Date: December 21, 2007
Eaton To Develop Digital Hydraulic Hybrid Drive System For U.S. Army Vehicles
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., and EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. … Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation is adapting its advanced digital hydraulic hybrid drive system technology for U.S. Army vehicles. The goal of the project, which is being done in conjunction with Western Michigan University (WMU), is to develop smaller and lighter drivetrain components, increase fuel efficiency and improve traction and stability for Army tactical vehicles.
“Eaton has proven capabilities in integrating hydraulic, electronic, and mechanical torque control technologies into sophisticated and yet practical hybrid vehicle drivetrain applications,” said Yannis Tsavalas, Eaton vice president and chief technology officer. “The new hybrid drivetrains will offer significant advantages over existing systems, enabling the vehicles to carry more armored protection for the soldiers who use them.”
Development work will be conducted by scientists and engineers at Eaton’s Innovation Center in Southfield, Mich., in cooperation with WMU’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Design Simulation (CAVIDS) in Kalamazoo, Mich. Also actively involved in the project is Eaton’s hydraulics headquarters location in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) provided key support in securing the U.S. Army project.
“The development of Eaton’s exciting hybrid technologies has the potential to transform the U.S. Army’s fleet of armored vehicles,” said Upton. “There is the real opportunity to improve fuel economy, allowing the vehicles to be out in the field for much longer periods of time before they need refueling.”
Tsavalas said that Eaton has participated in previously successful Army demonstration programs for hybrid hydraulic technology.
“Now, with this new program, the Army is asking us to deliver a smaller, lighter system with greater energy storage and regeneration capability to improve vehicle mobility,” he said. “Our challenge is to simultaneously reduce drivetrain weight and increase fuel efficiency by 50 percent or more. We expect to drive substantial improvements in current technology.”
Located in Southfield, Mich., Eaton’s Innovation Center is dedicated to identifying and developing advanced technologies and applications that address customer issues and requirements. These technologies are then transferred to relevant Eaton operations for commercial implementation.
Eaton‘s Hydraulics Operations is a business segment of Eaton’s Fluid Power Group. The business is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of a comprehensive line of reliable, high-efficiency hydraulic systems and components for use in mobile and industrial applications. Mobile and industrial markets include agriculture, construction, mining, forestry, utility, material handling, earthmoving, truck and bus, machine tools, molding, primary metals, automotive, power generation, port machinery and entertainment. Eaton’s Hydraulics Operations provides customer-driven solutions under brand names such as Aeroquip®, Boston®, Char-Lynn®, Eaton®, Hydro-Line®, Vickers™ and Weatherhead®. For more information, visit www.hydraulics.eaton.com.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2006 sales of $12.4 billion. Eaton is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 63,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 140 countries.