SECTION I: Testing
|1||Has the R & D result been tested?|
The following question is replied according to the reply in question 1
|1a||In what mode has the result been tested?
• Pilot Application
• Alpha/BETA testing
|The proposed product is an innovative automatic clutch, invented by the company in 2006. It transforms an ordinary automobile with an ordinary gear-box into a car with semi-automatic gear-box, thus ensuring one of the biggest advantages of the automatic gearbox – easy driving, especially in heavy traffic conditions due to the removal of the clutch. The two prototypes were manufactured by the company and installed for evaluation in 2006. One of the strongest points is the ability of substitution of any standard clutch system within the automobile without the need to change or modify the existing batch lines and the construction of the vehicle. The extensive testing period revealed extreme stability and versatility of the technical decision. Its simplified design and the lack of electronic control components contribute to the reliability of the product. The final result is a product, which have been manufactured with more than 30% less raw materials, compared with the ordinary ones.
|1b.||Please describe and discuss the testing results|
|Extensive testing of the prototype confirmed the research results – over 30% decrease in raw materials, necessary for manufacturing, while gaining the main advantages of the semi-automatic transmission. The removal of the ordinary springs of the friction disc and the elimination of the heavy anti-vibration mechanism leaded to précised cohesion between the friction disk and the pressure plate of the automatic clutch. Overall performance of the clutch is greatly improved, allowing the driver to pull up even without disengaging the gear. In addition a substitution of the standard clutch mechanism with the proposed product turns every automobile in a specialized vehicle for disabled people. And this is for a tiny fragment of the costs, necessary for expensive semi-automatic transmissions.|
SECTION 2: Current Stage of Development
|2a||To what extent does the development team have technical resources for supporting the production of a new product? (Researchers, human resources, hardware, etc. )|
|The research team has managed to develop and create two working prototypes of an automatic clutch, which were implemented in two different automobiles and passed extensive testing – over 150 000 km. The team has the knowledge and the abilities for implementation of the invention in small scale production, as well as for necessary amendments and correction, which may arise, due to specific client’s requirements. The existence of a small steel machining factory makes easier the preparation and organization of a pilot batch, necessary for organization of further large scale production.
|2b||What are the technical issues that need to be tackled for full deployment, if needed?|
|The product is fully developed and completed at a stage of prototype. All tests and practical evaluation have proved excellent results, proving significant decrease in the raw materials, necessary for the manufacturing by 30%, compared to ordinary ones, lowering the overall production costs up to 45-50%. The fuel consumption and the harmful emissions are also reduced.
|2c||What additional technical resources are needed for the production of this new product?|
|For starting a pilot batch production the company will need as minimum universal metalworking equipment, such as lathe, universal milling machine and CNC controlled milling center. The necessary manufacturing areas could be determined at approx. 700 – 1000 sq. m. for the initial stages of production. The company has a potential for developing an engineering team itself, so it will need additional technical staff (operators) and mechanics/locksmiths.|
|2d||Overall assessment of the current stage of technical development.|
|At the current stage the automatic clutch is fully developed as a working prototype, ready for implementation and tailor made to the customer’s requirements.
SECTION 3: Deployment
|3a||Define the demands for large scale production in terms of|
|The materials, needed for manufacturing of the automatic clutch, are conventional, well-known and widely available alloys. The reduced use of raw materials make the product cost effective and relatively easy for implementation even is large scale production.
There aren’t any specific demands towards the raw material implemented.
|For starting a small batch production the company will need conventional universal metalworking equipment, consisting of lathes, universal milling machines and a metalworking CNC controlled turning center for a future broadening of the production.
|The company has the abilities to develop and provide engineering controlling staff. Metal processing machines operators and locksmiths will be needed for manufacturing of the product, as well as CNC trained operators. Mechanics/fitters for the final stage of production.
SECTION 4: Overall Assessment
|1||What is you overall assessment of the technical feasibility of the research result?|
|The innovative automatic clutch is fully developed and working. All evaluation and test programs have proven its abilities to decrease significantly the raw materials, necessary for manufacturing (up to 30%) as well as reduction of fuel consumption and harmful emissions, due to more precise friction regulation.
This technical decision is of a great interest for implementation in the automotive industry, especially helpful for disabled persons.
The scope of use is very wide – easy implementation on any batch production transport vehicle (cars, buses, trucks, fork lifting machines and many other), without modifying the existing batch production lines.