Active roll control from Schaeffler
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Schaeffler is the first manufacturer to put electro-mechanical active roll control into volume production.
This innovative system replaces the previous standard hydraulic stabilizers that minimize the rolling motion of the vehicle body when going around curves, or during quick evasive manoeuvres. The design developed by Schaeffler, also helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions and make vehicle assembly more straightforward. The pioneering technology was also made possible thanks to a sophisticated control solution from Continental, the specialist responsible for the ECU, the engine control system, and the software platform.
The electro-mechanical active roll control is integrated into the vehicle’s system network in such a way that it not only increases driving stability in curves, but also driving comfort on straight stretches. This is possible because of a camera monitoring and constantly scanning of the road surface in front of the vehicle. If any bumps, such as a manhole cover, are detected in the road surface ahead, the system briefly raises the corresponding wheel, thereby permitting a comfortable ride.
Standard hydraulic systems have the drawback that they are a permanent energy drain even when not engaged, since continuous pumping power is required to maintain the operational pressure. This permanent energy loss is not the case with electro-mechanical systems. The Schaeffler developed solution adjusts the stabilizing torque as needed, without the requirement for a constant energy supply. The key to this is the electric motor, which only consumes power when the swivel actuator twists and creates torque. To keep the torque at a constant level, only a relatively low loss of electrical resistance has to be compensated for.
To launch volume production for the new system, Schaeffler has built completely new production facilities at its Schweinfurt location. The first volume production applications will be in the luxury car market but the technology will filter down to more mainstream vehicles quickly.