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The Spaminator
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Ford Celebrates Production Launch of the Only Front-Wheel- Drive Hybrid Transmission To Be Made in North America
Ford Media

  • Ford’s Van **** Transmission Plant adds hybrid transmission capacity thanks to a new, flexible assembly line supporting Ford C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
  • Ford adds 225 new jobs at Van **** Transmission, bringing jobs in-house while helping deliver on its commitment to provide customers the power of choice for fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Ford and its suppliers invest $220 million to transform Van **** Transmission as part of a $632 million commitment to North American transmission facilities



STERLING HEIGHTS, mich., Aug. 2, 2012 – Ford launches a new era of clean tech and job growth with today’s debut of a new flexible assembly line at Van **** Transmission Plant, making Ford North America’s only producer of front-wheel-drive hybrid transmissions.

Ford and suppliers are investing $220 million to transform Van **** Transmission into a modern operation capable of producing Ford’s new hybrid transmission – HF35 – as well as other fuel-efficient transmissions. The investments are part of a $632 million commitment Ford and its suppliers are making to increase capacity and flexibility at three North American transmission facilities by 2015.

The new assembly line and other capacity actions at Van **** Transmission include the addition of 225 new jobs, part of Ford’s commitment to add 12,000 U.S. hourly jobs by 2015. The plant recently added 130 jobs as part of the hybrid transmission launch, with the remaining workers scheduled to start work by the end of the month. Van **** now has a total of 1,350 workers.

“Our investments in Van **** Transmission make it our most advanced, efficient transmission plant in the world,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing. “This demonstrates our commitment to bringing jobs and technology back into Ford and North America – actions that not only benefit our employees but our customers and the communities where we do business.”

HF35, which incorporates two electric motors, is the first hybrid transmission to be designed and built by Ford. Previously, hybrid transmission production was handled by a supplier in Japan. By bringing the development work in-house, Ford reduced development costs 20 percent.

Investments at Van **** include manufacturing, capital equipment, launch and engineering costs, and supplier tooling upgrades. New flexible equipment allows the plant to build both HF35 and 6F, a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, at the same time.

Ford engineered the HF35 and upgraded the controls with a goal of creating the industry’s highest-performing, smoothest-operating hybrid transmission. Among this hybrid transmission’s innovations:

  • Electric motors capable of operating at higher electric speeds
  • A super-efficient new cooling system that enables higher speeds in electric drive
  • Optimized gear ratios enabling improvement in fuel economy
  • More precise controls to deliver higher levels of refinement as the powertrain transitions between engine and electric drive
  • Reduced weight to help increase fuel economy


HF35 will be used in five electrified vehicles being introduced this year to provide customers with a range of fuel-efficient options:

  • C-MAX Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg city, 3 mpg better than Toyota Prius v
  • Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid: Coming this fall; projected to deliver 550 miles of total range, including more than 20 miles in electric-only mode – nearly double the electric-only range of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid
  • All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg expected to beat Toyota Camry Hybrid by 5 mpg highway
  • Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Will begin production by the end of this year; aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world with more than 100 MPGe
  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: Coming later this year; projected to remain America's most fuel-efficient midsize premium sedan.
 

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Mercury C557
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Ford's new HF35 Hybrid Transaxle

www1.eere.energy.gov adv_power_electronics/arravt024_ape_poet_2012_p.pdf




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Austin @ BON said:
(LINK)
...how the HF35 works.

If I understand the schematic on page 8 correctly, this might have some differences versus the AW Powersplit previously used but a lot of similarities. Difficult to tell. The AW uses a planetary gearset. The ring gear is powered by the traction motor/generator (MG2) which drives the wheels, the planet carrier is powered by the ICE, and the sun gear is connected to a second motor generator (MG1). Here's a really great demo:

http://eahart.com/prius/psd/

If I understand the schematic of the Ford design, it looks it will operate in a very similar manner, although the location of the components might be a bit different? The ICE powers the planet carrier, the smaller motor/generator powers the sun gear. The ring gear is connected to the output via Gear 2; on the same shaft the larger traction motor/generator is connected through Gear 4.

Not sure which components are shared with other Ford transmissions, but probably more in the differential area, since the whole planetary gearset and motors are unique.

Any transmission experts out there to give us more details??
not that I know what I'm talking about...
but
doesn't that sound something like the Volt?
 

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Mercury C557
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22,734 Posts
Ford Van **** plant adds jobs, hybrid transmissions - DetroitNews
Automaker says it can tailor its production to meet market's needs

August 3, 2012
By Karl Henkel

Sterling Heights —Ford Motor Co.'s Van **** Transmission plant has officially added hybrid transmission capacity, adding 225 jobs.

About 130 of those jobs are already filled and the rest will be filled as the plant ramps up production on transmissions for the Ford C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

The Dearborn automaker says it is the only front-wheel drive hybrid transmission to be made in North America.

The plant employs about 1,350 workers.

The transmissions are assembled on a new, flexible transmission line that also produces six-speed automatic transmissions, part of a $220 million investment...

..."We want to be able to respond to whatever the market wants," said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North American manufacturing. Ford can now tailor production of its hybrid transmissions to better meet the demand...

...To show the flexibility of the new transmission lines, workers at the Van **** plant could — although it would be an extreme circumstance — alternate hybrid and six-speed transmission production by simply rotating a pallet on the line.

This process is made simpler by the use of "kits" — toolbox-like containers holding the necessary parts for each transmission.

Those kits are put together at Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township, which now handles those duties after taking them over from Mexican and Chinese auto suppliers.

More...
 

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Mercury C557
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This sounds like a FWD version of II mode
I'm following discussion about this elsewhere
&
Imho
it *could* be a bit like a Volt with different programming.

Imho

it might be rather difficult to get a true comparo since
- Ford fans won't really know Voltec
- GM fans won't really know Ford's system
&
-neither Ford nor GM can be expected to "tell all" nor be objective
 
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