Pioneering power sliding door technology from Aisin Seiki enables versatility in a compact lightweight system.
(Aichi, Japan, 25 September, 2012) – Aisin Seki Co., Ltd, Japan has developed the first power sliding door system that houses all the major components in the door side. The new approach allows the doors to be compatible with a wider range of vehicles than previous power sliding door systems and leaves more space inside the vehicle.
One in four passenger cars are now minivans and the convenient power sliding door mechanism comprises one of the attractive attributes of these vehicles. The new power sliding door system from Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd uses a system inspired by the rope drills of fire fighters. The power supply unit has a low-profile circular ‘snail type’ design, where the cable moving the door is taken up in a whorl that resembles a snail. The system is compact, neat and allows a smooth sliding motion.
Vehicles with the Aisin system built into their sliding doors continue to increase year on year. Toyota Motors plans to spread the use of the system to all models, and Nissan Motors, Suzuki Motors, Daihatsu Motor Company, and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have also adopted the technology. The sliding door system with indoor built in drive unit represents pioneering technology in the field. Aisin Seki Co., Ltd holds 70% of the market share in sliding doors.
Today one in every four passenger cars is a minivan. Their sustained popularity is attributed to their ability to accommodate large family groups as well as other attractive features, in particular the power sliding door. Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd released a sliding power door technology in the 1990s but in that previous system the drive unit was built into the vehicle side rather than the passenger door, which impinged on the space inside the vehicle and led to restrictions in the passenger vehicles that it could be fitted onto. In the late 1990s the company began development of the industry’s first power sliding door with the drive unit built into the door itself/.
1. Achieving the system’s power and volume requirements
The drive unit needed to be compact, low in profile and lightweight. In addition a higher output power was needed in the drive unit due to the increased weight due to incorporating major components in the door.
Through trial and error modifications to the position of the elements in the motor, the magnetic flux circuit and the frictional values of the materials, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd developed the smallest high-power output drive unit the industry had ever seen. The design resulted in over 30 patents.
The rope system for driving the sliding door mechanism was inspired by observations of fire fighters during drills where they ascend walls with a rope that wraps around the body. It has a low-profile, circular design, with the cable taken up as a whorl in a shape that resembles a snail – the ‘snail type’ power supply unit.
2. Compatibility with different vehicle models
During prototype production substantial further modifications were made so that the drive unit would versatile enough to be used in a range of vehicles. This included vehicles with limited space inside the door under the window where the unit was originally designed to be installed.
3. Eliminating pulsation
Theoretical analyses were undertaken to understand what measures could prevent the ‘pulsation’ that occurs as the doors slide open and closed. Electrical engineering research as well as new control logic led to a new trapping detector that operated via a touch sensor to prevent pulsation.
4. Power back door system
The components for the powered sliding door system and the power back door system were standardised as much as possible. This proved significantly economical as the same ultra-compact drive unit could then be used in both with only minor modifications.
Production of powered back door systems using the same components was launched for the Toyota Alphard in Japan 2002 and the Toyota Sienna in North America 2003. The power sliding door system has now also been built into the front door on the passenger seat side of the Toyota Porte, highlighting the versatility of the system.
The development of the industry’s first sliding door system with an indoor built-in drive unit heralded a shift in the company’s position from focusing on individual components to a systems manufacturer.
About Aisin Seki Co. Ltd
Aisin Seki produces and sells automobile parts as well as living, energy and welfare related products. The company is committed to its corporate principles that focus on putting ‘quality first’. Aisin Seki has 2 offices and 11 plants across Japan with over 90,000 employees and subsidiaries that include 69 companies in Japan and 101 overseas. As of 31 March 2012, the company’s capital was 45 billion JPY. For more information, visit http://www.aisin.com/./
About Aisin Seki Co. Ltd Automotive Parts and Systems Business
As the automotive industry constantly evolves with increasing emphasis on functionality and performance, Aisin Seki continues to respond with fast innovations exploiting its world class resources and expertise in automobile technology. In line with its corporate principle of placing ‘quality first’, the company prioritises environmental commitments throughout its development of advanced systems and modules. For more information visit http://www.aisin.com/profile/business/