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Title:
METHOD AND DEVICE FOR SECURING LUBRICATION OF A AUTOMATED MANUAL TRANSMISSION IN A VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/050855
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Method and device for securing lubrication of an automated manual transmission, AMT, (9) in a vehicle, when towing said vehicle, and where a transmission lubrication system is drivingly connected to and driven by a propulsion unit via a rotation of an intermediate shaft (11) of said AMT. The following steps can be executed in mentioned order and starting from when ignition of said vehicle is switched on: - upon registering a signal that said propulsion unit is turned off then, - disengaging all gears (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 40) that are arranged to drivingly engage or disengage an input shaft (7) to said intermediate shaft (11) of said automated manual transmission (9), and engaging one gear (15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 25, 26, 30, 41, 42, 43) that is arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft (11) to an output shaft (10) of said automated manual transmission.

Inventors:
BJERNETUN, Johan (Skäpplandsgatan 11, Igt 54, Göteborg, S-414 78, SE)
ERIKSSON, Anders (Soldatvägen 2, Torslanda, S-423 49, SE)
YNGWE, Johnny (1448, Cantwell Ct.US-High Point, NC, 27265, US)
Application Number:
SE2008/000620
Publication Date:
May 06, 2010
Filing Date:
October 30, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VOLVO LASTVAGNAR AB (S- Götenborg, 405 08, SE)
BJERNETUN, Johan (Skäpplandsgatan 11, Igt 54, Göteborg, S-414 78, SE)
ERIKSSON, Anders (Soldatvägen 2, Torslanda, S-423 49, SE)
YNGWE, Johnny (1448, Cantwell Ct.US-High Point, NC, 27265, US)
International Classes:
F16H61/4165; F16H3/091; F16H59/74
Domestic Patent References:
WO1994013981A1
Foreign References:
US3533307A
US20080017472A1
JP2002257216A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRÖHLING, Werner (Volvo Technology Corporation, Corporate Patents 0682, M1.7 Göteborg, S-405 08, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
PATENT CLAIMS

1. Method for securing lubrication of an automated manual transmission (9) in a vehicle, when towing said vehicle, and where a transmission lubrication system is drivingly connected to and driven by rotation of an intermediate shaft (11) of said automated manual transmission (9) and where said lubrication system is driven by a propulsion unit of said vehicle via said intermediate shaft, characterized by the following steps executed in mentioned order: - upon registering a signal that said propulsion unit is turned off then,

- disengaging all gears (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 40) that are arranged to drivingly engage or disengage an input shaft (7) to said intermediate shaft (11) of said automated manual transmission (9), and engaging one gear (15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 25, 26, 30, 41, 42, 43) that is arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft (11) to an output shaft (10) of said automated manual transmission.

2. Method as in the preceding claim, characterized in that said signal is manually initiated every time said propulsion unit is switched off manually.

3. Method as in the preceding claim, characterized in that said signal is also initiated when said propulsion unit is turned off automatically by a control unit of the vehicle without an ignition key of the vehicle being switched off manually.

4.An automated manual transmission (9) in a vehicle comprising an input shaft (7), an intermediate shaft (11) and an output shaft (10) with several different gears arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said input shaft to said intermediate shaft (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 40), and to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft to said output shaft (15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 25, 26, 30, 41, 42, 43), and where a transmission lubrication system is drivingly connected to and driven by rotation of said intermediate shaft (11), said lubrication system is driven by a propulsion unit of said vehicle via said intermediate shaft, characterized in that a control unit (45) is arranged to disengage all said gears drivingly connecting said input shaft and said intermediate shaft and to engage one of said gears arranged to drivingly connect said intermediate shaft and said output shaft, upon registration of a signal that said propulsion unit is switched off and in order to drivingly connect said lubrication system with driven wheels of the vehicle.

5.An automated manual transmission as in the preceding claim, characterized in that said control unit is arranged to register said signal every time said propulsion unit is switched off manually.

6.An automated manual transmission as in the preceding claim, characterized in that said control unit is arranged to register said signal every time said propulsion unit is turned off automatically by said control unit or another control unit of the vehicle without an ignition key of the vehicle being switched off manually.

7. An automated manual transmission as in one of claims 4 to β further comprising an auxiliary- gearing (32) connected in series to said output shaft (10) and where an auxiliary gearing output shaft (34) is further connected to said driven wheels, characterized in that said control unit (45) is arranged to engage a gear of said auxiliary gear (LR, HR) in order to drivingly connect said output shaft (10) with said auxiliary gearing output shaft (34), upon registration of a signal that towing of the vehicle is demanded and in order to drivingly connect said lubrication system with driven wheels of the vehicle.

8. A computer program comprising a program code for executing the method as claimed in claims 1 to 3, when said computer program is executed on a computer .

9.A computer program product comprising a program code, stored on a computer-readable medium, for executing the method as claimed in claims 1 to 3, when said computer program is executed on the computer.

10. A storage medium, such as a computer memory (520) or a nonvolatile data storage medium (550) , for use in a computing environment, the memory comprising a computer readable program code to perform the method of claims 1 to 3.

Description:
Method and device for securing lubrication of an automated manual transmission in a vehicle

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION:

The present invention relates to a method for towing a vehicle equipped with an automatic manual transmission (AMT) , in accordance with the preamble of the accompanying claim 1. In particular, the invention will find its application in connection with automotive vehicles with an AMT where a lubricating system arranged in the AMT for lubricating said AMT is driven by a propulsion unit of the vehicle during idle drive.

The invention also relates to a device intended for such a method for towing a vehicle equipped with an AMT, in accordance with the preamble of the accompanying claim 4.

The present invention also relates to a computer program, computer program product and a storage medium, such as a computer memory, all to be used with a computer for executing said method.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

Automated manual transmissions (AMT) have become increasingly common in heavy-duty vehicles as microcomputer technology has developed further and made it possible, with a control computer and a number of actuators, for example servo motors, to precision- regulate engine speed, engagement and disengagement of an automated disk clutch between the engine and the gearbox and also the coupling means of the gearbox in relation to one another, so that soft shifting is always obtained at the correct engine speed. In heavy- duty vehicles, these automatic gearboxes are often equipped with a basic gearbox, which has forward and reverse gears, and also auxiliary gears, which auxiliary gears can. be arranged in series before and/or after the basic gearbox. An example of an auxiliary gear arranged serially before the basic gearbox is a split gear and of an auxiliary gear arranged serially after the basic gearbox is a range gear (see, for example, WO0192049) .

In order to introduce power shifting possibilities in an AMT the dual clutch, transmissions (DCT) have been developed. This is basically an AMT with dual input shafts and corresponding clutches. A known example of a DCT is shown in US2005/0204841 and US4777837.

Common for both of the above mentioned types of transmissions is that there is often used a so-called forced-feed lubricating oil system in order to increase the service life of transmissions, when for example used in heavy trucks and buses. Such a forced-feed lubricating oil system usually comprises an oil pump which among other things supplies bearings in the transmission with an oil flow for lubrication and cooling. The oil pump may be located in various ways but usually it is driven directly or indirectly by an intermediate shaft in the transmission. The intermediate shaft is drivingly connected to a vehicle propulsion unit through an input shaft of the transmission. Driven wheels of the vehicle are drivingly connected to the intermediate shaft through an output shaft of the transmission. The input shaft, the intermediate shaft and the output shaft can have several different gears arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said input shaft to said intermediate shaft, and gears to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft to said output shaft. The engagement and disengagement of the different gears is controlled by a control unit. When the vehicle is driven, the propulsion unit drives the forced-feed lubricating oil system by rotation of the intermediate shaft. During idle drive, that is when the vehicle is stopped and the propulsion unit is running, all gears between the intermediate shaft and the output shaft are disengaged and a gear between the input shaft and the intermediate shaft is engaged in order to drive the forced-feed lubricating oil system and secure lubrication during idle drive of the vehicle.

If the vehicle has to be towed away with the propulsion unit stopped the forced-feed lubricating oil system will not be driven and there is a risk of severe transmission damage since gears and bearings in the transmission are running without lubrication during towing. A known solution is to disconnect the driven wheels from the output shaft by demounting a propeller shaft of the vehicle.

A technical problem addressed by the present invention is to provide an alternative and improved solution to not risk damaging an AMT during towing of the vehicle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, the primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved method and device for securing lubrication of an AMT in a vehicle during towing. This is achieved by a method as discussed in the introduction, the characteristics of which are defined by claim 1. The object is also achieved by a device as discussed in the introduction, the characteristics of which are defined by claim 4.

Claims 2-3 and 6-10 describe different embodiments and developments of the method and device according to the invention. The method according to the invention is a method for securing lubrication of an automated manual transmission in a vehicle, when towing said vehicle, and where a transmission lubrication system is drivingly connected to and driven by rotation of an intermediate shaft of said automated manual transmission and where said lubrication system is driven by a propulsion unit of said vehicle via said intermediate shaft. Said method is characterized by the following steps executed in mentioned order:

- upon registering a signal that said propulsion unit is turned off then,

- disengaging all gears that are arranged to drivingly engage or disengage an input shaft to said intermediate shaft of said automated manual transmission, and engaging one gear that is arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft to an output shaft of said automated manual transmission.

According to one embodiment of the method according to the invention said signal is manually initiated every time said propulsion unit is switched off manually.

According to another embodiment of the method according to the invention said signal is also initiated when said propulsion unit is turned off automatically by a control unit of the vehicle without an ignition key of the vehicle being switched off manually.

The device according to the invention is an AMT in a vehicle comprising (including but not limited to) an input shaft, an intermediate shaft and an output shaft with several different gears arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said input shaft to said intermediate shaft, and to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft to said output shaft, and where a transmission lubrication system is drivingly connected to and driven by rotation of said intermediate shaft, said lubrication system is driven by a propulsion unit of said vehicle via said intermediate shaft, characterized in that a control unit is arranged to disengage all said gears drivingly connecting said input shaft and said intermediate shaft and to engage one of said gears arranged to drivingly connect said intermediate shaft and said output shaft, upon registration of a signal that said propulsion unit is switched off and in order to drivingly connect said lubrication system with driven wheels of the vehicle.

According to one embodiment of the device according to the invention said control unit is arranged to register said signal every time said propulsion unit is switched off manually.

According to another embodiment of the device according to the invention said control unit is arranged to register said signal every time said propulsion unit is turned off automatically by said control unit or another control unit of the vehicle without an ignition key of the vehicle being switched off manually.

Further advantageous embodiments of the invention emerge from the dependent patent claims following patent claim 1.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention will be described in greater detail below with reference to the accompanying drawing which, for the purpose of exemplification, shows further preferred embodiments of the invention and also the technical background, and in which:

Figure 1 shows a diagrammatic representation of an internal combustion engine with an AMT. Figure 2 shows the clutch and gearbox in the AMT in Figure 1 on enlarged scale.

Figure 3 shows the invention applied on a computer arrangement.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In Figure 1, reference number 1 designates a propulsion unit, for example a diesel engine, the crankshaft 2 of which is coupled to a single-plate dry disk clutch, designated generally by reference number 3, which is enclosed in a clutch case 4. The crankshaft 2 is, via the output shaft 51 of the engine, connected non- rotatably to the clutch housing 5 of the clutch 3, while its plate 6 is connected non-rotatably to an input shaft 7 which is mounted rotatably in the casing 8 of an AMT designated generally by reference number 9. An output shaft 10 (main shaft) and an intermediate shaft 11 are also mounted rotatably in the casing 8.

As can be seen most clearly from Figure 2, a gearwheel 12 is mounted rotatably on the input shaft 7 and is lockable on the shaft by means of a coupling sleeve 13 which is provided with synchronizing means and is mounted non-rotatably but axially displaceable on a hub 14 connected non-rotatably to the input shaft 7. By means of the coupling sleeve 13, a gearwheel 15 mounted rotatably on the output shaft 10 is also lockable relative to the input shaft 7. With the coupling sleeve 13 in a central position, both the gearwheels 12 and 15 are disengaged from their shafts 7 and, respectively, 10. The gearwheels 12 and 15 engage with gearwheels 16 and, respectively, 17 which are connected non-rotatably to the intermediate shaft 11. Arranged in a rotationally fixed manner on the intermediate shaft 11 are further gearwheels 18, 19 and 20 which engage with gearwheels 21, 22 and, respectively, 23 which are mounted rotatably on the output shaft 10 and are lockable on the output shaft by means of coupling sleeves 24 and, respectively, 25 which, in the illustrative embodiment shown, do not have synchronizing devices. A further gearwheel 28 is mounted rotatably on the output shaft 10 and engages with an intermediate gearwheel 30 which is mounted rotatably on a separate shaft 29 and in turn engages with the intermediate shaft gearwheel 20. The gearwheel 28 is lockable on its shaft by means of a coupling sleeve 26.

The gearwheel pairs 12, 16 and 15, 17 and the coupling sleeve 13 form a synchronized split gear with a low gear stage LS and a high gear stage HS. The gearwheel pair 15, 17 also forms, together with the gearwheel pairs 21, 18, 22, 19, 23, 20 and 28, 30, a basic gearbox with four forward gears and one reverse gear. Arranged in a rotationally fixed manner on the output end of the output shaft is a gearwheel 31 which, in the shown example, forms the sun gear in a two-stage synchronized range gear of planetary type which is designated by reference number 32 and the planet-wheel carrier 33 of which is connected in a rotationally fixed manner to a shaft 34 which forms the range rear output shaft and the total output shaft of the gearbox. The planet wheels 35 of the range gear 32 engage with a ring gear 36 which, by means of a coupling sleeve 37, is lockable relative to the gearbox casing 8 for low range LR and relative to the planet-wheel carrier 33 for high range HR.

The coupling sleeves 13, 24, 25, 26 and 37 are displaceable as shown by the arrows in Figure 2, the gear stages shown in conjunction with the arrows being obtained. The coupling sleeves 13, 24, 25 each have three positions, two gear positions and a neutral position N (central position) . The coupling sleeve 26 has one gear position and a neutral position N. In an alternative embodiment (not shown) the coupling sleeve 37 has only two gear positions LR and HR. The displacement of the coupling sleeves is brought about by respective servo devices 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 indicated diagrammatically in Figure 2, which can be pneumatically operated piston/cylinder arrangements of the type used in an AMT of the type described above which is marketed under the name I-shift.

The servo devices 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 are controlled by a control unit 45 (see Figure 1) , comprising a microcomputer, depending on signals fed into the control unit representing various engine and vehicle data, when an electronic gear selector 46 coupled to the control unit 45 is in its automatic shifting position. When the selector is in the position for manual shifting, shifting takes place at the command of the driver via the gear selector 46. In the shown example (figure 1) the control unit 45 of the AMT also communicates with a engine control unit 50 in a known way.

An oil pump in a transmission lubrication system (not shown) may be located and driven by the intermediate shaft in various ways. Three known and commonly encountered locations are described below:

1. The oil pump can be arranged at the front end of the intermediate shaft 11. In figure 2 arrow 60 points at the front end of the intermediate shaft 11, where the oil pump can be arranged.

2. The oil pump can also be arranged at the rear end of the intermediate shaft 11, that is to say on the right-hand side of the intermediate shaft 11 shown in figure 2. In figure 2 arrow 61 points at the rear end of the intermediate shaft 11, where the oil pump can be arranged alternatively. 3. The oil pump can also be arranged to be driven by a gear (not shown) arranged on a separate shaft

(not shown) , and which gear meshes with one of the gears on the intermediate shaft 11. It would also be possible to drive such an oil pump through one of the gear wheels 12, 15, 21, 22, 23 and 28 arranged on the input 7 or output shaft 10 since they always rotate with the intermediate shaft due to these gear wheels meshing with the corresponding gear wheels, which are fixed to the intermediate shaft 11.

The, in figure 1 and 2, shown example disclose an AMT with an auxiliary gear in the form of a range gear 32. The following embodiments of the invention are applicable for an AMT equipped with or without a range gear. The following mentioned embodiments could also be used in an AMT without a split gear.

According to one embodiment of the invention the control unit 45 can be programmed to execute the following steps in mentioned order:

- upon registering a signal that said propulsion unit is turned off then, ,

- disengaging all gears (the split gears in the shown example) ) that are arranged to drivingly engage or disengage the input shaft 7 to said intermediate shaft 11, and engaging one gear (basic gearbox gear) that is arranged to drivingly engage or disengage said intermediate shaft to an output shaft 10.

This means that said steps are executed every time the propulsion unit of the vehicle is switched off. With said procedure according to the invention it will be possible to tow the vehicle without risking damaging the transmission. If the AMT is equipped with a range gear 32 as in figure 1 and 2, said control unit 45 is then in one embodiment according to the invention programmed, besides the steps mentioned above, to engage a gear of said range gear in order to drivingly connect said output shaft 10 with the range gear output shaft 34. Thus, this step is also performed upon registration of a signal that said propulsion unit has been turned off and in order to drivingly connect said lubrication system with driven wheels of the vehicle. The AMT- lubrication system also supplies the range gear with lubricant, and thus the inventive procedure also secures lubrication of the range gear during towing.

According to one embodiment of the invention said signal is manually initiated every time said propulsion unit is switched off manually. The manually initiated signal can be initiated through, for example, the driver switching of the ignition key or pressing a button or a lever arranged on the dashboard for turning off the propulsion unit. This embodiment of the invention has the advantage that for every time the driver somehow switches off the ignition and, thus, turns off said propulsion unit said inventive procedure will secure lubrication of the transmission even though the vehicle will be towed.

According to another embodiment of the invention said signal can also be initiated when said propulsion unit is turned off automatically by a control unit of the vehicle without said, for example, ignition key of the vehicle being switched off manually by the driver. The control unit that performs the automatic turn off of the propulsion unit can be said control unit 45 or another control unit arranged in the vehicle. This embodiment can be used for example when the vehicle is equipped with a start/stop system (known art) that automatically switches off the propulsion unit when the driver has stopped the vehicle, putted the transmission into neutral and released a clutch pedal arranged in the vehicle. As soon as the driver depresses the clutch pedal such an start/stop system can be programmed to start the propulsion unit. If the propulsion unit for some reason is remained in its off state this embodiment of the invention will automatically see to that the transmission is ready for a possible towing. Said start/stop functionality can . be performed by said control unit 45 or another control unit arranged in the vehicle .

According to another embodiment of the invention said signal is automatically initiated when a velocity of the vehicle other than zero is registered and that the said propulsion unit 1 for some reason is turned off. Thus, the control unit 45 can be programmed to initiate said signal when said control unit 45 or another control unit has registered a vehicle velocity other than zero and that said propulsion unit 1 is turned off.

Thus, if the driver for some reason does not notice that towing of the vehicle could damage the transmission due to no lubrication, the above mentioned automatic embodiments for securing such a lubrication will help the driver and save the transmission.

According to one embodiment of the invention said different embodiments for securing lubrication of an AMT during towing of the vehicle can be applied in a vehicle equipped with an DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) where a lubrication system of such a DCT is driven by a intermediate shaft in a corresponding way as described above.

According to one embodiment of the invention said different embodiments for securing lubrication of an AMT during towing of the vehicle can be applied in a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) equipped with a DCT or an AMT, having a lubrication system of the type described above .

When the vehicle has been towed, the function according to the invention has been activated and the ignition of said vehicle has been switched off, the control unit can be programmed to after concluded towing and the ignition switched on again to selected neutral as usual, that is by disengaging all gears connecting the intermediate shaft to the output shaft.

Figure 3 shows an apparatus 500 according to one embodiment of the invention, comprising a nonvolatile memory 520, a processor 510 and a read and write memory 560. The memory 520 has a first memory part 530, in which a computer program for controlling the apparatus 500 is stored. The computer program in the memory part 530 for controlling the apparatus 500 can be an operating system.

The apparatus 500 can be enclosed in, for example, a control unit, such as the control unit 45. The data- processing unit 510 can comprise, for example, a microcomputer .

The memory 520 also has a second memory part 540, in which a program for securing lubrication of an AMT in a vehicle according to the invention is stored. In an alternative embodiment, the program for securing lubrication of an AMT in a vehicle is stored in a separate nonvolatile data storage medium 550, such as, for example, a CD or an exchangeable semiconductor memory. The program can be stored in an executable form or in a compressed state. When it is stated below that the data-processing unit 510 runs a specific function, it should be clear that the data-processing unit 510 is running a specific part of the program stored in the memory 540 or a specific part of the program stored in the nonvolatile recording medium 550.

The data-processing unit 510 is tailored for communication with the memory 550 through a data bus 514. The data-processing unit 510 is also tailored for communication with the memory 520 through a data bus 512. In addition,. the data-processing unit 510 is tailored for communication with the memory 560 through a data bus 511. The data-processing unit 510 is also tailored for communication with a data port 590 by the use of a data bus 515.

The method according to the present invention can be executed by the data-processing unit 510, by the data- processing unit 510 running the program stored in the memory 540 or the program stored in the nonvolatile recording medium 550.

The invention should not be deemed to be limited to the embodiments described above, but rather a number of further variants and modifications are conceivable within the scope of the following patent claims.