LORD Corp. joins Steer-by-Wire Working Group

By Plant Engineering Staff April 5, 2006

LORD Corp. has become an associate member of the Steer-by-wire Working Group of the TTA-Group. LORD, a supplier of commercial by-wire steering interface devices and a member of the TTA-Group since 2005, decided to expand its membership role because of the value the Steer-by-wire Working Group provides in defining certifiable reference architecture for steer-by-wire applications.

Doug LeRoy, Marketing Manager for LORD Corporation MR Solutions said this is a critical requirement for the wider adoption of steer-by-wire without mechanical backup for on-road and industrial vehicles. “The mission and objectives of the TTA-Group to develop a global guideline to enhance reliability, interoperability and safety of steer-by-wire systems are sound,” said LeRoy, “and should result in faster adoption and higher cost efficiency for suppliers and manufacturers. Participation as an Associate Member signals our commitment as well as our belief that the Group is a fit for LORD and for the growing industry.”

Interest in steer-by-wire systems by vehicle manufacturers has increased dramatically in recent years. Current steer-by-wire applications include industrial fork lifts, earth moving machines, and high performance watercraft. Steer-by-wire systems are expected to eventually be used on automobiles.

Founded in 2001, the TTA-Group (TTA stands for time-triggered architecture) is a cross-industry consortium for highly dependable time-triggered systems. Its objective is to share experience and distribute know-how in the area of safety-critical data communication through the promotion of cross-industry technologies for aerospace, special vehicles, railway and the industrial control industries. The Group gives guidance and recommendations to other groups and consortia in terms of safety issues from a cross-industry point of view. Because time-triggered architecture ensures that all the electronic systems work together, safety is increased and costs are reduced.

LORD MR technology is based on proprietary and patented fluid, damper, mount, brake and clutch designs and sophisticated computer control algorithms. When exposed to a magnetic field, MR materials change state nearly instantaneously and with complete reversibility. As a result, MR technology provides fast and infinitely variable control of energy dissipation for industrial and automotive devices. The technology enables engineers to design a wide range of devices and systems with far greater flexibility than before possible. The result is improved performance, reduced part count and complexity, smaller package size and less weight.