ZF, a world leader in foundation brake systems, has produced its 200 millionth EPB unit, the first company in the world to have reached this milestone. The inventor of the EPB motor-on-caliper brake more than 20 years ago, ZF’s EPB is now in its sixth generation and is the true embodiment of an intelligent mechanical system. The Group has also produced more than 500 million of its first-to-market Integrated Park Brake (IPB) units. IPB incorporates a fully integrated park brake mechanism within the rear caliper and set the stage for EPB introduction.
EPB is remarkable in its ability to deliver benefits such as enhanced fuel economy due to weight reduction in the brake system. It is a prime example of the electrification of mechanical systems allowing for integration and advanced functions when combined with other vehicle systems, and was an important first step toward the electrification of braking systems. The technology also helps to enhance driver safety by enabling two-wheel anti-lock emergency stops and driver convenience and comfort as the system is activated by the touch of a button.
In addition to providing park brake functionality, EPB is a fully integrated part of the brake system with features such as dynamic actuation, brake pad wear sensing and offers reduced degradation associated with mechanical systems.
Manfred Meyer, senior vice president, Active Safety for ZF commented: “EPB is a great success story and today we recognize the engineers, designers, and the employees who produce this technology in locations throughout the world including Europe, the Americas, and Asia. EPB is a testament to the relentless pursuit of innovation. ZF was already a global leader in the foundation brake market in the early 2000’s but sought to transform a purely mechanical service brake function into something much more. Today, the technology is featured on many of the world’s most popular vehicles across the spectrum of small cars through to larger pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles.”
ZF offers a range of park brake solutions including the integrated park brake through to full EPB systems including standard EPB, EPBi, which eliminates the need for a separate Electronic Control Unit (ECU) as it is integrated within the electronic stability control system, and EPB for front axles which is more suitable for smaller vehicle segments.
“As we move toward ever higher levels of advanced safety, automated driving and vehicle electrification, braking systems will play a key role in helping to meet regulations, enable new functions and provide regenerative brake energy recovery. This requires higher levels of integration with other onboard systems and a greater degree of vehicle control and systems like the Electric Park Brake and ZF’s Integrated Brake Control Systems will have greater applicability than ever before,” Meyer concluded.