Dana Holding Corporation has unveiled the results of ongoing field tests of the company’s VariGlide™ technology, a revolutionary new transmission design that incorporates continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology.

Dana engineers have confirmed performance and positioning improvements following hundreds of hours of functional evaluation and dynamometer testing on a standard-sized 2.2-tonne (2.5-ton) forklift truck equipped with VariGlide technology operating in a typical pick-and-place duty cycle.  High-fidelity drive-cycle simulations have indicated fuel economy improvements exceeding 20 percent in certain duty cycles. The improvement in fuel economy and performance resulting from the use of this patented, planetary traction drive would enable a payback period in fewer than 18 months.

“VariGlide technology shows considerable promise for delivering substantial gains in fuel economy while supporting superior performance in real-world working environments,” said Aziz Aghili, president of Dana Off-Highway Driveline Technologies.  “Our testing has led us to begin collaborating with original-equipment manufacturers to validate the performance of VariGlide technology in their individual equipment configurations.”

Developed through a strategic licensing relationship with Fallbrook Technologies Inc., VariGlide technology can replace the torque converter in some transmission configurations to decouple engine speed from the vehicle’s travel or working speed.  Ideal for the rapid acceleration, deceleration, and precise positioning required by material-handling applications, it also eliminates the need for forward and reverse clutches while reducing overall engine speeds, allowing the engine to operate at its optimum efficiency level and reduce noise levels.

VariGlide technology will be offered as a pre-assembled module providing a standard powersplit configuration for forklift truck transmissions produced by original-equipment manufacturers.  Dana will also implement VariGlide technology in a premium configuration optimized to supply further fuel efficiency and productivity gains in select Spicer® powershift transmissions.

Through a unique variator design configuration that delivers unparalleled power-path flexibility and no abrupt ratio changes, VariGlide technology provides an infinite number of gear ratios for improved shifting, driver comfort, durability, scalability, and efficiency when compared with conventional continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).

Dana is also developing its VariGlide CVP technology for the light-vehicle market.  Incorporated into the existing packaging space of a standard automatic transmission, this configuration is an enhanced alternative to dual clutch and conventional CVTs.  VariGlide technology provides today’s light vehicles with up to 20 percent fuel savings, improved NVH, smoother shifting, high performance, and responsive engine operation.

The CVP technology used by VariGlide has undergone more than 70,000 hours of durability testing, and leverages more than 700 U.S. and international patents and patent applications.  In addition to forklift trucks, it is optimal for telescopic boom handlers, front-end loaders, skid steer loaders, and compact utility tractors.



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