As a behind-the-scenes hero in the auto industry, it seems that there is no spare parts company that, like Dana, is widely recognized by vehicle manufacturers and well-known by a large number of car enthusiasts. Whether it is in the field of after-sales refitting or in the field of new car products, Dana’s English name, DANA, is always a well-known name.
But now, DANA’s reputation may enter the field of new energy. In recent years, with the development of new energy power technology and the scale of the entire new energy power industry. The established manufacturer and solution provider in the field of vehicle transmission, Dana, has also officially entered the field of electrification, and began to provide the most efficient electric drive axle solutions for the coming new energy era. Relying on its previous advantages in the field of traditional transmission, Dana’s electrification road is very promising.
At present, Dana has successfully launched products such as Spicer® Electrified™ electric drive system and Long ® thermal management system in the fields of electric drive system and thermal management system, and has the ability to provide a complete set of drive system solutions for vehicle manufacturers and power supply thermal management solutions. An electrified Dana is becoming a major power system supplier and solution provider for new energy vehicles. Dana’s transformation in electrification has also improved the automobile industry system in the entire new energy era.
In the era of electrification, everyone is talking about transformation, and Dana’s transformation can really be regarded as a successful case. To explain its success, we must start with its history.
The history of Dana can be traced back to 1904. At that time, the founder of Dana, engineer Clarence W. Spicer started the manufacture of universal joints in New Jersey, USA, thus creating the legend of Dana in the field of vehicle transmission. So far, Dana’s business has expanded from pure vehicle transmission system to fields including seals and thermal management. And Dana has more than 30,000 employees worldwide, and its business has spread all over the world in the field of vehicle transmission, and it has become one of the top 500 companies in the world.
In 1991, as China’s auto industry began to gradually form an industrial system dominated by joint ventures, Dana also came to China as a supporting supplier under the joint venture industry model, with its headquarters in Shanghai. Customers served include SAIC-GM, Volkswagen, Ford and other auto companies. In May last year, Dana’s Yancheng factory was officially put into production. This is also Dana’s sixteenth factory in China. The new factory will be mainly used to produce thermoacoustic shields, direct insulation heat shields and plug-in hybrids. Thermal management products such as battery cooling plates for power vehicles. Become an important part of Dana’s electrification road.
In terms of core transmission products, Dana’s core products include axles, drive shafts, and universal joints.
In the field of axles, Dana’s most famous product is the DANA 44 axle. It first appeared in the 1940s, and then it was widely used in the vehicle and aftermarket refitting market, and this axle is still in production today. The axle of DANA 44 can be used not only as a typical rigid axle with non-independent suspension axle, which is widely used in the fields of off-road vehicles and light commercial vehicles, but also as an independent suspension axle.
According to different product demands, DANA 44 axles have also developed into a series, which can provide different sizes and different main reduction ratios. Time has tested the durability and high transmission efficiency of DANA 44, and Jeep Wrangler is a loyal customer of this axle. The 1963 Jaguar E-Type also uses the DANA 44 axle.
In the field of transmission shafts, Spicer series transmission shafts provide a complete set of transmission solutions for automobile companies. Through technological progress, the Spicer Diamond drive shaft is used in the commercial vehicle market with a lightweight one-piece aluminum alloy material. Compared with the traditional two-stage drive shaft, the Spicer Diamond drive shaft has a more compact structure and reduced weight 40% more. It is also matched with Dana’s series of universal joints and seal products.
Dana’s development in the field of traditional power has accumulated product features such as high efficiency, high power density, high fuel economy, and high reliability. These product characteristics provide a basic guarantee for Dana’s electrification road. After entering the new energy era, Dana took the lead in launching the electric gearbox on the basis of the original transmission system products. For the electric motor, the output of constant torque and constant power makes it no longer need a transmission gearbox, only a gearbox for deceleration and torque increase. In the field of mechanics, this is clearly where Dana has an advantage.
With the electric gearbox as the basis, Dana began to integrate the corresponding electric motor and power management system based on it, and began to build a pure electric drive axle system. In the second half of last year, through a joint venture partnership with Hydro-Québec, Dana received technical and product support for electric motors, generators, power electronics and control systems from TM4, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec. And in the subsequent merger with the Italian SME Group, it obtained the foundation of low-voltage AC induction motors, reluctance synchronous motors, and inverters.
In this way, on the basis of the original mechanical transmission system, Dana built the Spicer® Electrified™ series of electric drive products. A product sequence consisting of TM4 electric motors and inverters and SME low-voltage motors and inverters has been formed, realizing comprehensive coverage from road electric drive axles to off-road electric drives. Become the only supplier in the world that can provide motor drive solutions in the end market.
At the same time, Dana’s electrification transformation has further expanded from purely mechanical products to the field of thermal management products. Relying on Dana’s previous business advantages in vehicle cooling systems, Dana’s Long ® thermal management products have been further refined to battery inter-cell (IC) cooling units, battery bottom cooling plates commonly used in hard shell battery components , Battery cooling devices using refrigerant/coolant heat exchange devices, etc. In the thermal management system of the battery pack system, Dana also considered the application of lightweight technology.
The competition in the new energy power market in the future will not only be the competition of power, but also the competition of transmission system will become an important decisive factor.
Judging from the current electrification product series of Dana, the core of Dana in the future will be locked in the electric drive system. The requirements for miniaturization are getting higher and higher. Dana’s original advantages in mechanical transmission and the current layout of the new energy industry will provide great support for Dana’s development in the future. With such an industrial layout, the new energy vehicle electric drive system solution that Dana can provide to customers will also be the most optimized solution.