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PSA Peugeot Citroën producing gearboxes by the million

BerichtGeplaatst: 13 jul 2005, 00:19
door 205GRIFFE
PSA Peugeot Citroën producing gearboxes by the million
A forerunner in gearbox technology, the Group is one of the world's biggest producers of manual gearboxes. Every year, it manufactures over 3.5 million manual gearboxes and almost 200,000 automatics, at two plants:
-> Metz: founded in 1969, this plant in eastern France specialises in the production of two types of manual gearbox:
- “MA” manual systems for lower-range models (almost 50% of the group’s vehicles are MA-equipped). The Metz plant produces one unit every 19 seconds, or 30,000 a week. An MA gearbox comprises 180 components and has 65 variants.
- “MLC” manual gearboxes, including the 6-speed MLC unit for top-of-the-range models and commercial vehicles. The plant produces one unit every 30 seconds, or 11,000 a week. An MLC gearbox numbers 220 components and has 42 variants.

-> Valenciennes: from 1980, this site in northern France began producing:
- the “BE” manual gearbox (230 components and 120 variants) at a rate of 49,000 units a week.
- the AL4 (280 components and 33 variants), the only automatic gearbox manufactured in-house, developed in conjunction with Renault. The plant produces 4,900 units a week.
- as of 2006, a new generation of compact automated 6-speed manual gearboxes (MCP).


Precision engineering
Building a gearbox is precision engineering. With over 200 parts for a manual gearbox and up to 500 for an automatic, the gearbox is by far the most complex component in a vehicle. Machining operations are measured in microns. The parts requiring the most work include the teeth, which are cut on special machines, the many bearings, and the housing, which has to support loads equivalent to several tonnes. Producing the synchronisation unit is a particularly delicate task, as it involves assembling a number of miniature parts designed to make gear changing smooth, silent and effortless. We might also mention the advanced heat treatment technology required to produce gearboxes, and the special lubricant, which contains numerous, highly complex additives.


How do gearboxes work?
Comfortably seated at the wheel, few motorists wonder how the gearbox of their car works. And probably fewer still know exactly how complex it is. A gearbox reduces or increases the drive force applied to the wheels through several forward gears and a reverse gear (all using gear wheels). The gearbox adapts the – fairly high – engine speed to the speed of the wheels, which rotate far less quickly (between 10 to 20 times more slowly than the engine). With manual transmissions, the engine and gearbox are linked by a clutch, with a driver-operated pedal. With automatics, a torque converter replaces the clutch. As its name suggests, the automatic gearbox automatically selects the most appropriate gear, in line with vehicle speed, engine speed, accelerator position, etc.


Bron: PSA Web Magazine