Continental Starts Series Production of the Latest Generation of Speed Sensors
Oct 22, 2009
Mini Speed Sensor development now production-ready. Vehicle manufacturers benefit from smaller space requirement and lower costs.
Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Continental, the international automotive supplier, has started series production of its Mini Speed Sensor. The Chassis & Safety Division's design engineers have developed this latest generation of wheelspeed sensors to production readiness in only three years. The distinctive feature of this sensor is that all its functional components, such as the AMR bridge, ASIC and magnet have been integrated within a housing measuring just 3.2 mm in diameter. Despite these small dimensions, the sensor head can be easily adjusted to the external shape required for any particular application by means of a plastic material injection process. The new Mini Speed Sensor's small size gives vehicle manufacturers greater flexibility as regards its installation location in the vehicle. The new Mini Speed Sensor's small size gives vehicle manufacturers greater flexibility as regards its installation location in the vehicle.
"Speed measurement is one of the core competences of our Sensorics Business Unit", said Dr. Bernhard Klumpp, Executive Vice President, Sensorics Business Unit. "Developing the Mini Speed Sensor represents a milestone in our strategy because it's the first time that Continental has gone down the route of developing and producing such a sensor from start to finish." The sensors will be installed in vehicles in order to provide braking systems, transmission control units and the electric power steering with reliable data about driving conditions. They will thus contribute to a driving style which is as fuel-efficient, low-wear and safe as possible.
New sensor offers vehicle manufacturers space and cost benefits
The most difficult development challenge was to satisfy strict technological requirements while combining within a single design the necessary reduction in the component's size, greater robustness and lower cost – and all within a tight timeframe. After thorough analysis of the technical design and the market situation, Continental opted for inhouse development and production. The design team also succeeded in incorporating a special test mode in the sensor which can, for example, check that the sensor is being installed in the correct position in the vehicle.
The Mini Speed Sensor also has an important role to play in the low-cost vehicle market. It is not just in the growth markets, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China that the demand for affordably-priced vehicles is rising; in Japan, the USA and western Europe, too, drivers are increasingly demanding inexpensive and smaller cars which consume less fuel. This poses major challenges for the automotive industry to produce less expensive and lighter components. As far as wheelspeed sensors are concerned, Continental AG has met this challenge with its Mini Speed Sensor.