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June, 2004

Kontakt: Ann Sabbe
[email protected]

Gates’ advanced belt drive system plays essential role in new integrated starter/generator systems

Aachen - Gates is playing an important role in the development of integrated starter/generator systems.  Major electrical system suppliers work closely together with Gates, relying on its advanced knowledge in belt drive systems, to create their belt driven starter/generator systems.  In order for the Gates Electro Mechanical Drive system (EMD) to meet the performance requirements of the car manufacturers all over the world, advanced drive components had to be designed.  The first integrated starter/generator, based on Gates EMD system will go into production with PSA Peugeot Citroën. 

“The development of new drive components with specified high-quality requirements is always an interesting challenge for our engineers”, says Roger Stone, Gates Vice President Engine Systems Technology.  “For the EMD a special high performance Micro-V® belt, EMD1, tensioner and crankshaft damper had to be designed”, he continues.  As the usual starter got eliminated, a special Hi-Torque Micro-V® belt was developed to provide the performance required in an engine starting function, being more than 500.000 start-ups.  A special belt composition using a high-performance rubber compound, advanced adhesion technology and enhanced cord material had to be developed to transmit the power of 70Nm provided by a Starter/Generator machine.  The result of this belt development project is a breakthrough in belt technology that allows the incorporation of an EMD system into an engine without modifying the current production drive pulleys or accessories, saving costs to convert a vehicle into a mild-hybrid.  Gates also developed a variety of belt tensioners in order to meet all system requirements.  For example a special dual pulley tensioner and a hydraulically damped tensioner for the EMD system to control the tension of the belt during the start and generating mode.  Furthermore Gates developed a crankshaft damper that can carry the torque loads required to start an engine.  Therefore Gates developed an advanced elastomer for use in crankshaft dampers that meets the minimum start cycle of the OEMs.  All new designed components have run extensive tests to ensure their quality meets or exceeds the OEM’s demands. 

For the European market, the first Gates belt-drive system to begin production is with PSA Peugeot Citroën, for 2004.  “The introduction of vehicles with “Stop & Start” will be gradually introduced in the Peugeot and Citroën ranges over the following years, providing a 5 to 8 % reduction in fuel consumption and, consequently, in CO2 emissions”, confirms Jean-Martin Folz, Chairman of PSA Peugeot Citroën.   


The new EMD starter/generator systems use a belt drive to provide almost completely silent vehicle start-up via a combined starter-alternator.  The system allows the engine to stop when the vehicle is stationary, for example at traffic lights, then restarts the engine almost instantaneously.  This technology enables the practical use of engine stop/start strategies for reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency.  EMD enables brake energy regeneration and transient torque boost.  The system is applicable with either 14 or 42 volt systems.

Gates is a stand-alone tier one supplier to the automotive industry, supplying the EMD system independent of the electrical system.