TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Aug. 8)—Mark IV Automotive Inc. is developing advanced power steering and coolant systems to improve their efficiency and negate the alleged benefits of switching them over to electrically driven systems. Current belt drives are fairly efficient, consistently yielding 90 to 98 percent efficiency, said Dan Engler, vice president of supply management, engineering and product development, during the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City. But to further stave off claims that vehicle engineers can realize a 20-percent gain in efficiency by going to an electric motor, Mark IV is redesigning the systems to be even more efficient. Its new power steering system design controls the steering pump so that it no longer is being driven continuously in a pumping mode. Similarly, Mark IV's "Smart Cooling" system uses a flow control device to move to a demand-based flow system that cuts parasitic power loss. The manufacturer plans to have prototypes ready for its customers within the next 12 months, Engler said.
Mark IV developing advanced belt drive systems
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