Eberspaecher Puts Speakers Into Car Mufflers
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NOVI, Mich.--(Business Wire)-- Traditional muffler systems may someday become obsolete with the development of active noise-canceling technologies, according to Eberspaecher, a leading supplier of automotive heating and exhaust systems based in Esslingen, Germany. After years of intense development, Eberspaecher's ActiveSilence(R) noise-canceling technology may soon find its way into dealership showrooms, according to Martin Romzek, Eberspaecher vice president - Development. Eberspaecher's ActiveSilence system is based on a principle used in headphones worn by some airline passengers to cancel out irritating noise. The auto supplier inserts a speaker into a vehicle's exhaust system to create counter waves to sound waves from the engine. The waves cancel each other out, while at the same time generating a more pleasant overall sound from the engine and exhaust system. The company has worked on several ActiveSilence demonstration projects both internally and with various automakers, Romzek reports. "In addition to remarkable acoustic flexibility and performance, our systems have demonstrated significant reductions in exhaust-system back pressure compared to traditional systems," he says. "Since the typical acoustic principles of restriction or reflection within the exhaust flow are unnecessary, we're able to eliminate power loss typically associated with 'quiet' exhaust systems. "Efficiency improvements due to limited backpressure can be used to boost horsepower and/or improve fuel economy. In one demonstration project using our ActiveSilence in a standard sedan, we saw a four percent improvement in both engine power and fuel economy." The Eberspaecher executive notes that while demonstration programs have shown remarkable improvements in system performance and in some cases weight savings, it is the continued development of control systems as well as improvements in durability performance that currently has captured the attention of automakers. Eberspaecher, for example, has developed speakers that can survive temperatures upwards of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Its systems operate in one of the most hostile car environments where they are exposed to extreme heat and vibration. Since the temperatures in an exhaust system can approach 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the speaker is thermally isolated in an auxiliary pod. Yet, it can still project noise-canceling sound waves into the exhaust stream. Romzek notes that in North America, the Eberspaecher ActiveSilence system offers automakers engine performance benefits as well as potential weight savings which will help automakers meet new federal fuel-economy targets set by Congress in 2007. In Europe, automakers are looking at the technology as an enhancement feature. They may use it to program their vehicles' sound characteristics. ActiveSilence also would benefit hybrid electric vehicles, which have complex powerplants. "In a hybrid, where the conventional engine is being turned on and off, the unusual sounds can be disconcerting to motorists," Romzek said. "Eberspaecher's ActiveSilence can generate a consistent sound from the vehicle. "Conventional mufflers will be around for many years, but active noise-canceling technologies soon will emerge on niche vehicles, providing designers with greater packaging flexibility." Headquartered in Esslingen, Germany, the Eberspaecher Group reported annual revenues of $3.1 billion in 2007. The company's two operating divisions - Exhaust Technology and Vehicle Heating - have 5,500 employees working in 19 countries. Eberspaecher is a leading systems developer and supplier to automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturers around the world. More information is available at www.eberspaecher.com. AutoCom Associates Larry Weis or Jan Krol, 248-647-8621 E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Business Wire 2008