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Title:
TRANSMISSION ASSEMBLY; METHOD FOR ASSEMBLING A TRANSMISSION ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/011798
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Transmission assembly for a motor vehicle for transmitting power from a drive source to wheels of the vehicle, wherein the transmission assembly comprises a transmission having a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing power transmitting elements actuated by a hydraulic control unit, a launch module arranged at an input side of the transmission, wherein the launch module is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the launch module is operated hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission, wherein the launch module comprises a launch device for providing the connection and/or separation between the transmission and the drive source, and a stator plate for providing the fluid connection between the launch device and the transmission hydraulic control unit.

Inventors:
MIOT, Maxime Jean-Pierre Michel (Poort Sint-Truiden, 3800 Sint-Truiden, B-3800, BE)
VANDEPUT, Philip Patrick Lydia (Poort Sint-Truiden, 3800 Sint-Truiden, B-3800, BE)
VAN DEURZEN, Antonius Arnoldus Maria (Poort Sint-Truiden, 3800 Sint-Truiden, B-3800, BE)
Application Number:
EP2018/068354
Publication Date:
January 17, 2019
Filing Date:
July 06, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PUNCH POWERTRAIN N.V. (Ondernemerslaan 5429, Poort Sint-Truiden, 3800 Sint-Truiden, B-3800, BE)
International Classes:
F16H45/02; F16H57/04; F16H61/00
Foreign References:
JPH04157248A1992-05-29
JPS6084451A1985-05-13
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JANSEN, C.M. (V.O, Carnegieplein 5, 2517 KJ Den Haag, 2517 KJ, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Transmission assembly for a motor vehicle for transmitting power from a drive source to wheels of the vehicle, wherein the transmission assembly comprises

- a transmission having a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing power transmitting elements actuated by a hydraulic control unit;

- a launch module arranged at an input side of the transmission, wherein the launch module is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the launch module is operated hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission;

- wherein the launch module comprises

- a launch device for providing the connection and/or separation between the transmission and the drive source, and

- a stator plate for providing the fluid connection between the launch device and the transmission hydraulic control unit;

wherein the stator plate comprises a hydraulic manifold having at least one valve for actuating the hydraulic actuation of the launch device.

2. Transmission assembly according to claim 1, wherein the hydraulic manifold further comprises a valve control element for controlling the at least one valve of the manifold.

3. Transmission assembly according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the fluid connection between the manifold and the hydraulic control unit is a direct fluid connection, i.e. without control from the hydraulic control unit.

4. Transmission assembly according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the stator plate is arranged for mechanical connection to the transmission housing, such that the fluid connection between the hydraulic control unit and the stator plate manifold can be established.

5. Transmission assembly according to claim 4, wherein the stator plate is provided with mating elements that are arranged for cooperation with corresponding mating elements on the transmission housing.

6. Transmission assembly according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the stator plate manifold is fluidly connected to the launch device via hydraulic channels.

7. Transmission assembly according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the launch module is configured for a specific type of launch device, such that, upon selection of a type of launch device the corresponding launch module is provided.

8. Transmission assembly according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the transmission housing is the same for different types of launch devices.

9. Transmission assembly according to any of the preceding claims, wherein an output shaft of the drive source is engaging with the launch module which is configured to engage with an input shaft of the

transmission.

10. Transmission assembly according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the launch module comprises a launch module housing for receiving the launch device and the stator plate, preferably wherein the launch module housing is arranged for connection to the transmission housing, preferably by means of connection elements.

11. Stator plate comprising at least one hydraulic channel and at least one manifold arranged for connection with a hydraulic control unit of a transmission at one side and for connection with a launch device at another side.

12. Stator plate according to claim 11 for use in the transmission assembly according to any of the claims 1 - 10.

13. Method for assembling a transmission assembly, comprising - providing a transmission having a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing power transmitting elements actuated by a hydraulic control unit;

- providing a first type of launch module that is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the first type of launch module is configured for operating hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission;

comprising a first type of launch device and a corresponding first type of stator plate;

- providing at least a second type of launch module that is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the second type of launch module is configured for operating hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission; comprising a second type of launch device and a

corresponding second type of stator plate;

- selecting one of the plurality of types of launch modules;

- assembly of the selected type of launch device with the provided

transmission.

14. Method according to claim 13, wherein the provided transmission is a single type of transmission independent of the plurality of launch modules.

15. Transmission assembly for a motor vehicle for transmitting power from a drive source to wheels of the vehicle, wherein the transmission assembly comprises

- a transmission having a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing power transmitting elements actuated by a hydraulic control unit;

- a peripheral component arranged to be connected with the transmission and arranged for fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit;

- a stator plate for providing the fluid connection between the peripheral component and the transmission hydraulic control unit; wherein the stator plate comprises a hydraulic manifold having at least one valve for operating the hydraulic actuation of the peripheral component.

Description:
Title : Transmission assembly; method for assembling a transmission assembly The invention relates to a transmission assembly for a motor vehicle for transmitting power from a drive source to wheels of the vehicle.

Transmission assemblies are known as part of a vehicle

powertrain. Transmission assemblies typically comprise a transmission and a launch device, as well as a stator plate for providing the hydraulic connection between the transmission and the launch device.

The transmission typically comprises a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing, power transmitting elements are provided. The power transmitting elements, such as friction elements or gears or clutches, are usually actuated hydraulically by a hydraulic control unit. The hydraulic control unit comprises valves and control elements such as solenoids and is provided inside of the transmission housing. The hydraulic control unit is often referred to as HCU or hydraulic circuit.

The launch device is usually provided between the drive source and the transmission and is arranged for connection and/or separation of the transmission from the drive source. For example, during start of the drive source, the transmission is only connected to the drive source once a certain rpm is reached. For example, during stand still, e.g. at a traffic light, the drive source is running, but the vehicle is not, so the transmission is separated from the drive source. The launch device then connects or separates the drive source to or from the transmission. The launch device can be embodied as a clutch device or as a torque converter or as a power shift module or as any other known launch device.

The launch device is actuated hydraulically and is hydraulically connected to the hydraulic circuit of the transmission. To provide this hydraulic connection between the launch device at one side and the transmission at the other side, a stator plate is provided. The stator plate comprises channels for the hydraulic fluid and is coupled to the launch device at one side and to the transmission at the other side. The control of the hydraulic fluid for the actuation of the launch device is done by the hydraulic control unit. The main hydraulic control unit controls all hydraulic actuation in the transmission assembly.

For some powertrains it is beneficial to use another launch device than for other powertrains, depending on the space available in the vehicle, on the desired driver launch experience, on costs etc. This requires a redesign of the transmission, in particular of the hydraulic control unit of the transmission since a different type of launch devices requires a different hydraulic control. Such re- design is often cumbersome as it takes time, may be difficult and may also influence development, installation, assembly and/or maintenance.

There is a need to provide for a transmission assembly that obviates at least one of the above mentioned drawbacks.

Thereto, the invention provides for a transmission assembly for a motor vehicle for transmitting power from a drive source to wheels of the vehicle, wherein the transmission assembly comprises a transmission having a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing power transmitting elements actuated by a hydraulic control unit; a launch module arranged at an input side of the transmission, wherein the launch module is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the launch module is actuated hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission; wherein the launch module comprises a launch device for providing the connection and/or separation between the transmission and the drive source, and a stator plate for providing the fluid connection between the launch device and the transmission hydraulic control unit; wherein the stator plate comprises a hydraulic manifold having at least one valve for operating the hydraulic actuation of the launch device. By providing the stator plate with a hydraulic manifold having at least one valve for hydraulically actuating the launch device, the

transmission, in particular the hydraulic control unit of the transmission, can remain unchanged when a different launch device is coupled to the transmission assembly. So, a transmission assembly with a relatively large flexibility can be obtained at relatively low cost. When a different type of launch device is selected, the transmission, typically inside a transmission housing, can remain the same, and only the corresponding stator plate, with launch-device specific manifold, is to be selected to obtain an adapted transmission assembly. As such, a modular transmission assembly can be obtained that is versatile, relatively cost effective and relatively easy adaptable to different types of launch devices.

Advantageously, the hydraulic manifold of the stator plate further comprises a valve control element for controlling the at least one valve of the manifold. By providing the hydraulic manifold of the stator plate with a valve control element, the modularity of the transmission assembly may be further increased, because the hydraulic manifold of the stator plate may be easier adapted to different types of launch devices. Also the transmission may be further simplified and cost of the transmission may be reduced. As such, the actuation and/or control of the at least one valve of the hydraulic manifold may be more independent of the hydraulic control unit.

Preferably, the fluid connection between the manifold and the hydraulic control unit is a direct fluid connection, i.e. without control from the hydraulic control unit. By providing a direct fluid connection, the control of the at least one valve of the hydraulic manifold can become independent of the hydraulic control unit. More preferably, there is provided a direct fluid connection while there is a valve control element in the hydraulic manifold of the stator plate. This configuration may further increase the modularity of the transmission assembly and the complexity and costs of the transmission may be further reduced. Advantageously, the stator plate is arranged for mechanical connection to the transmission housing, such that the fluid connection between the hydraulic control unit and the stator plate manifold can be established. By providing such mechanical connections, assembly of the stator plate to the transmission housing may be simpler and/or more reliable, reducing risk on mistakes, reducing assembly time etc. Also, the fluid connection between the stator plate and the hydraulic control unit of the transmission housing may thus be established in a more reliable and/or simpler manner. Advantageously, the stator plate is provided with mating elements that are arranged for cooperation with corresponding mating elements on the transmission housing. By providing the stator plate with mating elements that are arranged for cooperation with corresponding mating elements on the transmission housing, enhanced reliable assembly of the stator plate with the transmission housing may be obtained.

The launch module preferably comprises a launch module housing in which the launch device and the stator plate are housed. The launch module housing is put over the launch device and the stator plate to connect with the transmission housing, preferably via connection elements. The launch module housing thus serves as a cover for the launch device and the stator plate and may form, together with the transmission housing, a closed housing for the transmission assembly. Advantageously, the stator plate is connected to the transmission housing, then the launch device can be coupled to the stator plate. The launch module housing can then be put over the launch device and stator plate to be connected to the transmission housing via the connection elements.

Preferably, the stator plate manifold is fluidly connected to the launch device via hydraulic channels. By providing this fluid connection via hydraulic channels, use of the hydraulic channels available in the stator plate can be made, as well as the fluid connection between the stator plate and the transmission can be used. As such, an integrated hydraulic system can be obtained that via hydraulic channels may extend to the launch device, while hydraulic manifold of the stator plate may control the launch device hydraulically.

By configuring the launch module for a specific type of launch device, such that, upon selection of a type of launch device the corresponding launch module is provided, the modularity of the transmission assembly is further improved. Also, the interchangeability of a launch device with respect to a transmission housing is enhanced.

Advantageously, the transmission housing is the same for different types of launch devices, to provide for further reduction of the complexity and/or costs of the transmission assembly.

In a preferred embodiment of the transmission assembly, an output shaft of the drive source is engaging with the launch module which is configured to engage with an input shaft of the transmission. As such, the transmission assembly can be connected in a compact and/or easy way to the drive source to receive torque from the drive source.

In another aspect of the invention a stator plate is provided comprising at least one hydraulic channel and at least one manifold arranged for connection with a hydraulic control unit of a transmission at one side and for connection with a launch device at another side. By providing a stator plate with at least one hydraulic channel and at least one manifold, the stator plate may be customized according to the requirements of the launch device while, in particular, the transmission inside the transmission housing, may remain unchanged. Thus, the stator plate can be relatively easy adapted to different launch devices without the need to change the transmission when another launch device is applied, which is cost effective.

Advantageously, the stator plate is provided for use in the transmission assembly. By providing a stator plate in or use in a

transmission assembly, the transmission and in particular the hydraulic control unit of the transmission, can remain unchanged when a different launch device is coupled to the transmission. So, a transmission assembly with a relatively large flexibility can be obtained at relatively low cost.

When a different type of launch device is selected, the transmission can remain the same, and only the corresponding stator plate, with a launch- device specific manifold, is to be selected to obtain an adapted transmission assembly. As such, a modular transmission assembly can be obtained that is versatile, relatively cost effective and relatively easy adaptable to different types of launch devices.

In yet another aspect of the invention a method is provided for assembling a transmission assembly, comprising; providing a transmission having a transmission housing and inside the transmission housing power transmitting elements actuated by a hydraulic control unit; providing a first type of launch module that is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the first type of launch module is configured for operating hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission; comprising a first type of launch device and a corresponding first type of stator plate; providing at least a second type of launch module that is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission to and/or from the drive source; wherein the second type of launch module is configured for operating hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit of the transmission;

comprising a second type of launch device and a corresponding second type of stator plate; selecting one of the plurality of types of launch modules; assembly the selected type of launch device with the provided transmission. Preferably, by providing a single type transmission, and multiple types of launch devices together with corresponding launch device specific stator plates, an easy to assemble and cost effective transmission assembly can be obtained. Depending on a selected type of launch device, the corresponding stator plate is selected and assemble to the single available transmission. Thus, the transmission assembly can be easily adapted with another launch device and corresponding stator plate while the transmission may remain unchanged.

Further advantageous embodiments are represented in the subclaims.

The invention will be further elucidated with reference to a drawing. The figures in the drawing are given by way of exemplary embodiments. In the drawing shows:

Figure 1 a schematic representation of an embodiment of a transmission assembly according to the invention;

Figure 2 a schematic hydraulic diagram of a transmission assembly according to the invention.

In the drawing, the figures are given merely as a schematic representation of the invention. Corresponding elements are designated with corresponding reference signs.

Figure 1 shows a transmission assembly 1 for a motor vehicle for transmitting power from a drive source 2 to the wheels of the vehicle. The drive source 2 can be a combustion engine, or can be an electrical machine. This transmission assembly 1 comprises a transmission 3 having a transmission housing 4. Inside the transmission housing 4 power

transmitting elements 5 are provided which are actuated by a hydraulic control unit 6. The power transmitting elements 5 can be embodied as a known type of power transmitting elements, such as gears, friction elements etc. for providing a manual or an automatic transmission of the power from the drive source to the wheels. Such power transmitting elements are known from the state of the art and not further elucidated here. Figure 1 shows a schematic representation of a transmission 3 of the continuously variable transmission CVT type 7 having pulleys 7a, 7b and a flexible member 7c in between to transfer torque from a primary pulley 7a to a secondary pulley 7b. As said, this transmission may also be embodied as another type of transmission. A transmission is typically provided to provide a convenient speed ratio and torque at the wheels at different driving conditions.

Between the drive source 2 and the transmission 3, usually a launch module 8 is provided that is arranged for connection and/or separation of the transmission from the drive source, for example during start of the drive source, or during stand still of the vehicle. The launch module 8 is arranged at an input side 9 of the transmission 3, wherein this launch module 8 is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission 3 to the drive source 2 and/or from the drive source 2. This connection and/or separation can often be done by a hydraulic actuation of the launch module 8, which is in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit 6 of the transmission 3. The launch module 8 comprises preferably a launch module housing 10 which for enclosing a launch device 11 and a stator plate 12. The launch module housing 10 is arranged for mechanical connection to the transmission housing 4 by means of connection elements 13, for example embodied as bolt-nut or pin-hole or a flange connection. For example, the launch module housing 10 and transmission housing 4 may be both provided with a flange on the outer circumference which enables the connection of the launch module housing 10 and transmission housing 4 with the connection elements 13. The launch module housing 10 and transmission housing 4 can then form, when connected together, a transmission assembly housing 14. The launch module housing 10 is thus open to be put over the launch device 11 and the stator plate 12 to provide for a cover of the launch module 8. As such, a direct mechanical and/or hydraulic connection between the transmission housing 4 and stator plate 12 is possible.

The launch module 8 comprises the launch device 11 for providing the connection and/or separation between the transmission 3 and the drive source 2. Such a launch device 8 is known from the state of the art, and can be for example, but not limited to, torque convertors, wet clutches or dry clutches. These types of launch devices as such are not further elucidated.

The launch module 8 is provided with the stator plate 12 for providing the fluid connection between the launch device 11 and the transmission hydraulic control unit 6. As such, the hydraulic fluid from the transmission hydraulic control unit 6 can be supplied to the launch device 11 for actuation of the launch device 11, via the stator plate 12. The stator plate 12 comprises a hydraulic manifold 15 having at least one valve 16 for operating the hydraulic actuation of the launch device 11. Thus, the actuation of the launch device 11 can be operated by the hydraulic manifold 15 of the stator plate 12, and not, as in the prior art systems, by the transmission hydraulic control unit. Other valves 17 and/or channels (not shown) may be provided in the hydraulic manifold 15 to actuate other hydraulic components of the transmission assembly, such as actuation of a DNR (drive-neutral-reverse) clutch (not shown) to provide the transmission 3 in a forward drive, neutral or reverse mode. Another valve 17 may be provided for e.g. the actuation, lubrication and/or cooling of other clutches or any other component in the assembly 1, as shown in figure 2.

The hydraulic manifold 15 of the stator plate 12 in the

transmission assembly 1 may further comprise a valve control element 18, such as a solenoid, for controlling the at least one valve 16 of the hydraulic manifold 15. Thus, the actuation of the launch device 11 can also be controlled by the hydraulic manifold 15 of the stator plate 12, and not, as in the prior art systems, by the transmission hydraulic control unit. It may also possible that the hydraulic manifold 15 comprises multiple valve control elements 15 for controlling the multiple valves 16, 17 in the hydraulic manifold 15.

A pump system (not shown) supplies hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic control unit 6 and via the hydraulic control unit 6 the hydraulic fluid is distributed to the hydraulic manifold 15 in the stator plate 12, as well as to hydraulic components in the transmission 3. The hydraulic manifold 15 is in direct fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit 6, i.e. without control from the hydraulic control unit 6. Without control from the hydraulic control unit 6, the pressure and/or flow of the hydraulic fluid is controlled by a valve 16, 17 and/or valve control element 18 of the stator plate manifold 15.

In figure 1, the pump system (not shown) supplies hydraulic fluid via a hydraulic line 19a to the hydraulic control unit 6. From the hydraulic control unit 6, hydraulic fluid is distributed, preferably without any control, to the hydraulic manifold 15 via a direct fluid connection through hydraulic line 19b. However, it may also be a possibility that the hydraulic control unit 6 partially controls the hydraulic fluid to the stator plate manifold 15. In case of partial control by the hydraulic control unit, one or more valve control elements 18 are provided in the hydraulic control unit 6 that control the valve 17 in the hydraulic manifold 15. Figure 1 shows an embodiment wherein the hydraulic fluid for actuation of the launch device 11 is at least partially controlled by the hydraulic manifold 15. Hydraulic fluid is supplied from the hydraulic manifold 15 to the launch device 11 via a hydraulic line 19c . The supply of the hydraulic fluid through the fluid connection via the hydraulic line 19c is controlled by the hydraulic manifold 15 and more specifically by at least one valve 16 and preferably also by a control valve element 18.

In the transmission assembly 1 the stator plate 12 is arranged to be mechanically connected to the transmission housing 4, such that the fluid connection between the hydraulic control unit 6 in the transmission housing 4 and the stator plate manifold 15in the stator plate 12 can be established relatively easy.

The mechanical connection of the stator plate 12 to the

transmission housing 4 may be comprise mating elements 20 provided on the stator plate 12 that are arranged for cooperation with corresponding mating elements 21 provided on the transmission housing 4. These corresponding mating elements 21 on the transmission housing 4 are arranged in such a way that mating elements 20 of multiple types of stator plates 11 can cooperate with the corresponding mating elements 21. The mechanical connection of the mating elements 21 of the stator plate 12 to the transmission housing 4 may be enabled in at least two different configurations. In a first configuration, the mating elements 20 which are provided on multiples types of stator plates 12 may be substantially the same for the multiple types of stator plates and are arranged to cooperate with the corresponding mating elements 21 of the transmission housing 14. As a result, the corresponding mating elements 21 on the transmission housing 4 may be limited to a minimal number of corresponding mating elements 21, because the multiple types of stator plates 12 are all provided with substantially the same interface of mating elements 20.

In a second type of a mechanical connection each type of stator plate 12 may comprise different mating elements 20 and/or a different arrangement of mating elements 20 with respect to the mating elements 20 or the arrangement of mating elements 20 of another type of stator plate 12. So, at least two different types of stator plates may comprise different mating elements 20 and/or different arrangements of mating elements 20. The transmission housing 4 can then be provided with multiple sets of mating elements 21, each set of mating elements 21 cooperating with a set of mating elements 20 of a specific type of stator plate 12. The mating elements 20 of the multiple types of stator plates 12 may thus cooperate with a corresponding set of mating elements 21 of the single type of transmission housing 4. Thus, the transmission housing 4 comprises at least the corresponding mating elements 21 which are required to cooperate with the mating elements 20 of multiple types of stator plates 12. In this manner the modularity of the stator plate 12, and thus of the launch module 8, is kept when providing stator plates 12 which comprise different mating elements 20 and/or different arrangement of mating elements 20. So, a modular launch device 8 can be provided that can cooperate with a single type of transmission housing 4.

So, the mating elements 20, 21 are provided for establishing a mechanical connection between the stator plate 12 and the transmission housing 4. The fluid connection can be established via fluid connection points, in conjunction with the mating elements or elsewhere. By providing the mating elements 20, 21, the mechanical connection and alignment of the stator plate 12 with respect to the transmission housing 4 can be obtained. When, in particular, the alignment of the stator plate 12 with respect to the transmission housing 4 is obtained, it provides also for the alignment of the fluid connection points, such that the fluid connection can be established more easy. In this way the connection enhances the modularity of the transmission assembly 1.

The stator plate manifold 15is fluidly connected to the launch device 11 via hydraulic channels in the stator plate 12 that fluidly connect to hydraulic channels or hydraulic paths in the launch device 11. The fluid connection between the hydraulic channels in the stator plate 12 and the launch device 11 can be established via well known hydraulic connection points. Further, the stator plate 12 may be provided with more hydraulic channels to direct hydraulic fluid to other components in the transmission assembly 1, such as clutches. In some embodiments of the stator plate, hydraulic fluid may be supplied to hydraulic components in the

transmission housing, e.g. a clutch, or the power transmitting elements 5, via the stator plate 12. Then, the stator plate 12 is only used for directing the hydraulic fluid to the designated component, while the hydraulic control of the designated component is done by the hydraulic control unit 6.

The launch module 8 of the transmission assembly 1 may be configured for a specific type of launch device 11, such that, upon selection of a specific type of launch device 11 the corresponding launch module 8 is provided. For a specific type of launch device 11 a specific type of stator plate 12 is required. For example, if the launch device 11 is a torque converter, the stator plate 12 is designed to couple with the torque converter. Alternatively, if the launch device 11 is a clutch device, the stator plate 12 is designed to couple with the clutch device. As such, a launch module 8 can be obtained that is specific for a specific type of launch device 11, thus providing for a modular transmission assembly 1, while the transmission 3, with the transmission housing 4, can remain the same irrespective of the selected type of launch module 8.

The drive source 2 delivers torque and rotational speed via a drive source output shaft 23 to a transmission module input shaft 24. The transmission module 1 then transmits the power and torque of the drive source to an output shaft 22 of the transmission module 1 for driving a load, such as wheels of a vehicle The output shaft 23 of the drive source 2 is engaging with the launch module 8, wherein the launch device 11 is configured to engage with an input shaft 24 of the transmission module 1. The launch device 11 may separate or connect the torque path from the output shaft 23 of the drive source 2 to the input shaft 24 of the

transmission module 1. This connection and/ or separation may be achieved hydraulically or mechanically. A mechanical connection may be achieved by a launch device 11 which is embodied as for example a wet clutch, which is known from the state of the art. A hydraulic connection or separation may be achieved by a hydraulic launch device 8 such as a torque convertor, which is also known from the state of the art. Both the wet clutch and torque convertor are actuated hydraulically. However, also other types of launch devices may also be applied.

The stator plate 12 comprises at least one hydraulic channel and at least one hydraulic manifold 15 arranged for connection with the hydraulic control unit 6 of the transmission 3 at one side and for connection with the launch device 8 at another side, e.g. via hydraulic connection points. However, the stator plate 12 may also comprise more hydraulic channels for the distribution of hydraulic fluid to other components.

The stator plate 12 may also comprise more than one hydraulic manifold 15. Providing more than one manifold 15 in the stator plate 12 may be beneficial for controlling the hydraulic actuation, hydraulic lubrication or hydraulic cooling of multiple devices, for example for controlling hydraulic fluid to the launch device 11 and/or the power transmitting elements 5, whereby each manifold 15 may at least partially control a hydraulic function of a device. So, by providing multiple manifolds 15 in the stator plate 12, the functionality of the stator plate 12 may be increased. Moreover, by providing more than one manifold 15 in the stator plate 12, the ease for replacement or the maintenance of the valves 16,17,18 in the stator plate 12 may also be enhanced. So, the maintenance or replacement of valves 16,17,18 from the stator plate manifold 15may be less complex than the maintenance or the replacement of the valves 16,17,18 in the hydraulic control unit. Thus, by embodying the stator plate 12 with more than one manifold 15, the hydraulic control unit 6 may become more robust, while making the maintenance or replacement of the failure sensitive valves 16,17,18 less labor intensive.

One or more stator plate manifolds 15 may be integrated as an integral part of the stator plate 12, but these manifolds 15may also be provided as interchangeable modules. By providing the manifold as an interchangeable module, the assembly and/or maintenance and/or repair of the manifold may become easier. These manifold modules may then preferably be interchangeable to the stator plate 12, which enhances the modularity and flexibility in use of the stator plate 12. The modular manifold modules may increase the ease of replacement or for maintenance of valves 16,17,18 in the manifolds 12 and/or increase the ease to customize the stator plate 12 when e.g. another launch device 11 is provided in the transmission assembly 1. For example, the manifold module may be replaced by a different manifold module when a different type of launch device is to be connected to the stator plate. Alternatively, when a manifold has failed or otherwise needs maintenance, it may be removed and replaced by another manifold module.

Also a method is provided for assembling a transmission assembly

1 as shown in figure 1. The method comprises the following steps.

The first step is to provide a transmission 1 having a transmission housing 4 and inside the transmission housing 4, the power transmitting elements 5 are provided which are actuated by the hydraulic control unit 6 of the transmission 3. The second step is to provide multiple types of launch modules 8, preferably at least a first type of launch module 8 and at least a second type of launch module 8. The first type of launch module 8 is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission 3 to and/or from the drive source 2. The first type of launch module 8 is here configured for operating hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit 6 of the transmission 3, comprising a first type of launch device 11 and a corresponding first type of stator plate 12. The at least second type of launch module 8 is configured for connecting and/or separating the transmission 3 to and/or from the drive source 2. The second type of launch module 8 is configured for operating hydraulically in fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit 6 of the transmission 3 and comprises a second type of launch device 11 and a corresponding second type of stator plate 12. In a further step a single one of the plurality of types of launch modules 8 is selected. In a final step the selected type of launch module 8 is assembled with the provided transmission 3 to provide a transmission module 1. The provided transmission 3 may preferably be a single type of transmission 3 independent of the plurality of launch modules 8.

Figure 2 shows a schematic hydraulic diagram of the hydraulic circuit comprising the control unit 6 and the stator plate manifold 15. The hydraulic manifold 15 may be in direct fluid connection with the hydraulic control unit 6. In this configuration the hydraulic fluid which is supplied by hydraulic line 19a from a pump system (not shown) is then directly supplied to the stator plate manifold 15 via the hydraulic control unit 6 and hydraulic line 19b. In this configuration the hydraulic manifold 15 controls the launch device 11 by the valve control element 18 and the valvel7. The valve control element 18 is preferably a solenoid which controls the valve 17 electrically with electric pulses 25, wherein the valve 17 determines the pressure and/or flow of the hydraulic line 19c. The hydraulic manifold 15 may comprise also other valves 17 and other valve control elements 18 which may be also be used for actuation, cooling and/or lubrication of other components in the transmission assembly 1. Also, channels (not shown) in the hydraulic manifold 15 may be provided that may function purely as distribution of hydraulic fluid, such as hydraulic line 19d. In this latter example, the hydraulic fluid is controlled by control valve elements 18b and valves 17a of the hydraulic control unit 6.

In alternative embodiment the launch device 11 can be partially controlled by the hydraulic manifold 15, because a valve control element 18a is embodied in the hydraulic control unit 6 which controls the valve 16 of the hydraulic manifold 15. So, actuation of the launch device 11 is done from the manifold 15 with the valve 16, as this is launch device specific, while the control of the valve 16 is done by the hydraulic control unit 6, in particular by a valve control element such as a solenoid, that can be more independent of a specific type of launch device 11. Thus, a relatively simple and robust though launch device specific manifold and stator plate can be obtained, while the relative expensive component of the solenoid can remain in the hydraulic control unit.

Advantageously, the manifold of the stator plate, which can be embodied as an exchangeable manifold module, comprises all manifold components that adapted when adapting peripheral components of the transmission assembly. The transmission assembly comprises a transmission having a transmission housing and peripheral components connectable thereto. Such a peripheral component is the launch device, other peripheral components can be a clutch, or a DNR-module etc. When adapting such a peripheral component, advantageously, the manifold in the stator plate is adapted to the selected peripheral component. As such, an optimal modular transmission assembly is obtained. The transmission itself can be the same for all types of peripheral components, while, by providing the stator plate with a manifold and then by adapting the manifold of the stator plate, an adapted modular transmission assembly can be obtained with limited efforts and with reduced costs. By providing the stator plate with a manifold via which peripheral components, such as a launch device, can be supplied with hydraulic fluid, preferably also can be actuated via a valve in the manifold, more preferably also can be controlled via a control element, e.g. a solenoid, in the manifold, a modular system can be obtained in which the relative expensive and complex transmission can remain unchanged when connecting different types of peripheral components to the transmission.

For the purpose of clarity and a concise description, features are described herein as part of the same or separate embodiments, however, it will be appreciated that the scope of the invention may include

embodiments having combinations of all or some of the features described. It may be understood that the embodiments shown have the same or similar components, apart from where they are described as being different.

In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. The word 'comprising' does not exclude the presence of other features or steps than those listed in a claim. Furthermore, the words 'a' and 'an' shall not be construed as limited to 'only one', but instead are used to mean 'at least one', and do not exclude a plurality. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to an advantage. Many variants will be apparent to the person skilled in the art. All variants are understood to be comprised within the scope of the invention defined in the following claims.