Power management company Eaton introduced Procision last week to media at the company’s proving grounds in Marshall, Mich. Procision is the first dual clutch transmission for Class 6-7 in North America and delivers 8-10% better fuel economy than a similarly equipped vehicle with a torque converter automatic, according to Eaton.
“The medium-duty market is made up of an array of users but one theme was essential when we were developing Procision: reliability,” said John Beering, senior vice president and general manager of Eaton’s Commercial Vehicle Transmissions group. “Procision is smart and efficient, easy to drive, responds to driving conditions and is reliable right out of the box.”
After three-plus years of development and testing, the dual clutch transmission is scheduled to be available in the North American market July 2015. The company is initially targeting pickup and delivery, recovery and towing, beverage, and school bus applications with the Procision lineup of transmissions.
At the event, Eaton equipped 2014 Freightliner M2 box trucks with Procision and also displayed Procision on an International DuraStar, Kenworth T370 and a Hino 268. Eaton told media that it is currently working with all major OEMs to integrate the product into their offerings.
As for vehicles outside these applications, or other classes, Jeffrey Carpenter, engineering manager for medium-duty dual clutch transmission, told media that Procision was initially envisioned to be a Class 4-8 product. “Our product strategy will allow us to scale this technology up or down across those classes in the future.”
However, Eaton will first focus on the above-mentioned applications, saying that 70% of the medium-duty market falls within those applications.
“The first step is to stay focused on launching the new product and get the market for the first 70%. I’m quite bullish on getting that business,” said Beering adding that there is much more to come.
The product is designed to help drivers in those applications, who are oftentimes not professional drivers, feel confident behind the wheel.
“Class 6 drivers don’t need their CDL and they’re also more than a driver,” said Joe Seeman, director of global market segment for Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “That driver is a salesperson, stocking clerk or the face of the company.”
Due to the seven-speed transmissions’ dual clutch design and electronic shifting that uses grade, vehicle weight and throttle input, Procision is ideally suited for urban density and high traffic operating environments, as well as hilly operations where smooth, continuous delivery of torque allows drivers to have more control in forward and reverse gears.
“The highly efficient dual clutch technology with a closed loop control system significantly reduces slip and steady state losses that are associated with torque converter automatic transmissions,” Carpenter said.
Eaton employed the dual clutch technology to allow for more efficient acceleration from a stopped position and to optimize shift points that will efficiently get to the highest gear. Gear changes are made by swapping the engine torque between clutches with the next gear preselected.
The dual clutch module is fully contained within the transmission, hydraulically controlled and oil cooled for extended life. A five-spring damper is used to control torsional vibrations and is fully sealed to eliminate contamination.
Procision also features Eaton Dynamic Shifting, which allows the transmission to automatically switch between economy and performance shift schedules based on mass, grade and driver demand. Base shift results are modified dynamically based on available torque, engine acceleration and grade.
Economy and performance shift tables can be adjusted to tune an overall calibration to meet any customer’s specific needs.
Procision’s optional and adjustable Urge to Move and Creep Mode provide low-speed maneuverability. Creep Mode allows controlled low-speed parking lot and loading dock driving without applying the accelerator. Forward and Reverse creep speeds are independently adjustable to allow a customized lower speed in reverse.
Optional and adjustable Hill Helper technology prevents roll back or roll forward for up to three seconds while on grades of up to 8%, allowing for a controlled launch. In Low mode, Automatic Grade Braking downshifts the transmission to help slow the truck on long, steep grades and increase brake pad life.
Brake-pedal-actuated Tap Down Shifting gives the driver more control by downshifting on grades or other conditions without removing their hands from the wheel or eyes from the road.
With Procision, these features can be turned on and off using Eaton’s ServiceRanger software.
Procision also features three standard power take-off (PTO) openings. PTO functionality can be enabled via the ServiceRanger software by dealerships after purchase.
The Procision is fully integrated with Cummins Vehicle Acceleration Management, which can be used in conjunction with Eaton Dynamic Shifting to reduce the impact of an aggressive driver on fuel economy. The Urge to Move and Creep Mode features can be disabled for even greater fuel economy if desired.
Eaton Procision transmissions utilize a new synthetic transmission fluid, resulting in a 150,000 mile lube and filter change interval. The internal sump filter and electrical system do not require maintenance.
The Procision design life (B-10) is 10 years/400,000 miles. Eaton Procision transmissions carry a three-year/unlimited mile warranty, which covers the complete system including the dual clutch module, in commercial vehicle applications. School bus applications receive a five-year/unlimited mile warranty.
Procision transmissions under warranty can only be repaired by an OEM dealer or an Eaton authorized fleet. Procision is backed by the Roadranger network.