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Method for adapting the control of a clutch actuator by means of VIN

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248358D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-18
Document File: 6 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

ABSTRACT A method to adapt the control of a clutch actuator to a situation when the clutch actuator is replaced, in order to prevent potential damage of the clutch actuator. The method comprises reading and comparing a vehicle identification number (VIN) of the clutch actuator with a VIN of the vehicle. The result of the comparison is used for sending adaptation instructions to the clutch actuator. The solution is intended for use with vehicles with combustion engine and automated manual transmission.

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Method for adapting the control of a clutch actuator by means of VIN

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to storage of a vehicle identification number in a clutch actuator, and a vehicle with automated manual transmission system comprising such a clutch. The invention particularly relates to a method to adapt the control of a clutch actuator to a situation when the clutch actuator is replaced.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In vehicles a clutch is used to connect the rotational force from the engine axel to the gearbox. In automated manual transmission systems (AMT), a clutch actuator enables fine-tuned electronical control of the clutch as complement to the driver’s manual operation of the clutch pedal. For a vehicle with this type of automatic clutch, it is important to monitor the clutch’s contact point. If the contact point is slightly changed,  for example due to wear of the friction element of the clutch, an offset occurs which the clutch actuator will compensate by applying an appropriate displacement of the mechanical link with the pedal system. If the clutch actuator is not calibrated properly, the control, executed by an electronic control unit (ECU), may result in damage of the clutch actuator or displacing the release bearing of the clutch actuator.

A problem in the life cycle of a motor vehicle is that the clutch actuator often has a shorter life length than the vehicle and needs replacement, which involves calibration of a completely new actuator. Another scenario is moving one operational actuator, or gearbox with actuator, from one vehicle to another. Most often the clutch will not follow the actuator or gearbox since the clutch is mounted on the engine. This situation also requires calibration of the moved clutch actuator, to fit it into its new clutch environment. In both scenarios the gearbox ECU, or other dedicated ECU, does not know that a new actuator is installed and continues to calculate using the wrong zero position for engagement of the clutch, resulting in potential damage as described above.

The patent document EP 2 478 248 B1 describes a method for determining the contact point of a clutch. The object of the method is to address problems related to estimation of the contact point when the vehicle is being in motion. The method provides no solution to the problem described above with workshop activities resulting in sudden offset of the clutch contact points.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to avoid damage to clutch actuators in situations when these components are replaced. The object is achieved by a method that adapts the control of a clutch actuator. The method involves reading if a vehicle identification number (VIN) is stored in the clutch actuator and comparing this information with VIN of the particular vehicle where the clutch actuator is being installed. Based on the result of this comparison, adaptation instructions can be sent to the clutch actuator....