Volvo Trucks enhances their benchmark of operational excellence through the modern transmission system, I-SHIFT technology in commercial vehicles.
In the highly competitive Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) market, the manufacturers are constantly focused towards offering value addition to their product with added special features which can gain them an edge over the sustaining market competition. These advanced features aim to improve profitability by increasing the kilometer per liter and also reducing maintenance costs. Volvo leads this arena with the modern I-SHIFT technology in their commercial vehicles.
Concept & Working
I-SHIFT transmission technology aims to have the right ratio for the right speed at the right time. By continuously monitoring the road gradient, vehicle speed, acceleration, torque needed on a particular road, weight, rolling and air resistance; I-SHIFT can instantly predict and select the most appropriate ratio for efficient utilization of the engine. In short, it knows when and where a shift would be beneficial. I-SHIFT transmission technology has set new transmission standards that increase the fuel economy, safety, and have a driver-friendly, easy-to-operate working condition. Termed as Automated Manual Transmission, it delivers increased level of productivity coupled with maximized driver comfort, safety, payload capacity and efficiency to have increased kilometer coverage per liter. In addition, I-SHIFT can be customized in order to meet the specific demands of the vehicle depending upon the operational requirement.
I-SHIFT continuously monitors the gradient, acceleration, vehicle speed, rolling resistance, air resistance, weight and torque demand. With the help of Grade sensor, it reads the steep and adopts the required change. Moreover, I-SHIFT possesses the ability to predict and select the most appropriate parameters for efficient engine utilization over a 30-second rolling period. The basic family of the innovative technology involves basic, enhanced basic, and fuel economy versions. In the basic design, there are no manual shift buttons on the gear shift knob and no option available for Economy / Performance (E/P) selection.
Under the premium family, this section ensures two prime aspects of performance and comprehensive. The options available on the gear enable the driver to select between the E/P operating modes. In addition, the Shift button on the handle allows for the manual up-down shift movement.
>> Driver Friendly: The technology guarantees ease of operation and requires no driver intervention, as the I-Shift technology always opts for the right gear. The helps in driver retention, and reduces the time taken by the driver to make a profit on the road.
>>Enhanced Safety: Easier operation means less fatigue and stress on drivers. The technology, by ensuring reduced fatigue, improves concentration and performance of the operators. The user friendly and easeto- operate technology allows the drivers to dedicate their total attention to maneuvering the vehicles.
>> Easy to Upgrade: I-SHIFT’s high torque rating allows for unlimited engine power and torque upgradability.
>>Better Fuel Economy
>>I-SHIFT is designed keeping fuel consumption as priority. I-SHIFT, by virtue of its technological innovations, enhances fuel efficiency and reduces the fuel cost. A few innovations that ensure fuel efficiency include
>>Effective engine utilization: The microprocessor intelligence system in the I-Shift technology increases the time the engine runs in the ‘sweet spot’ –the ideal conditions guaranteeing maximum kilometers per litre.
>>Eco-Roll: The Eco-Roll feature utilizes the vehicle’s kinetic energy to move the truck on a non-flat terrain efficiently. This reduces fuel costs by up to two percent. Eco-Roll allows the transmission to disengage the engine in certain situations like moderate hills. The vehicle will roll out longer, delaying the need to engage the transmission to the engine, thereby saving fuel without comprising the safety.
Forced Lubrication: I-Shift lube oil pump pushes lubricants through drilled passages as required. This is done after proper filtration and improves engine life and performance.
>> Direct Drive Option: I-SHIFT mechanism also offers a Direct Drive option, where the output shaft is directly linked to the input shaft and eliminates power loss due to friction. It saves fuel cost by 1.5 percent and 3-4 horsepower as against the overdrive transmission.
Economy & Performance
As per requirements, the driver can select between economy and performance modes. In the economy mode the transmission and engine parameters are selected to maximize fuel efficiency. In the performance mode, importance is given to maximum gradeability.
Four programmable settings are implemented for this mode:
>>Kick Down (K-D): This setting, included in certain feature packages, maximizes acceleration. It involves three customer programmable K-D settings.
>>Engine Brake performance mode: This setting selects a gear that maximizes retardation. This is done by a multifunction switch that controls engine brake, brake cruise and engine brake activation speed during cruising.
>>Idle driving mode: This is a valuable “cruise control” enhancement for driving slowly (in congested area, for example). Idle driving allows the engine to operate at idle speed without cycling the clutch or using the accelerator pedal for best fuel economy. The driver adjusts the speed by selecting the gear that best suits the traffic movement. This is especially useful when backing a trailer. The idle governor adjusts the torque to maintain idle speed (and constant vehicle speed) even if the engine load varies.
>>.Up to four reverse Gear: Options are available with I shift to have two reverse gear operations. The driver can activate high reverse gear as per his requirements. Minimized Operating Cost
I-SHIFT equips the driver to shift the gear to get more fuel efficiency, which in turn reduces the fuel cost. The smooth gear shifting also reduces the stress on the drive line and tires. The system ultimately increases the life span of the drive units, while reducing the maintenance cost. Furthermore, the lightweight feature facilitates to increase the pay load and maintain the specified gross vehicle weight.