Dana has been granted a patent for a gear set housing system. The system includes a single gear box housing that can house a four stage gear set, a shift actuator, and a differential lock. The housing can be oriented in different positions depending on whether it is assembled to the front or rear shaft of a vehicle. The system also includes a vent valve located at the highest point of the housing in both orientations. GlobalData’s report on Dana gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Dana, Differential gear shafts was a key innovation area identified from patents. Dana's grant share as of September 2023 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A gear set housing for a vehicle

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Dana Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11773957B2) describes a system for a vehicle that includes a front shaft, a rear shaft, a shift actuator, a differential lock, and a single gear box housing. The gear box housing is designed to house a four-stage gear set, which consists of an input shaft, a first layshaft, a second layshaft, an output shaft, and a vent valve. The unique feature of this system is that the gear box housing can be oriented in two different positions - a first orientation on the front shaft and a second orientation on the rear shaft. The vent valve is positioned at the highest point of the gear box housing in both orientations.

The system also includes a shift actuator that engages with a synchronizer on the first layshaft, which is arranged between adjacent gears on needle bearings. The first layshaft has a gear forged to its shaft. The second layshaft has the same number of gears as the first layshaft. Additionally, the system incorporates an electronic differential lock on the output shaft. The patent mentions that this system is suitable for battery electric vehicles, where the first and second orientations of the gear box housing differ in terms of the angle measured from horizontal to the output shaft. The system may also include a manual or electronic parking brake.

The patent also describes a vehicle that incorporates the aforementioned system. The vehicle has a first shaft coupled to a set of wheels and a second shaft coupled to another set of wheels. The single gear box housing can be arranged on both the first and second shafts, with different orientations for each. The gear box housing has a single oil inlet port and a vent valve, which is positioned at the highest point of the housing in both orientations. The gear box housing on the first shaft is designed to adjust the vehicle speed by controlling the speed of the output shaft relative to the input shaft. On the other hand, the gear box housing on the second shaft is configured to adjust the tow speed by having a lower rotational speed of the output gear compared to the input gear.

The gear box housing of the vehicle includes protrusions that can mate with the vehicle's underbody. The first set of protrusions is used to arrange the housing in the first orientation, while the second set of protrusions, which may have some differences from the first set, is used for the second orientation. The first orientation is characterized by an angle greater than 90 degrees between the output shaft and the input shaft, while the second orientation has an angle less than 25 degrees.

In summary, the granted patent describes a system and a vehicle with a unique gear box housing that can be oriented in different positions on the front and rear shafts. The system includes various components such as a shift actuator, synchronizer, differential lock, and vent valve. The gear box housing has specific features and orientations suitable for different vehicle speeds and applications.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.