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Proven 50 million times. Precise control parts from Honsel are providing high shifting comfort in automatic transmissions

(PresseBox) (Meschede, ) In mid-January, Honsel shipped the 50 millionth control component for automatic transmissions. In 2010 alone, the automotive supplier produced 4 million of these highprecision components, which control the gear changing process in automatic transmissions.

A control component for automatic transmissions consists of a valve housing and a valve plate. A labyrinth of extremely fine channels is built into these components, through which the hydraulic oil is circulating. The hydraulic valves are activated by the oil pressure. The hydraulic valves control and regulate the various clutches and brakes inside automatic transmissions during the shift sequence when changing the gear.

Honsel started the production of control parts in the Nuremberg plant in 1990. Since then, the demands for this very complex component in aluminium die casting have risen strongly. The contour of the control edges in the valve plate and valve housing, for example, have to be in smaller tolerance ranges to guarantee the today's required shifting quality.

"Thanks to our experience and state-of-the-art software tools we can now make the development process even more efficient and shorten it significantly," says Dr. Jürgen Reusch, Head of Transmission Development at Honsel. Up to now, prototypes of the control components have been produced in sand casting and a die casting mould is fabricated only very late in the development process. Honsel has condensed the development workflow and has eliminated the development phase with sand-cast prototypes. Based on the first 3D data, the experts at Honsel can now begin developing the die-cast component and the die-casting mould. They can allow modifications of the inserts until the final design freeze. As the die-cast control components are available earlier, they are also available at an early stage for testing of the new transmission. "We can now deliver the first die-cast components as soon as about 16 weeks after starting development," adds Dr. Reusch. "With that, we've been able to shorten the development process by about 13 weeks. Apart from dropping the development stage in sand casting, the main advantage is the very early evaluation of the gearbox shift quality based upon components that match the real series production quality".

In Nuremberg, Honsel manufactures control parts for automatic transmissions with five, six, seven and eight gears. Also in Nuremberg, the company produces transmission housings in aluminium and magnesium for hydraulic automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions (CVT) and double clutch transmissions (DCT). Customers are leading passenger car, commercial vehicle and transmission manufacturers worldwide.


Honsel is one of the world's leading producers of light-metal components. The company develops and manufactures aluminium and magnesium products using the casting, extruding and rolling processes for engine, transmission, suspension and car body of passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Additionally, the company supplies products for engineering and other applications. Components and solutions from Honsel reduce vehicle weights, fuel consumption and emissions, thus contributing to environmental protection. Founded in 1908, Honsel has become a development partner and systems supplier for the worldwide automotive industry and has facilities in Germany, Spain, Brazil and Mexico. About 3,800 employees generate a total turnover of about 540 million Euros.