Schweinfurt (Germany). Since volume production started in 2005, four million units have rolled off the line, turning ZF's ConAct pneumatic release cylinder into a globally successful product for commercial vehicles. ConAct enables the clutches in automated commercial vehicle transmissions to be controlled more precisely, adding to more economical vehicle operation. The product also reduces the system weight.
"ConAct has revolutionized the automation of commercial vehicles. Today, more than 90 percent of new heavy commercial vehicles in Europe are on the road with automatic transmission systems," says Kleber Barros Vinhas, Head of the CV Powertrain Modules Product Line at ZF. "This trend is now spreading from Europe around the world: Particularly when it comes to reducing operating costs and improving economical driving or precise maneuvering for commercial vehicles, ConAct continues to represent an industry benchmark."
ConAct stands for Concentric clutch Actuator. The pneumatic release cylinder replaces the mechanical and hydraulic components as well as the clutch booster previously used in commercial vehicle transmissions. It is actuated by the vehicle electronics system. A solenoid valve controls the clutch actuation through the ConAct release cylinder with such a high degree of precision that the shift quality and shift time of automated transmission systems are optimized. As ConAct makes the multi-component hydraulics usually used in other systems obsolete, it also reduces the system's weight and the risk of failure of automated transmission systems.
High level of demand
Since the start of volume production in 2005, the quantities produced have risen continuously every year: At the end of 2012, 500,000 units had come off the assembly line, reaching the one-million mark in 2015. With ConAct being used by renowned commercial vehicle manufacturers as well as in the new ZF TraXon transmission system, volumes have continued to increase at a steady pace.