Donfeng partnered with Knorr-Bremse to develop AMT’s for its trucks

Knorr Bremse AMT
Image Source:Knorr Bremse

Dongfeng Motor Group Corporation Ltd., one of the world’s biggest truck manufacturers, is partnering with Knorr-Bremse to develop the automated manual transmission for its new generation of heavy-duty trucks.

This decision will see the two companies prepare the way for automated manual transmissions to continue their triumphant advance in China, the world’s biggest commercial vehicle market. “In Europe, automated manual transmissions have become widely established. They boost active safety by easing the load on the driver, cut fuel consumption by applying an optimized gear shift strategy and reduce clutch wear,” says Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division. “In our joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group we are optimizing our transmission management system to meet the specific requirements of the Chinese market. This puts us in an excellent position to help automated manual transmissions finally achieve a breakthrough in China.”

The transmission management system developed by Knorr-Bremse consists of an electropneumatic gear control unit and clutch actuator, a wide variety of sensors that gather the necessary status data, and an electronic control unit that contributes the gear shift strategy. The complete system is to be produced at the joint venture’s own facility in Shiyan, China. “A vast amount of know-how and expertise goes into developing the transmission management system for a certain type of vehicle,” explains Thorsten Seehars, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems responsible for the Powertrain unit.

Bao Ping Xu, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicles Systems Shanghai and Member of the Board of Directors of Knorr-Bremse Asia-Pacific Holding, adds: “Integrating the system into the vehicle-specific environment and adapting it to the respective transmission requires a high degree of coordination within the international development team.” Along with developing the individual mechatronic modules, another key part of the project is creating the software. The aim here is to always use the ideal gear to keep the engine running in its most efficient operating range for as long as possible and to shift between gears as fast as possible. The shorter the gear shift time, the shorter the interruption of the tractive force and the resulting loss of momentum. Taken together, these two factors make for extremely economical vehicle operation.

Knorr-Bremse DETC Commercial Vehicle Braking Technology, the joint venture between Knorr-Bremse and Dongfeng Motor Group, was founded in 2015. Initially it focused on manufacturing mechanical components such as brake valves and ABS systems, but the range of products it manufactures in China is steadily being expanded to include components for air management and brake control, as well as transmission systems.

At the end of fiscal 2016, the Dongfeng Group had 149,092 employees. In the same year it produced more than three million vehicles, including 369,100 commercial vehicles.

Dongfeng Electronic & Technology Co., Ltd. (DETC) is a subsidiary of Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. (DFG) and is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. DETC owns subsidiaries with sites in Shanghai, Hubei and Guangdong. DFG holds 55 percent of the shares in Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle (DFCV), a joint venture with Volvo that is one of China’s leading manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

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Tata Motors launches AMT (automated manual transmission) equipped buses

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  • Launches AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) technology in fully built Tata Motors buses, ranging from 9-12 meters and a seating capacity of 23 to 54 passengers, at a starting price of Rs. 21 lakhs (ex-showroom New-Delhi)
  • AMT power available in – Manual, Automatic, in Economy and Power Modes
  • Comes with features – Crawler Mode, Hill Hold and Kick down

Taking a step further in developing comfortable mass transportation solutions, Tata Motors today launched AMT technology (Automated Manual Transmission) in its Starbus and Ultra brand of buses, ranging from 12 m and 9m, priced at Rs. 21 lakhs (ex-showroom New Delhi) Developed especially for city applications with heavy traffic, Tata Motors BS 4 compliant AMT buses and are available in multiple variants, for diverse applications.
The Tata AMT buses come with Manual and Automatic with Economy and Power modes. In power mode, the Automatic Gear Detection (AGD) emphasizes sufficient engine torque capability, to maintain agility and drivability even in case of demanding duty cycles, while the economy mode ensures optimal fuel consumption.
The AMT technology of the bus coupled with a powerful new generation engine, automatically engages the vehicle’s clutch and shifts the gear. It also considers the driver’s operation, engine torque, vehicle load and road inclination, resulting in optimized gear shifting and hassle -free driving experience.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director – Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “Tata Motors has always led the transformation in the Indian Commercial Vehicle Industry with the introduction of innovative new products and services and the launch of our range of AMT buses is yet another example of how best we understand our customers. Having developed the AMT technology for our buses with WABCO, we will continue to work with partners like them to develop and introduce products with best-in-class value proposition, delivering world-class solutions for the Indian customer.”
Dr. Ajit Kumar Jindal, Head Engineering, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “At Tata Motors, we constantly engage with our stakeholders to develop and integrate new and future-ready technologies for our broad spectrum of commercial vehicles, that enhances connectivity, safety and fuel economy. With rapid urbanization and environmental concerns, there is an increasing focus towards efficient public transportation. As the cities get congested, especially during peak hours, the average speed of the vehicle is drastically reduced with frequent start stop, causing delays, discomfort for passengers and drivers and more so cuts down on the fuel economy of the vehicle. The new AMT buses from Tata Motors will address these issues, also bringing down the TCO.”
Tata Motors is one of the country’s largest bus manufacturers, with the most complete range of transit vehicles that meets every need, arising from day-to-day travel. It has continued to be a leader in this segment not just by setting technological benchmarks, but by also adapting innovations effectively to suit Indian travel conditions.

•Releases driver from gearshift and clutch operations
•Increases driver comfort
•Optimized and automatically operated gearshifts
•Comes with Hill Start Aid function to provide to allow smooth take off without rollback
•Also comes equipped with Crawler mode

With a whole range of coach designs, e.g. microbus, intercity and touring coaches, luxurious inter-city travel options, to safe transport choices for school going children, Tata Motors is best suited to cater to customers’ needs with an entire gamut of day-to-day mass passenger transport solutions. The company continues to be a leader in this segment not just by setting technological benchmarks, but also by adapting innovations effectively to suit Indian travel conditions. The company continues to actively participate in the development and implementation of solutions for mass passenger transport in the key markets across the world.

About Tata Motors:
Tata Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of INR 2,75,561 crores (USD 41.6 billion) in 2015-16. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India.  With over 9 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country’s market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top in passenger vehicles. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, Australia, CIS and Russia.
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