The 2011 Frost & Sullivan European Powertrain Product Line Strategy Award is presented to Punch Powertrain NV Sint-Truiden, Belgium (Punch Powertrain). The company has successfully demonstrated its capabilities by introducing innovative transmission technology solutions that address the most important challenge in the European powertrain industry - fuel consumption and CO2 emission reduction.
Punch Powertrain has developed different types of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) for different applications. Its 'VT2' transmission is for front-wheel drive applications and with transverse engine layouts. The 'VT3' transmission is an upgrade of the 'VT2' and for applications with up to 220 Nm torque output. The 'VT4' transmission is being used for four-wheel drive applications with longitudinal engine layouts.
Punch Powertrain is actively developing the 'VT4' transmission for rear-wheel drive applications. It has also established specific transmissions for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles, namely, the 'HT1' and the 'HT2'.
"The introduction of a variety of transmissions for different applications helps OEMs integrate fuel-efficient transmissions into different classes of vehicles," explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Arif Basheer. "It also makes the process of platform sharing less challenging for OEMs, besides reducing additional costs involved in development and integration of systems."
In 2015, the demand for CVTs in the European market is projected to increase by around 50,000-60,000 units, compared to 2010. Punch Powertrain's manufacturing units in Belgium and China have a combined capacity of around 390,000 transmissions annually. Hence, the company possesses the ability to meet demand, while also offering ample scope for expansion.
"Punch Powertrain is working towards the application of CVTs in multi purpose vehicles (MPVs), sports utility vehicles (SUVs), hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles, apart from conventional internal combustion (IC) engine vehicles," adds Basheer. "Its continued developments in the CVT space, and its focus on hybrids, will help it target a wider customer base in the future."
Punch Powertrain is making rapid progress in terms of creating more efficient CVTs. It has been benchmarking CVTs on more efficient transmissions such as the dry-clutch dual clutch transmissions (DCT).
It has wisely made use of switch reluctance (SR) motors in its transmissions to ensure better performance and lower costs. SR motors, in comparison to permanent magnet motors, do not use magnets in their hardware. This eliminates the use of rare earth metals and helps reduce motor costs.
"The company has successfully developed SR motors with higher peak power output than permanent magnet motors for use with CVTs," remarks Basheer. "Punch Powertrain's use of SR motors and its continuous improvements have resulted in better and more efficient transmissions, driving OEMs to choose the company's products while also having a positive impact on end consumers."
Over the past three to four years, Punch Powertrain has been able to reduce fuel consumption by 7 per cent when compared to its previous-generation CVTs. This has helped OEMs in their powertrain development that is focused on reducing fuel consumption.
"The company's openness and 100% independency enables Punch Powertrain to work with multiple OEMs and gives it an added advantage to reach out to more customers," concludes Basheer. "This trend is different from what is otherwise seen in the transmissions market, as most other transmission technology developers and manufacturers work closely with a single OEM or a group of OEMs."
The Product Line Strategy Award is presented to the company that has excelled in the following criteria: breadth of product line, size of addressable customer base, impact on customer value, impact on market share and breadth of applications/markets served.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Punch Powertrain NV
Punch Powertrain is an independent developer and manufacturer of powertrain technologies. Based in Belgium, the company has powertrain technology manufacturing plants in Sint-Truiden, Belgium and Nanjing, China. Its products include CVTs and CVT-based transmissions for conventional IC engine passenger cars, hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles. Punch Powertrain also develops and manufactures electric drives and transfer cases for these vehicles.
About Frost & Sullivan
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