. Since this is a primary business sector for Hirotec, they tried a new approach.

    Their innovation, the E3 hemming press, is a revolutionary, electric press. It offers multiple advantages over current, competitive hydraulics presses. The name E3 stands for environment, efficient, and electric.

    Environmentally, the press is quiet, energy-efficient and uses no hydraulics or in-plant compressed air. The lower cost, eight second cycle time, 120 metric ton capacity, easy installation and “plug and play” nature, along with easy maintenance, makes it the most efficient option available. Sheet metal engineers and plant operations managers value the self-contained “robotic style” electric control system.

    Hirotec’s system is ten times more energy efficient than current hydraulic presses doing same job. It uses a simple dual crank shaft driven by two electric motors, eliminating ball screws, which uniquely offers many advantages to high volume sheet metal hemming.

    What was a commodity in the capital equipment business based on price is now a simpler “green” solution at lower cost, with better function and higher flexibility. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are already experiencing the benefits of the new HIROTEC E3 hemming press. Hirotec is now exploring other markets for the E3 press, including plastics and composites processing.

    The system is in full production in one of the VW Jetta paint shops in the VW Puebla, Mexico, complex, and in the VW paint shop in Pamplona, Spain. It will soon start up in VW South Africa. At present, the plant level of defects from other causes and overall paint rework are about the same as with the old paint system, but the new system has more diagnostics for improvement of paint process quality. The new paint is repairable with no new problems, in dealer body shops.

  11. RTT USA, Inc.

    RTT DeltaGen

    The race from concept to customer is a longstanding challenge to all automakers, and speed to market is the key benchmark. By providing a low-cost information technology solution for both accelerating the product development process and translating engineering product data into glossy in-dealership and consumer marketing media, RTT (Munich) has engineered a virtual power tool that is winning in the marketplace.

    RTT’s DeltaGen is a visualization toolset that allows OEMs to develop photo-realistic virtual reality models of vehicles and components straight from existing CAD data. By using RTT DeltaGen, OEMs like Porsche, Audi, Opel, Mercedes-Benz, VW and Lamborghini are able both to drastically cut their use of clay models in vehicle design development, and leverage CAD data into advertising, marketing and point-of-sale materials. By basing DeltaGen on the Windows/Intel architecture, RTT is plugging into a low-cost computing platform that continually redefines its price/performance benchmarks.

    For the automakers, the benefits come in a dramatically increased ability to reuse engineering data across the new vehicle value chain, reducing the time, expense and reliance upon physical models in the development process and actual vehicles or photography in developing sales and marketing material.

    While virtual showrooms have been seen on automaker websites, DeltaGen enables big increases in photo-realism, content density, and time to market advantages. DeltaGen’s ability to enable detailed sales and marketing materials based on engineering data effectively changes the game for product launch strategies, sales training, and point-of-sales product information.

  12. Tenneco Inc.

    Diesel Aftertreatment Predictive Development Process

    Meeting increasingly stringent emission control regulations poses significant technical challenges to manufacturers of Diesel aftertreatment systems. EPA’s standards for 2007 required a 90% reduction in particulate matter, and in the coming years emission standards for both particulates and oxides of nitrogen will be reduced still further.

    In the light duty truck market, the new regulations have tripled the weight of the average exhaust system compared to previous model years, due to increased size and complexity. In addition, traditional methods of exhaust system design required multiple iterations, while identification of performance failures occurred late in the process. That meant costly delays in vehicle development. Tenneco has changed the rules of the game through their successful development and application of proprietary “light tools” for use in design of Diesel aftertreatment emission controls systems.

    Tenneco directed advanced engineering efforts toward meeting the 2007 Diesel emissions regulations in the United States, with the intention of expanding market share. They understood that the complexity of exhaust system design dictated an interdisciplinary approach to modeling and understanding system performance. They developed analytical tools based on fluid dynamics, heat transfer, solid mechanics, and system dynamics and vibrations. Models are continuously improved by the addition of new experimental and field data. These innovative predictive tools allow design engineers to assess the effects of design parameters on exhaust system performance. This innovation requires only a fraction of the time and training it takes to learn and use more complex commercially-available CAD/CAE software packages. Tenneco’s proprietary tools insure cost-effective manufacture and eliminate costly engineering re-work cycles, as well as allowing quick and accurate response to rapidly changing customer demands.

    Tenneco’s “light tools” have allowed their customers to meet stringent emissions requirements on a timely basis. This innovation is directly responsible for Tenneco’s capture of 100% of the 2007 light duty Diesel truck aftertreatment share. It has raised the standard of excellence in Diesel exhaust system design.

  13. Pelion Systems

    Pelion Lean Manufacturing Operating System

    Getting the right amount of product built is not the same as building the right product efficiently. Pelion’s software and visualization tools help factories move away from complex, wasteful production paths. The system helps reduce inventory, labor and premium shipping costs. Pelion uses value stream mapping to identify a plant’s assembly performance and narrows work flow to the best manufacturing path. It allows assembly lines to be redesigned with less complexity and cost, use less floor space and improve productivity. Operations can be modeled and simulated without disrupting existing work flow. It was used first at Ford Motor Co.’s axle plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.

  14. Preh Automotive

    Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) plastics finishing technology

    Preh has developed a low-temperature version of the highly precise vapor deposition process used by semiconductor makers. The process replaces electroplating and results in expensive-looking and durable thin metallic coatings on plastic parts such as knobs or interior panels in cars. Unlike electroplated materials, the PVD-coated parts can be laser-etched to provide illumination projected from backlighting. This allows for illuminated metallic plastic surface finishes without building in extra components such as light guides or tubes. The process was first used on climate control components in 2004 for the 2005-model BMW 5 series and, later, the 6 series.

  15. Linamar Corporation

    Opti-Power

    Crafting tight combustion chambers and consistent, optimum air flow through a cylinder head gets the best performance from high-output engines. Mass-production cast cylinder heads have been too expensive to mill, and so tolerances of as much as plus or minus 1.2 mm have been accepted. Linamar has created a milling process to machine intake and exhaust ports and combustion chambers to tolerances of plus or minus 0.004 mm using 5-Axis CNC contour milling. The price is a fraction of the estimated $2,500-per-cylinder-head cost of custom milling. Engine horsepower and efficiency are substantially increased, while noise, vibration and harshness have gone down. It was first used on the LS-7 V-8 engine used in the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6.

  16. Webasto AG

    Webasto Glass ProTec

    A new, optically clear film and bonding system is helping carmakers use thinner sunroof glass for large, panorama-type windows without endangering car occupants or surrounding traffic. Rooftop windows must be made of tougher glass than windshields, but the choice has been between thick tempered glass or more-rigid but more-breakable laminated glass. Webasto’s product bonds a hard-coated PET plastic film to 3- to 5-mm-thick tempered glass to bring the advantages of both kinds of glass with less weight. The PET film and its special bonding look and act just like glass. But if the sunroof shatters, the film retains the glass shards, and the interior surface remains smooth and intact. First used in late 2005 on Mercedes-Benz S- and R-class models.

  17. PPG Industries, Inc.

    MWPH3900 Air Dry Waterborne Adhesion Promoter

    Under the federal Clean Air Act, automotive paint operations must meet environmental regulations known as Maximum Achievable Control Technology. To help reduce hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds, PPG has created a waterborne, air-dried material that keeps paint topcoats attached to the vehicle despite fuel spills, carwash abrasion and other surface hazards. The adhesion promoter is compatible with both low- and high-bake topcoats and functions without flash baking before topcoat application. It produces no hazardous air pollutants and ultralow levels of volatile organic compounds. The material was first used by Honda at its Marysville, Ohio, and Alliston, Ontario, plants.

  18. ASC Incorporated

    InfiniVu “sunvertible” top system

    A fabric roof that fits between roof rack rails and lets tall SUVs share some of the benefits of convertibles is what ASC calls a “game changer” technology. The system uses a specially developed fabric held on a number of movable cross-vehicle rails. An electrically operated cable drive opens the roof, folding the fabric neatly as the rails move toward the rear or front of the vehicle. The system can also include a removable rear header to allow a larger, pickuplike cargo opening. First use will be on a 2008 North American vehicle.

  19. Dow Automotive

    BETASEAL

    With a primer that includes ultraviolet-resistant chemicals, Dow took a step out of the priming process that prepares windshields and other glass for bonding, saving more than $1 per vehicle. Prior practice spread clear primer around the glass border, then applied UV-resistant “blackout” primer to stop sunlight from weakening the vehicle-glass bond. New federal crash standards for windshields penalize potential errors that might let glass come unstuck, but it used to be hard to tell whether primers were correctly applied. The one-wipe system uses fluorescent materials so assembly-line inspection can easily show full glass priming before adhesive is added. First used in 2006 on the Jeep Liberty.

  20. Federal-Mogul Corporation

    LocatGuard 2700

    Protecting lightweight plastic fuel hoses from wear with a sleeve that stays in the right place through manufacturing and driving is a challenge. Federal-Mogul created a weave for a heat-shrink sleeving material installed on the plastic tubing so that the sleeving stays in place after the fuel tube is formed. The process keeps the sleeving tight to the tube and prevents sleeve ends from fraying. Unlike braided materials in similar applications, LocatGuard is put in place before the fuel tube is shaped, eliminating the need for tape or fasteners to hold the sleeving in place. As a result, an entire step in fuel tube production is eliminated. The product was introduced in 2005 and has appeared on Ford, Renault and PSA engines.

  21. Dow Automotive

    – Fully Structural Blow Molded Seatbacks

    Seat backs must be strong but also light. Dow’s development of a blow-molded structural seat back offers automakers a way to drop pounds without compromising safety or rigidity. The blow-molded plastic component was developed using extensive computer-aided design to meet seat belt pull tests and European luggage retention requirements. Its first use in the 2007 Audi TT split rear seat backs cut more than 2.5 pounds compared with steel seat backs.

  22. Schaeffler Group USA Inc.

    Tandem Ball Bearings Augular- Contact Ball Bearings in Axle Differentials

    Schaeffler has introduced tandem ball bearings to replace tapered roller bearings in axle differentials. Although used in most vehicles, tapered roller bearings suffer from sliding friction — heat and noise caused by the roller end meeting the bearing rib. By using tandem angular ball-bearing assemblies with two ball diameters and two angles of contact, the supplier can improve fuel economy by as much as 1.5%, reduce heat by 15 to 20 degrees Celsius and lower the amount of oil needed in independent differentials. Lower axle temperatures reduce the need for cooling pumps, cooling fins and high-temperature seals. Axles run more quietly because of consistent bearing preload, and their increased rigidity means less chance of backlash or bearing wear affecting the gear mesh. The product first appeared in 2004 in the BMW 1 series and 3 series.

  23. BorgWarner TorqTransfer Systems

    The BorgWarner High Energy ITM3e AWD System

    BorgWarner engineers have matched an all-wheel-drive system to modern safety controls, including electronic stability control. In the process, they created an electronically controlled torque unit that actively manages traction. Using an electric control unit and the vehicle’s CAN data network, the continuously variable awd system can adjust torque to correct understeer, enhance stability and intervene with engine power to optimize performance. An electromagnetic coil operates the primary clutch to modulate input torque from the engine, which is then multiplied by a ball cam mechanism and applied to a multiplate secondary clutch. The unit uses oil circulated by a gerotor pump for self-contained cooling. The active awd system fits in the same space that an ordinary passive torque unit would. It improves performance and stability at high speeds and on low-friction road surfaces. It was first used on the Porsche 911 Turbo, introduced in March 2006.

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