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Sensata Focuses on Transmission Pressure Technology

Pressure-based transmission control systems have gained in popularity, as witnessed by GM’s six-speed automatic transmission, which utilizes pressure-sensing systems to improve clutch feel and shifting performance.

Pressure-based transmission control systems have gained in popularity, as witnessed by GM’s six-speed automatic transmission, which utilizes pressure-sensing systems to improve clutch feel and shifting performance. The sensors are produced by Sensata Technologies (www.sensata.com). “GM is leading with their new pressure-based control systems,” says Abelardo Gonzalez, director of the Sensata Technologies U.S. automotive group and global transmission division. “These systems are much more accurate than speed-based technologies.” Sensata offers a number of pressure sensor technologies based on microelectromechanical (MEMS), ceramic capacitive and strain gauge designs, Gonzalez is particularly keen on the continued development of MEMS for future transmission-based applications. “The line pressure stability in MEMS is excellent, not to mention it has a very low profile and is submersible,” he says. According to Sensata, the transmission pressure sensor market increasingly will require improved performance at the low end of the operating range (30-60 bar or less).—KMK