LIVONIA, Mich., Nov. 7 -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE:TRW), the global leader in active and passive safety systems, is unveiling a new electric drum-in-hat (eDIH) park brake concept that frees up valuable interior space, allows for easier installation with fewer components, and integrates with other safety systems to bring the safety and comfort benefits of electric park brake technology to a range of larger vehicles. The system is anticipated to be production-ready by 2011.
"TRW is in a unique position to combine its market-leading expertise in electric park brake technology with our drum-in-hat rear brakes where we hold a market leadership position in North America," said Josef Pickenhahn, vice president, braking engineering for TRW. "We are extending the range of electric park brake solutions to vehicles requiring drum-in-hat parking brakes to include all of the enhanced performance characteristics, comfort and convenience advantages that electric systems offer."
The eDIH system, along with other TRW electric park brakes, eliminate the need for hand levers or foot pedals in the cabin interior to engage the park brake. You simply use a switch to activate the system. This frees up valuable interior space and allows for greater freedom of vehicle cockpit design, along with improved crash characteristics in the pedal area.
Additionally, the TRW eDIH is a fully electric park brake system, not a cable puller, as is the case with a number of competitive systems. The connections are purely electrical and there are no cables, which add significant cost and complexity during the vehicle manufacturer's assembly process and can cause reliability issues.
Safety is also significantly enhanced by electric park brake systems. These systems better protect against vehicle roll away because the maximum clamp force is always applied. And in emergency stopping situations, rear wheel anti-lock can be applied to prevent spinouts, something not offered by conventional mechanical park brake systems.
Additional functions such as Auto Hold and Hill Hold provide drivers a greater degree of safety, comfort and convenience. When activated, Auto Hold holds the vehicle in a stationary position until the driver presses the accelerator pedal -- making it unnecessary to keep the brake pedal depressed in situations such as traffic jams. Hill Hold does not allow the vehicle to roll on a hill either from a parked position or in situations such as traffic lights.
The eDIH system is ideal for larger vehicles which require a greater clamp force for parking than is currently available from electric park brake caliper systems. This vehicle segment already uses a high percentage of drum-in-hat style rear brakes that can easily be adapted to the eDIH system. The eDIH system can effectively park vehicles up to the 19,000 lb. GVW range.
In addition, a number of high-end performance vehicle manufacturers prefer drum-in-hat rear brake solutions and are currently considering the eDIH system as an alternative to their current park brake solution. A major consideration is the ability to tune the service brakes separately from the park brake with no compromise in the performance of either system.
"The improved performance, ease-of-assembly and lower warranty costs of electric park brake solutions like the electric drum-in-hat make these systems an excellent long-term solution for vehicle manufacturers while providing greater safety, comfort and convenience for vehicle owners," concluded Pickenhahn.
With 2006 sales of $13.1 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 28 countries and employs approximately 63,800 people worldwide. TRW Automotive products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services.
Manley Ford of TRW Automotive,
John Wilkerson of TRW Automotive-North America,
Lynette Jackson of TRW Automotive-Europe-Asia,
Web site: www.trw.com