TRW news: RKE, TPMS, EPS and more

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TRW, an automotive safety systems specialist, has announced its latest product, an integrated Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) and Direct Tire Pressure Monitoring system (TPMS). The system has been launched in conjunction with a major Japanese vehicle manufacturer, and is said to deliver RKE and TPM functions with fewer overall parts.

“Integrating RKE and TPMS can offer enhanced value and performance,” said Ken Kaiser, vice president, Global Electronics Engineering. “By eliminating the need for separate receivers for the two systems we can maintain performance characteristics, use less space, reduce system weight and wiring complexity, and ultimately lower material and assembly costs.”

Additional benefits to the system include a reduced risk of radio frequency (RF) interference, commonly found in systems that utilize multiple frequencies, whilst the revisions are ‘transparent’ to consumers, as there is no discernible change to the RKE key fob layout or performance.

The system still operates single smart receiver/ECU that processes the transmitted commands from the RKE fobs, as well as temperature and pressure signals sent from the transmitters located in the TPMS sensor units. An integrated ECU decodes the signals to activate the lock/unlock function for vehicle doors and the trunk, and provides tire pressure warning information to the driver in the same way as conventional RKE and TPMS receivers.

Elsewhere, the company has recently started production of its electrically powered steering (EPS) column drive technology with a major Chinese vehicle manufacturer (VM) and is due to roll out the product with three further China domestic platforms in 2013.

“TRW is a global leader in EPS and is pleased to support our customers in China with this advanced technology,” commented Charlie Cregeur, global director, steering product planning. “Chinese manufacturers continue to increase the level of sophistication in their vehicles, with a strong focus on reducing emissions and improving fuel economy – EPS strongly supports these goals.”

TRW’s range EPS offers two solutions for OEMs. The first of which, is the column drive unit which is mounted on the steering column inside the passenger compartment, whilst the second is a belt drive unit where the assist is applied directly to the rack with a belt and ball nut mechanism.

Both units offer significant fuel economy and CO2 emissions benefits when compared with traditional hydraulic power steering, with TRW fuel savings of around 0.3 to 0.4 L/100km, with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 7-8g/km (based on test data for a 1.6 liter gas engine).

Production of the units will be located at TRW’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Anting, China.

TRW has expanded its footprint in China considerably to meet the needs of the rapidly growing market. The company now has more than 20 sites in China, including technical research and development centers, manufacturing and production, corporate facilities and a winter test track. TRW states that it plans to invest in further locations to accommodate increasing testing and validation requirements.

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