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Predicting transmission whine

01 November 2007

Romax Technology software has been integrated into Ford’s transmission design and development process to provide predictive analysis of automatic transmission gear whine. The move has resulted in a significant reduction of CAE processing time. The software offers integrated tools for NVH and bearings analysis, and transforms the transmission NVH process from a test-based hardware iterative approach to a process focused on up-front design optimisation.

According to Romax, the new process not only provides cost savings by decreasing repetitive hardware testing but, most importantly, makes it possible to design quiet transmissions more accurately than ever before. Furthermore, Romax provides the capability to perform structural analysis of an entire gear train system, including the transmission’s compound planetary gear sets and the axle hypoid gears.

Based on a technical collaboration between Romax and Ford, statistical modules were created that allowed the design team to factor in the manufacturing variability and initial design tolerances as part of the up-front gear whine evaluation process. This provides a valuable insight into the robustness of the gear train design early in the development process.

The Romax software tools support Ford's ‘Design-for-Six-Sigma’ process and have already led to significant quality improvements. Ford has indicated that it will continue to work with Romax to further define and advance the software’s capabilities.

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