||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (January 2012)|
|Headquarters||Redditch, United Kingdom|
|Revenue||£2,678 million (2011)|
|Operating income||£191 million (2011)|
GKN Driveline is the world's largest producer of constant-velocity joints, which it pioneered for use in automobiles. Its other products include sideshafts, power transfer units, propshafts, couplings, disconnects, differentials, electric rear axles and electric drive transmissions.
The origin of GKN (Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds) goes back to 1759, and the founding of the Dowlais Ironworks by the industrialists Thomas Lewis and Isaac Wilkinson. It has changed shape and direction many times to hold its place in the engineering industry. The company took part in the railway boom in the early 1800s with its production of iron, then steel in the 1860s and, after the first world war, moved into the 20th century with the great new industry - the automotive industry. It was the start of the company Globalization. The GKN Group had to expand into the automotive industry not only because of the growth of this business, but also to move with these more sophisticated products in the Commonwealth – mainland Europe and North America. GKN evolved geographically from its British base in the early nineteenth century to the USA and Western Europe.
In the 20th century expansion continued to Japan and the rest of Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Maintaining its technology leadership, GKN Driveline produced a new generation of CVJ Systems which were smaller, lighter and more efficient – and globally available. There is widespread recognition that GKN Driveline products are technically superior, manufactured and delivered throughout the world. GKN Driveline was one of the first companies to recognise the importance of the emerging Latin American and Asian markets and to understand that the cornerstone of competitiveness was the relentless, incremental enhancement of products and processes.With the Asian financial crisis GKN Driveline took the opportunity to accelerate its growth in the new rapidly emerging markets. As one of the first foreign owned automotive components company, GKN establish a manufacturing presence in China in 1988. At the same time GKN Driveline was investing in and growing its business in India, Brazil and Mexico.
Products, Research and Development
...transfer power from the engine to the wheels, allowing articulation and movement from steering and suspension. The three major elements are: Inboard Constant Velocity Joints (CVJ) including lubrication and sealing systems, Interconnecting shafts and Outboard Constant Velocity Joint (CVJ) including lubrication and sealing system. The Inboard Joint is a plunging joint that allows the effective length of the sideshaft to adjust due to suspension movement. The Outboard Joint needs to transfer power effectively through a wide range of angles (up to 53 degrees).
...are for all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles. GKN Driveline has unique developments for partial or full AWD vehicles. As a solutions provider with advanced technology, innovation and a depth of understanding in AWD Systems, GKN Driveline is a key partner for the world’s vehicle manufacturers. Within AWD Systems, GKN Driveline offers one, two or three-piece high speed propshafts made from steel, aluminium or composite tubes.
Trans Axle Solutions
...cover an extensive range of Open Differentials, Limited Slip and Locking Differentials, and advanced products like electronic torque vectoring. The wide range of differentials available is used in passenger cars, Sports car (SUVs) and Light truck. Limited Slip and Locking Differentials are designed to improve vehicle traction and handling performance on all surfaces and under all driving conditions. They ensure driving and breaking power is effectively distributed across the axle to the wheels, therefore providing unsurpassed levels of stability, handling, traction and overall vehicle control.
...Systems are the solutions from Driveline, which include advanced technology centred on continuous improvement and innovation in the application of alternative power and sustainable energy in systems that deliver performance. Major success are the developing families of eAxles and eTransmissions across multiple customer programmes. eAxles support the electrification of a vehicle as secondary driven axle while the primary engine is still a combustion engine and therefore can be disconnected. eTransmissions on the contrary manage the torque on the primary axle of fully electrified vehicles. The eAxle drive module is a compact, lightweight Gear with an actively controlled clutch for electric motor assisted AWD. The eAxle unit for axle split Hybrid electric vehicle incorporates a proprietary disconnect clutch technology, which facilitates on-demand all-wheel-drive (AWD) use and contributes to the overall all-terrain functionality and fuel efficiency. Electric drive transmissions can transmit up to 300 kW of power, they are available with ratios up to 14 and can be matched with E-motors from various suppliers to allow flexible application.
Through the global research and New product development located in Asia, Europe and the Americas, GKN Driveline develops solutions to improve driving dynamics for the future.
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- Lorenz, Andrew: GKN.The Making of a Business 1759-2009. John Wiley & Sons Ltd (2009)
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- GKN plc factsheet: http://www.gkn.com/media/Documents/GKNfactsheet_final.pdf, 12.08.2011