Hydraulic steering without the hydraulics

  • 19-Jun-2008 08:31 EDT
Danaher Motion says its Torque Feedback Devices uses an electromagnetic actuation system to provide position or velocity feedback with the feel of hydraulics in electric steer and steer-by-wire systems.

Danaher Motion’s Torque Feedback Device (TFD) combines tactile and position or velocity feedback with a steering wheel interface in a compact, IP66 rated package. This combination allows designers of electronic vehicle systems (EVS), personal mobility equipment, and other off-highway equipment to deliver the performance and maintenance benefits of electric or steer-by-wire systems, with the tactile response of a hydraulic system.

The TFD provides input to a controller that commands the actuation mechanism in steering and other by-wire applications. The device also provides continuously variable torque output to simulate the “feel” that users of hydraulic systems are comfortable with, allowing operators to more easily adapt to an electric steer or steer-by-wire vehicle system. Danaher says that with legacy electric steering systems this functionality did not exist, was too complex, or had to be developed and implemented by the OEM.

Five standard configurations of the TFD are available, with torque densities ranging from 2.5 to 12 N·m (1.8 to 8.9 lb·ft). They are tested to more than 10 million revolutions at 120 rpm, and are engineered to operate in ambient temperatures from -35 to +60ºC (-31 to +140ºF). The TFD has a footprint as small as 3.25 x 4 in (83 x 102 mm) and is available as a stand-alone component that can be integrated into nearly any electric or steer-by-wire system, or as part of a larger Danaher Motion vehicle system.

TFDs provide a variable torque output in proportion to a dc input by applying state-of-the-art friction materials and a patent-pending electromagnetic actuation system. The devices also incorporate redundant sensors for failsafe shaft feedback and serviceability. A modular design enables the device to be easily adapted to specific application needs. All components and the finished assembly meet EU directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS), and are designed for use in EN 1175 and IEC 61508 compliant systems.

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