As vehicle volumes increase, Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) – a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative, high quality off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles – is opting for Williams Controls (a legacy brand of Curtiss-Wright) throttles as part of its decision to move away from conventional push/pull mechanical systems to electronic control.
Engineering teams from both companies worked together for almost eighteen months to re-engineer an existing pedal design, with the resulting electronic pedal needing to be sized and ergonomically shaped to suit the compact in-cabin dimensions of the all-new RZR XP 1000. During the product development phase, Curtiss-Wright engineered a new spring design and, using its in-house rapid prototyping facilities, an altered lever arm.
The updated specifications for the new electronic throttle also included the use of an integrated, non-contacting Hall-effect sensor providing two independent linear output signals proportional to pedal position. This sensor provided feedback directly to Polaris’ latest throttle management system – credited as providing the fastest acceleration, highest top speed and flattest torque curve in the industry – to provide much-improved control.
What seemed like relatively simple design changes to the existing pedal actually required a complete revalidation of the custom pedal to ensure its suitability for both Polaris applications. This included testing it for both U.S. and European market requirements and a series of environmental assessments.
Despite some of the harshest tests ever carried out on its products – including corrosion resistance and ice water shock tests – the pedal out-performed the requirements of both companies. In fact, for the corrosion resistance test conducted in a salt fog chamber, the custom pedal far exceeded Curtiss-Wright's own 96 hour requirement and easily met the Polaris requirement of 336 hours. Upon completion of the environmental testing process, Curtiss-Wright was able to provide Polaris with working samples for pre-production and field-testing, which has been completed successfully.
Commenting on the stringent testing requirements, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division Kevin Rayment explains that, given the conditions Polaris vehicles have to endure, they are delighted with the results. “It’s not unusual for these recreational vehicles to be found driving through swamps or in muddy water up to the driver’s waist, so to not just pass but exceed these somewhat unique requirements is a testament to our design, engineering and manufacturing processes.”
Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division is a recognized leader in the production of critical controls and assemblies for specialty vehicles, including sensors, electronic throttle controls and joysticks. For more information about Williams Controls products and other innovative products available from Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division, please visit www.cw-industrial.com.
About Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 10,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit www.curtisswright.com.
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $3.8 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian Motorcycle brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered parts, accessories and apparel and Klim branded apparel.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.