Mobility is all the rage. This even applies to pioneering entertainment and information devices, which are currently taking the automotive world by storm. Vehicle owners want to enjoy the same electronic lifestyle gadgets on the road as they do at home. Innovative multimedia products tailor-made for automotive use herald the dawn of a new era in on-board entertainment. ClearLine, a pioneering company based in the southern German town of Wurmberg, has been driving the trend towards in-car entertainment for many years. Committed to excellence, it has established itself as a high-end supplier of premium media solutions for motor vehicles – both in Germany and abroad. Micro-drive technology has played a prominent role in the company’s success.
The technical wizardry developed by ClearLine includes super-flat adjustable TFT/LCD displays with screen sizes of 8 to 17 inches. They are particularly suited to instrument panel (Fig 1) or overhead applications (Fig 2). What’s more, they meet the highest standards both aesthetically and technically. Equipped with miniature motors, the high-resolution flat screens are designed to harmonise perfectly with the relevant vehicle interior. The automatic opening and closing mechanism is highly sophisticated, requiring a drive system that is equal to the challenge.
Power and reliability: compact combination of miniature motor and gears One of the key requirements of the drives is their ability to "dovetail" with the relevant application both electrically and mechanically. Another aspect to be considered is that the space for installing the opening and closing mechanism of the monitors is limited in size. This calls for small, light-weight drive solutions that can be accom-modated as discreetly as possible.
At the same time, superior torque rates are essential in order to cope with high leverage forces generally associated with the opening and closing of in-car monitors. And, last but not least, the drives have to be durable and reliable. After all, the opening and closing mechanism – like the complete monitor itself – has to operate for many years, despite the fact that the "environmental conditions" in the vehicle may often be extreme. For instance, operation of the components deployed must not be adversely affected by vibrations or extreme temperature fluctuations. ClearLine opted for a combination of DC micromotors with precious metal commutation and a robust planetary gear head in a metal design as the "driving force" behind the opening and closing mechanism of the TFT/LCD monitors. Such a compact drive unit is no more than 20 to 25 mm in diameter and can even be integrated into narrow spaces. In addition, the drive solution is more than convincing when it comes to performance. The ultra-light ironless rotor featuring a self-supporting skew-wound copper coil gives the motors particularly good dynamics. Powerful neodymium magnets provide impressive magnetic forces. Thanks to optimized brush materials, even extended periods of non-operation pose no problem for these "micro-masters". The precision planetary gear head is designed to dovetail perfectly with the micromotor. Its compact construction and durability as well as its low-noise functionality are equally impressive. Whenever you see an overhead or cockpit display open and close in a state-of-the-art motor vehicle, e.g. as part of a state-of-the-art navigation or in-car entertainment system, there is every chance that FAULHABER has provided essential technology.