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Video: ZF Produces 100,000th Active Rear Axle Steering AKC
Just four years after production of the active rear axle steering started, the 100,000th AKC system (Active Kinematics Control) came off the assembly line at ZF. "I consider our production anniversary of 100,000 AKC systems to be a huge success in four ways," says Dr. Holger Klein, Head of the Car Chassis Technology Division at ZF. “First of all, it shows that with our development, almost every vehicle can benefit from active rear-axle steering comparatively easily. Second, ZF is consolidating its position as the market and technology leader in this product segment. Third, each installed AKC unit shows the future-oriented potential of intelligent mechanics in automobiles. And last but not least, this anniversary stands for the exemplary metamorphosis of the ZF production site in Lebring.“This location near Graz quickly changed from an axle assembly plant to the only AKC production site in the group, i.e. a center for high-tech mechatronics.
Two concepts for different axis architectures
The 100,000 rear axle steering systems manufactured to date are made up of 60,000 central actuator and 40,000 dual actuator systems. The latter have two actuators, which are placed on the left and right rear wheels. This version celebrated its series premiere in 2013 in the Porsche models 911 Turbo and 911 GT3. The dual-actuator variant is also used in the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. The AKC version with a single but larger actuator positioned centrally on the rear axle is used in the new Porsche Panamera. The system also actively controls the rear in SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and sedans such as the Cadillac CT6 and the BMW 7 Series. According to the manufacturer, the limits of the AKC application spectrum have not yet been reached.In the near future, the ZF system will also be used in many other models from other manufacturers and will also show its advantages in pick-ups and compact cars. The AKC should be able to be combined with any type of drive - from conventional internal combustion engine to hybrid to fully electric.
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The general operating principle remains the same: When driving slowly through narrow streets, AKC steers in the opposite direction to the steering angle of the front wheels and generates a higher yaw rate for the vehicle. The turning circle is said to be reduced by up to 10%. This makes it easier to maneuver a car. The system turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels at higher speeds, i.e. from around 60 km / h and when avoiding maneuvers, for example. This should improve directional stability as well as driving dynamics. “In the first full year of production in 2014, around 12,000 AKC systems left our production. A total of 100,000 have already been produced today. In the next few years, we will increase the production volume to over 250,000 units per year,”predicts Peter Buckermann,Head of the Mechatronic Systems product line. (sh)
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