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The challenges and alternatives dealing with gearbox manufacturing

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System 2 launched its all-new 2024 equipment late final yr and, whereas the visually hanging aerodynamic modifications dominated the headlines, it was all change below the bodywork too. This included a brand new six-speed longitudinal Hewland sequential gearbox, changing the earlier iteration which had been used since 2018.

One problem in growing this newest product was the FIA crash laws, which necessitated a considerably completely different design by way of the case and power. The rear impression exams, for instance, have been elevated considerably. However the common structure of the gearbox is well-proven.

That’s the important thing for motorsport gearboxes; it’s all about reliability and cost-per-mile possession. F2 is a little more simplified with respect to the structure in comparison with System 1, however it does the job for a single-make sequence of being a aggressive and a very high-performance product.

Possession of the automobile is vital to think about in terms of GT racing, as OEMs need to promote as lots of the automobiles as they will. The concentrate on delivering a aggressive however cost-effective product that’s dependable is amplified right here. As a provider, we have to be sure that we’re not the purpose of failure, ending somebody’s race.

To realize this with the brand new Lotus Emira GT4, the gearbox is extra aligned to a TCR-type product. There’s barely greater torque with the GT4 and, for the reason that engine is on the again, sure modifications have been made. There’s a bespoke casing to mount to its Toyota V6 and slight variations round inner wires; it’s on the same theme to our high-torque touring automobile gearboxes that we’ve used beforehand.

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There’s naturally a differentiator with having the sequential gearbox from the views of product gross sales and efficiency. It’s a balancing act to offer a top quality product whereas assembly the class’s value necessities via environment friendly design and manufacturing.

New Emira GT4 that made its debut in British GT earlier this month options Hewland transmission that seeks to mix efficiency with cost-effectiveness

Picture by: JEP

The skillsets we’ve acquired via motorsport have enabled Hewland to work on different areas akin to aerospace, and we’re capable of apply our studying in regards to the new inside strategies again to the motorsport and automotive sectors whereas making certain high quality requirements. Each buyer is pushing the boundaries on service, and we’re regularly having to boost our stage.

Seeking to the long run, whereas AI is an space of business focus it’s a little bit quickly to undertake in our core processes, as safety-critical components require a loop of validation earlier than being utilized in any new product. That mentioned, we’ve began utilizing it in 3D-printed constructions {that a} human would usually design.

PLUS: How motorsport is embracing the opportunities of AI

However there are a selection of parts involving automation we’re proactively engaged in. One is a extra environment friendly manufacturing system, which is able to assist with lowering materials waste and power consumption from a sustainability perspective.

At a base stage, the objective of supporting our prospects by making merchandise as effectively and reliably as doable hasn’t modified all that a lot since Hewland began out in 1957

The alternatives and challenges we face are continuously altering, however aren’t so dissimilar from those dealing with motorsport usually. The important thing problem is to make sure relevance for bigger OEMs that retains them concerned and growing revolutionary automobiles. These producers that aren’t concerned with combustion racing is likely to be doing electrical or hydrogen, the place the expertise and growth concerned is not any much less nice.

From a transmission perspective, the complexity could change as electrification will increase and extra road-relevant classes come on-stream. However at a base stage, the objective of supporting our prospects by making merchandise as effectively and reliably as doable hasn’t modified all that a lot since Hewland began out in 1957.

It’s an important end-to-end story persevering with to be concerned within the highest classes of motorsport. Motorsport is ever-changing and we look ahead to the subsequent 60-plus years of getting transmissions which are main grids the world over.

Keeping manufacturers engaged with motorsport is an ongoing challenge for key suppliers like Hewland

Maintaining producers engaged with motorsport is an ongoing problem for key suppliers like Hewland

Picture by: Disguise Ishiura

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