NSK Ltd announced that it has developed a new electric power steering (EPS) system that is compliant with ISO Functional Safety for automobiles. The new system will support the much higher level of safety that has been in strong demand in recent years. In addition, this new product provides superior driving support functions. NSK intends to expansively market this new product for applications in many compact cars throughout the world and has set an overall EPS business goal of 250 billion yen in sales for the fiscal year ending March 2016.
NSK built a development process that was compliant with international standards and then underwent audits and assessments for functional safety. Furthermore, NSK has enhanced the diagnostics for its microcomputers, torque sensors and other to achieve the safety targets set forth by automobile manufacturers.
*: An international standard that is being applied mainly in Europe that focuses on incorporation of functionality for securing safety by reducing risk to an acceptable level based on the identification of the root causes of possible electrical system failures.
In using packageless semiconductors and semiconductor relays that have no mechanical contacts, NSK has achieved a more compact, lighter product, making the radiators more compact and reducing the overall number of components. The result is a 10% decrease in volume from that of the most recent conventional product (or a 45 percent volume decrease and 40 percent weight decrease from the original product which came out in the previous decade).
In recent years, EPS has provided electronic controls for greater safety and comfort. The new product features built-in steer angle sensors in addition to internal steering torque sensors to provide compatibility with a variety of-high performance vehicle controls.
With this new product, NSK has answered the call for ISO Functional Safety compliance. NSK will pursue expansive application of this product to a wide variety of compact cars.
• Improved safety
• Less steering effort required by car drivers
• Improved fuel efficiency
NSK is committed to the application of state-of-the-art technology for improved safety, comfort, and environmental performance. Going forward, NSK plans to continue to grow the global sales of its EPS business by improving its products and expanding local procurement and local production.