Conti merges brakes & chassis divisions into vehicle dynamics unit
Effective from the 1 September Continental AG has merged its Suspension Systems and Chassis Electronics segments into the Electronic Brake Systems business unit from the Chassis Components unit, which has been dissolved as far as an organizational structure is concerned. In line with the move the Electronic Brake Systems unit has been renamed Vehicle Dynamics.
“The reorganization will strengthen our vehicle dynamics expertise in the direction of a system-based approach within the business unit. Integrating various functions into the same hardware components, or corresponding partitioning from a single will help to secure the future of our business”, said Frank Jourdan, head of the Vehicle Dynamics business unit. Jourdan anticipates that the combination of lateral, longitudinal and vertical dynamics, together with existing experience in the area of vehicle and other testing, will bring future product and system potential.
Continental’s active chassis control systems and electronic brakes take advantage of various opportunities to adjust a vehicle’s handling in the face of changing road conditions such as surface, shifting loads and cornering. The objective is to ensure optimum road contact under any conditions. Suspension/damping, motor control and steering all present opportunities to adjust the chassis to the driving situation. One option to achieve this is with a Chassis Domain Control Unit (CDCU). This central control unit coordinates electronic chassis- and safety systems that used to act independently of each other.
Electronic braking systems produced by Continental are in place in millions (around 20 million annually) of every class of automobile as well as in trucks and motorcycles where they play a major role in regulating vehicle dynamics. A high degree of integration of functions and system components distinguish these products. Electronic braking systems include ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with a multitude of opportunities to expand functions and to integrate. A high degree of integration and scalability, for example, distinguish the MK 100, the latest generation of electronic brakes. The ESC sensors can already today be integrated on the circuit-board of the controller. In the future, the control of the new generation of the electric parking brake will be integrated into the ESC which results in no separate controller being required for the triggering of the integrated parking brake (IPB). A result thereof is a minimization of the number of controllers that need to be integrated and thus an increase of available storage space in the vehicles.
In addition, integrated electro-hydraulic braking systems such as the MK C1 braking system reportedly offer a reduced number of individual components and generate braking force much quicker than common hydraulic systems due to their high degree of integration.