EFI Automotive partners with NTN-SNR on a joint innovation for the electric car

Applications and market innovations

EFI Automotive and NTN SNR, world specialist in bearings

have combined their know-how to develop a unique sensor-bearing assembly for electric automotive engines.
The race for innovation, particularly around electric motors, is raging in the automotive world. To meet this demand, EFI Automotive can count on its in-house research and development department and its 300 engineers. But the group also calls on outside expertise when necessary. This was the case, for example, with NTN-SNR, the world’s leading bearing specialist, with which EFI Automotive recently joined forces. The idea was to pool their respective know-how – EFI Automotive in sensors and NTN-SNR in bearings – in order to offer a breakthrough technology. The result is a sensor-bearing assembly for automotive electric motors, unique and unique on the market.

A new device on the electric car market

“At present, in a conventional electric motor, the bearing part is independent of the associated sensors,” explains Olivier Brunel, E-mobility & Strategic development Market Manager at EFI Automotive, “the innovation of our product lies in the fact that we have succeeded in combining the sensor and the bearing in a single unit. “EFI Automotive and NTN-SNR have been working on the project for several years and are now able to offer it to their customers. For the latter, the benefits are numerous. “By combining two parts into one, we first gain in space since the assembly is more compact and therefore takes up less space in the vehicle’s engine compartment” continues Olivier Brunel, “it is also easier and faster to assemble in the factory with a reduced set of processes: there is only one part instead of six! »

A tenfold increase in precision thanks to easy assembly

In addition, the integration of the sensor into the bearing also improves the accuracy of its data: “The precision of the sensor is no longer subject to the assembly quality of the resolver/bearing/metallic target assembly”, explains Olivier Brunel, “as the system is completely integrated, mechanical tolerances are avoided and the entire dimension chain is under control”. In the end, for the customer, this solution is “more compact and lighter than a resolver, easier to assemble and its precision does not depend on the quality of assembly”.

A major innovation that does not go unnoticed

Such technological innovation has not gone unnoticed in the industrial world. This sensor-bearing assembly was first presented to the world’s leading automotive companies during the Automotive Tech Days held in Lyon in November 2018. In March 2019, Canadian company Magna, a world leader in mobility technology, awarded it its 2019 Innovation of the Year Award in the electrification category. “Receiving this prestigious award from a major industrial player in the sector is very encouraging,” says Olivier Brunel, “it rewards years of research and development at EFI Automotive and will help us to make this solution known to our customers and support them in their transition to electric vehicles».