Press Releases, 13.09.2011

Preh innovation highlights at 2011 IAA

Bad Neustadt / Frankfurt, Germany. Preh GmbH is introducing an innovative center console concept at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. Following the successful presentation of an innovative center console at the 2007 IAA, this year Preh is presenting a third-generation black-panel-effect control surface concept. Additional Show highlights are a steering wheel with integrated lenticular buttons, a gearshift lever with an innovative haptic design, as well as battery management ECUs for electric vehicles. “Preh has always been a technologically inventive company. The control systems and ECUs shown at the IAA make it clear that our partners can also count on us in the future,” said Preh president Dr. Michael Roesnick.

The new center console contains a display located beneath a black-panel-effect control surface that displays the various menus that can be selected using a push/turn control knob with integrated touchpad: Navigation, Telephone, Multimedia and Memo Board. The functions in the menu subcategories can be selected using the touchpad. In the menu item “Memo Board,” all characters that the user writes by moving his or her finger across the touchpad while in “Write” mode are displayed. A “Draw” mode was also integrated. Here, the screen shows everything that the user draws on the touchpad with his or her finger.

The center console also has a climate control system with three rotary controls. A unique feature: When the user touches a rotary control, a pop-up menu that shows detailed selection options for climate settings appears. In addition, contact-sensitive surfaces with key functions and acoustic feedback have been integrated into the black-panel-effect surface.

Ease-of-use with bright optics and perfect haptic technology

—additional highlights at Preh’s IAA exhibit are novel concepts for gear selector levers and steering wheels. Preh’s innovative switches with lenticular display technology contribute to user-friendliness on the steering wheel. This Preh technology allows more than one function to be assigned to each button. But only the function icon that is needed at the given moment is displayed. To make distinctions even simpler, the corresponding icon can be coded to display various colors. In this way, more functions can be controlled on the steering wheel, without the need for more buttons. This ensures that the steering wheel multifunction switch can be operated optimally in the ergonomically ideal thumb area.

Regarding the newly developed gear selector lever concept, which features precise magnet-based haptic technology, Christoph Hummel, Preh’s director of sales, marketing and project management, said, “Our control systems not only offer flawlessly operating innovative solutions. In addition, their design and haptic technology create the highest possible sense of quality and ensure strong vehicle marque identity for our customers.”

Battery management ECUs for electric vehicles

Preh is also exhibiting innovative ECUs for hybrid and electric vehicles, so-called battery management units (BMUs) and cell supervisory circuits (CSCs) in Frankfurt. The purpose of the CSC is to continuously monitor the voltage and temperature of each individual battery cell. Information on the charge state and temperature are sent from the CSC to the battery management unit. This unit ensures, in part through “passive balancing,” that the differences between the charges of the individual battery cells are evened out. The reason is that battery service life is extended when charging and discharging are uniform. Preh has already received a contract for standard production of the battery management system for electronic vehicles in this promising market segment.

The Preh group of companies is active globally and has more than 2,600 employees in Germany, Portugal, the U.S.A., Mexico, Romania and China. Its headquarters is located in Bad Neustadt an der Saale, Germany. The company was founded in 1919. In 2010 it achieved sales of €351 million. Preh’s areas of engineering and manufacturing competence are focused on climate control and driver control systems, sensors, ECUs and manufacturing systems for major automobile manufacturers.