Power windows were once a tony option on cars; now they’re standard equipment. The same shift may be on the verge of taking place with suspension systems. At the recent Vehicle Dynamics Expo, held in Novi, MI, Wabco introduced a new line of high- and medium-power compressors for electronically controlled air suspension systems, specifically designed for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
These systems, which originally appeared in BMW’s high-end 7 series cars, adjust constant vehicle ride height, even when the vehicle is fully loaded. This increases vehicle safety and enhances passenger comfort, the company said in a statement. The first generation of these compressors appeared in the rear axle air suspension in the new BMW 7 series. The newly announced compressor series is designed to improve suspension performance, while at the same time making air suspension systems potentially more affordable for end-users. “From 2000 to 2008, the global demand for air suspension systems for passenger cars has nearly tripled and we expect continued growth in this market,” said Daniel Samson, Wabco vice president car systems and products, said in the statement. “In addition, original equipment manufacturers seek to increase fuel efficiency further by introducing the air suspension function, which improves vehicle aerodynamics by appropriately lowering the vehicle body at high speeds.”
Lithium-ion battery prices will drop rapidly over the next 10 years, setting the stage for plug-in vehicles to reach 5%-10% of total automotive sales by the mid- to late-2020s, according to a new study.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
A recent Design News-exclusive study proves that engineering professionals are at the very forefront of this push into the future and making direct financial, performance, and value impact on their organizations by being personally involved or final decision-makers on automation solution and component choices.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.