Dana releases field test results showing 20% fuel economy gains of VariGlide technology

Results from field testing conducted on Dana's VariGlide technology operating in a typical pick-and-place duty cycle show fuel economy improvements of 20% can be achieved in certain duty cycles.

Dana Intermat 2015 VariGlide CVP 5543b9ac95264
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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% 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,” says 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).

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.

Dana presented the VariGlide technology at INTERMAT 2015 at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center.