Automotive braking supplier, ZF, has produced its 200 millionth electric parking brake (EPB) unit, making it the first company to reach this milestone. The company invented the EPB motor-on-caliper brake more than 20 years ago, and is now producing its sixth-generation design, an intelligent mechanical system.
EPBs help reduce weight in brake systems, with some systems eliminating the need for components such a separate Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which enhances fuel efficiency and vehicle dynamics. The electrification of mechanical systems also allows for integration and advanced functions when combined with other vehicle systems, and the EPB was an important first step toward the electrification of braking systems. The technology also helps to enhance driver safety by enabling two-wheel anti-lock emergency stops.
In addition to providing park brake functionality, EPB is a fully integrated part of the brake system with features such as dynamic actuation, brake pad wear sensing, and suffers less degradation than mechanical systems.
The ZF group has also produced more than 500 million of its first-to-market Integrated Park Brake (IPB) units, which incorporate a fully integrated park brake mechanism within the rear caliper and set the stage for EPB introduction.
“As we move toward ever higher levels of advanced safety, automated driving and vehicle electrification, braking systems will play a key role in helping to meet regulations, enable new functions and provide regenerative brake energy recovery,” stated Manfred Meyer, senior vice president of active safety for ZF. “This requires higher levels of integration with other onboard systems and a greater degree of vehicle control and systems like the Electric Park Brake and ZF’s Integrated Brake Control Systems will have greater applicability than ever before.”