The Valeo Podbořany production plant is the most recent one in the Czech Republic. Formerly being part of FTE Automotive, it joined the Valeo Group at the end of 2017 and manufactures hydraulic actuators for clutch and brake systems. The plant belongs to the Powertrain Systems business group.
The production process in Podbořany has two main stages – machining and assembly of concentric slave cylinders, clutch master cylinders and brake boosters.
The concentric slave cylinder serves for direct compression of the clutch membrane spring. It consists of a plastic or aluminium body, movable plastic housing with a seal, return spring, clutch bearing and other components. The body is designed for an operating pressure of 40 bars. The structure is designed to allow desirable minimization of the axial and radial installation dimensions. According to customer requirements, the central clutch switch is equipped with a position sensor, especially for applications in gearboxes with automatic transmission.
The clutch master cylinder acts as a mechanical link and converts the movement of the clutch pedal, during its compression by the driver, to hydraulic pressure which is subsequently used in the clutch system. To reduce the weight, at present this component is usually made of plastic. The position sensor or switch may be integrated into the clutch master cylinder, e.g. to provide information on the clutch engaging to the control unit for cruise control or preventing the vehicle from starting if the clutch pedal is not engaged. In addition to this, sensor signals are used for other control systems, such as a brake control unit for the electrical parking brake or an engine control unit for the start/stop system function, or traction control.
The brake booster enables comfortable braking in the braking system of modern vehicles. The brake booster uses underpressure in the intake pipes of a gasoline engine (in the case of diesel engines the underpressure is generated by the vacuum pump). By applying minor force to the brake pedal, the driver opens the regulatory valve in the braking booster, which releases atmospheric pressure to one side of the rubber membrane in the braking booster. Lower pressure (underpressure) then occurs on the other side of the membrane and as a result of the pressure difference the membrane starts to move in the direction of the lower pressure. Thanks to the mechanical link there is a secondary impact on the piston of the brake master cylinder, thus enabling effective braking.
At the beginning of 2014, the Podbořany plant launched the activities of the Research & Development Department. This department focuses on design development and long-term testing of clutch hydraulic systems. The CAD design is focused on development of clutch systems for mechanical gearboxes. Since it is located directly in the production plant, the designers keep in close touch with manufacturing. This is positively reflected in improved production processes as well as final products. The testing laboratory is focused on functional and long-term testing of hydraulic clutch system components, primarily concentric slave cylinders and clutch master cylinders, at temperatures ranging from -40°C to +180°C.
441 01 Podbořany
+420 415 232 111 (reception)