TROY, Mich., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Schaeffler Technologies AG – a global automotive manufacturer of high-precision products and systems for engines, transmissions and chassis applications – was named a 2012 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Award winner for its UniAir fully variable valve lift system during an award ceremony held April 23 in Detroit. Schaeffler was one of 16 companies honored with the prestigious award that recognizes automotive suppliers for superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance.
Additionally, the company, together with Fiat Powertrain and the Chrysler Group, received an Innovation Partnership Award in recognition of their collaboration in the development of the system. According to Automotive News, this award recognizes automakers that do an exceptional job of collaborating with a supplier to develop an innovation in an effective way.
"This is a great honor for Schaeffler Technologies, as it reflects our dedication to developing products and technologies that address the challenges our customers face on a daily basis," said Jeff Harris, vice president and general manager, engine and transmission systems, Schaeffler Technologies. "Currently in production in multiple global vehicle platforms, our UniAir system offers a proven solution to evolving fuel economy and emission regulations. Developed as the world's first fully variable hydraulic valve control system, it significantly expands the potential of traditional valvetrain systems to meet automakers' unique needs and criteria."
The innovative system was honored in the product category, which recognizes innovations in new products, components or systems that have significant market impact and act as "game changers" in the automotive industry. The UniAir technology is a cam-actuated, electro-hydraulic valve train system that can be used in gasoline and diesel engines. With this system, a valvetrain component displaces oil in a gallery that pushes against the engine valve causing it to open. The timing of the oil pressure required to open the engine valve is managed by a fast-switching solenoid valve. By controlling this oil pressure, the solenoid valve controls the shape of the valve lift curve such that early or late valve opening and/or closing is possible. Additionally and for the first time in mass production, the UniAir system facilitates the opening and closing of engine valves several times during one camshaft revolution.
Schaeffler's UniAir system made its debut in the Alfa Romeo MiTo (Fiat calls the system MultiAir) in 2009. Combined with the downsizing options, the fully variable valve control system enables reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent. The improvements in starting, part load and acceleration behavior are especially noteworthy. During the warm-up phase, for instance, hydrocarbon emissions (HC) are reduced by 40 percent lower, while nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) decrease by up to 60 percent.
To better support the global use of the UniAir system, Schaeffler is starting production of the UniAir actuators in Cheraw, S.C.
The 18th annual PACE Award was presented by Automotive News, Ernst & Young and Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.). The competition was open to suppliers who contribute products, processes, materials or services directly to the manufacture of cars or trucks. The Automotive News PACE Award is accepted around the world as the industry symbol of innovation. For complete details, visit www.autonews.com/pace.
With its product brands INA, LuK and FAG, Schaeffler is a leading provider of rolling and plain bearing solutions, and linear and direct drive technology, as well as a renowned supplier of high-precision products and systems for engines, transmissions and chassis applications to the automotive industry. The global group of companies generated sales of approximately 10.7 billion euros in 2011. With approximately 74,000 employees worldwide, Schaeffler is one of the largest German and European industrial companies in family ownership. With 180 locations in more than 50 countries, Schaeffler has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, sales companies, engineering offices and training centers.
To serve the North American automotive market, Schaeffler operates development centers in: Troy, Mich.; Fort Mill, S.C.; Wooster, Ohio; and Puebla, Mexico. The company's 400 North American engineers and technicians, who are supported by a team of more than 5,500 global engineers, drive development in the region utilizing state-of-the-art test and measurement equipment, computational tools and CAD systems. Schaeffler Automotive has headquarters in Fort Mill and manufacturing facilities in: South Carolina; Missouri; Ohio; Ontario, Canada; Puebla and Irapuato, Mexico. For more information, please visit www.schaeffler.us.
SOURCE Schaeffler Technologies AG