Convertible TopsCopyright: © IGMR
Historical development an requirements for a modern convertible top
The trend towards convertibles is unbroken in the European markets and in the USA, and many people's hearts beat faster with the sight of a beautiful convertible. High-quality convertibles in particular are enjoying increasing popularity. All renowned automobile manufacturers meet the market requirements and offer a wide variety of convertible models in various classes and versions.
While the kinematic dimensions of the four-unit basic gear unit are relatively easy to determine due to design constraints, the selection of the structure and dimensions of the secondary gear unit is a very demanding and complex design task.
Deviations in the nominal dimensions of the links of a mechanism due to manufacturing, assembly or operation naturally lead to deviations in its kinematic and dynamic nominal behaviour. The "control" of tolerances is crucial for optimum function and cost-effective assembly. There is therefore an urgent and special need in the roof construction industry to get the tolerances and thus also the costs under control. A meaningful tolerance study is essential. For this reason, the Institute for Transmission Technology and Machine Dynamics at RWTH Aachen University is pursuing the development of convertible tops. With the knowledge of gearing technology and the appropriate programs, various soft top mechanisms have been investigated with regard to their kinematics and tolerances. In particular, the tolerance analysis of complex mechanisms is very complex.