US-based Allison Transmission, a large exporter of Made-In-India automatic transmissions, sees strong potential in supplies to inter-city buses in India. Lawrence A Love, ED , Global Marketing, speaks to Shobha Mathur.
US-based Allison Transmission, a large exporter of Made-In-India automatic transmissions, sees strong potential in supplies to inter-city buses in India. Lawrence A Love, executive director, Global Marketing, speaks to Shobha Mathur on technology trends, new products and how ATs can improve fuel economy.
How do you see future technologies and trends in ATs panning out globally?
Globally, the trend is of vehicle OEMs moving away from manual transmissions and adopting either automated manual transmissions (AMTs) or fully automatic transmissions.
Allison designs and manufactures fully automatic transmissions for a wide variety of global commercial vehicle applications. Our latest development is the TC10 full automatic 10-speed twin countershaft transmission with a torque converter. This technology is now being sold into prime movers or tractor units, delivering the benefits of reduced fuel consumption along with better performance and drivability.
Which new technology is Allison likely to bring to India?
Allison Transmission recently announced a new series of bus models that incorporate the latest advances in fuel economy technology. Referred to as xFE, designating extra fuel economy, the fully automatic bus transmissions have demonstrated improvements up to seven percent in addition to the Allison’s FuelSense features.
FuelSense is a set of packages of software and electronic controls for a variety of Allison fully automatic transmissions that improves fuel economy by upto 20 percent for fleets and also improves the productivity of drivers. xFE builds on FuelSense to save even more.
Allison’s fifth generation electronic controls offer an array of smart controls to increase fuel economy further. These include the EcoCal that provides lower shift points to get into the lock up as soon as possible, providing necessary performance without shift cycling. Dynamic shift sensing automatically selects between lower/higher speed based on the vehicle’s actual payload and the grade on which it is operating that optimises fuel economy and maintains superior performance. The acceleration rate management mitigates aggressive driving by controlling engine torque based on the vehicle’s grade and load. Neutral at stop feature automatically eliminates the load on the engine when the vehicle is at a full stop to save fuel and reduce overall vehicle emissions.
Would Allison explore a new segment in India?
We have a wide range of products to meet the needs of other vocations such as school bus, airport tarmac coach, fire and emergency, refuse, construction, port, specialty and defence vehicles.
As commercial vehicle technology continues to evolve in India, we expect to see more government and private sector vehicles transition from manual to fully automatic transmission technology.
What are the new products Allison Transmission is likely to bring to India and when?
The new xFE model for city buses is the latest Allison technology coming to India.
A new 9832 Oil Field Series model with 3200 horsepower (2386 kilowatts) for pressure pumping in tough environments is also in the pipeline. It is fitted on a stationary vehicle. The 9832 transmission was specifically built to deliver consistent torque and maximum horsepower for pressure pumping in the most difficult terrain. These new models will be available in India later this year.
Currently Allison manufactures the 3K/4K transmissions in Allison’s global plants. Will you look at assembling them in the Chennai plant to save on costs of importing them?
Allison assembles 1000 and 2000 Series transmissions in Chennai, along with manufacturing of gears for a variety of Allison transmission models. The global market demand and our global manufacturing strategy will define any change to what we assemble or manufacture in our Chennai facility.
This interview has been published in Autocar Professional's August 1, 2015 'South India Special' print edition
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