New products in 2014 advance safety and fuel efficiency
TOKYO - Saturday, February 28th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE) - Although NSK Ltd. (TOKYO:6471) is Japan’s top and the world’s #3 bearing manufacturer, the Tokyo-based company tends to leave the spotlight to its customers, the world’s leading automotive brands. We work behind the scenes, but customers depend on NSK for endless diligence and innovation in pursuing safety, efficiency, durability and environmental performance in all aspects of “Motion and Control.” In 2014, that diligence resulted in several significant innovations, two of which are outlined below.
First, some hidden context. You never see them, nor are you meant to. But throughout your car 100 to 150 bearings are working away in the engine, transmission, wheels, and the air conditioner. Anything that moves requires a bearing that NSK supplies. The better they work, the safer, more fuel-efficient, responsive and durable your car becomes. That’s why NSK innovation matters.
A new benchmark in safety
As automakers shift from hydraulic power assist to electronic power assist steering, they must meet high customer expectations in terms of safety and responsiveness. In 2014, NSK rose to the challenge with the introduction of a new electronic power steering (EPS) system for use in compact cars.
Compliant with the ISO 26262 standard, the new system uses package-less semiconductors and semiconductor relays with no mechanical contacts. This helped NSK to achieve a more compact, lighter product, reducing the size of the radiators and the overall number of components. The result is a 10% decrease in volume versus the most recent conventional product (or a 45% volume decrease and 40% weight decrease from the original product a decade ago).
The new product features built-in steer angle sensors in addition to internal steering torque sensors to provide compatibility with a variety of high-performance vehicle controls. The result:
Less effort by the driver
Greater fuel efficiency
NSK is working to quickly supply the new system to automakers worldwide, and has set an overall EPS business goal of 250 billion yen (roughly $2137m) in sales for the fiscal year ending March 2016.
For more information: www.nsk.com/company/presslounge/news/2015/press0114a.html
Better bearing makes diesel cleaner
Environmental concerns and a desire for greater fuel efficiency have led many consumers, especially in Europe, to opt for diesel engines in recent years. That in turn has challenged automakers to improve diesel performance throughout the powertrain. On the plus side, diesels offer high thermal efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Their downside is soot containing harmful nitrous and sulfur oxides. Beyond their effect on the atmosphere, there pollutants tend to corrode parts in the engine valves. This was the problem NSK researchers focused on in developing a new low-torque tappet roller for the rocker arm of diesel engines.
The rocker arm is the mechanism, driven by the cam, that opens and closes the engine valves. As such, it is exposed to the corrosive emissions flowing through the valves. This harsh environment increases the likelihood of corrosion in the shafts of tappet rollers. So to counter this, until now, extreme measures have been needed to ensure durability. NSK researchers figured there had to be a better way.
The solution they came up with to replace the conventional double roller bearing is a single needle roller bearing that reduces friction by 10 percent – thereby significantly contributing to greater fuel efficiency. Thanks to crack-resistant chrome plating, it offers enhanced durability and can be installed in the same way as conventional bearings.
NSK expects sales of this new product to reach 1.5 billion yen (roughly $13m) by 2019.
This NSK innovation is one small step toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient diesels. But such incremental improvements quickly add up to great strides forward.
For more information: www.nsk.com/company/presslounge/news/2014/press1212a.html
Look to NSK for continuous innovation
These new products are just two innovations in a continuous stream of progress by NSK researchers. For more stories of innovation, please visit NSK.com.
In 2016, NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) will celebrate a century of innovation since its founding as Japan's first bearings manufacturer. With the theme “Motion & Control” at the core of its business, NSK today is a global enterprise with 213 facilities in 31 countries that serve a diverse range of industrial customers with a wide range of precision components in addition to bearings. The company provides customers with total solutions through its world-leading technologies, sales force and customer service capabilities.