Solenoid valve block for air supply systems
The core component for air suspension
Air suspensions are irreplaceable for the floating, elegant and soft driving experience in luxury sedans. They ensure comfort, driving stability and the safety of passengers. The pneumatic valve unit is – besides the compressor unit – the elementary component of the air supply system, which controls the vehicles air springs. RAPA supplies specially developed solenoid valve blocks with switching valves (2/2-way valves) for this purpose. They are used to regulate the air volume in the air suspension bellows.
Customers are leading global Tier 1 system suppliers and OEMs. Combining several solenoid valves into one valve block not only guarantees a compact design and less weight, but also reduces the effort required to connect the air lines. The air spring control unit acts as the switching point: it controls the valve block accordingly and activates the compressor.
The air suspension system is one of the vehicle components that improves driving comfort. The valve block is the precondition for a functioning air spring. It regulates the compressed air that is supplied to and discharged from the compressor. The compressed air then distributes the air to both air springs. These also provide the important level control of the vehicle, no matter what surfaces and bumps it is traveling on. Thanks to the air suspension, the correct height is always ensured. RAPA’s valve block is composed of five magnetic valves and compressed air connections. In the normal state, the valves are closed. Only when they are powered by the air suspension control unit (ECU) do they open and let the air through. The valve block is designed to withstand the highest stresses and continuous loads. RAPA technology is well established in practice and is used in numerous vehicle models from various manufacturers.
- Noise reduction design; no disturbing valve switching noise
- High speeds for all control processes due to large valve cross-sections
- Lowest leakage over the entire operating range
- Short switching time
- Low overall volume
- Lightweight design
- Highest precision
- Durable and designed for continuous duty
- Robust & reliable
- Flow optimized design
- Latest generation of solenoid valves
- Innovative valve technology
- Wide range of valve sizes available
- Solenoid valve variants available for a wide range of electrical control systems
- Easy system integration
- Low installation effort
- OEM quality at competitive cost
- High system flexibility
- Latest generation of air supply systems for air suspensions in premium vehicles
- Adaptive air suspension
- All-round suspension
RAPA – the best address for intelligent valve technology (air suspension valves)
We have been developing and manufacturing air suspension valves and valve blocks for more than 25 years. RAPA was a pioneer in this segment: When Mercedes Benz designed the first vehicles with air suspension in the mid-1980s, we were there from the start. Later, other major brands also began to use our technology – such as Jaguar, Landrover, BMW and Porsche.
Benchmark: RAPA valves for air suspension are regarded in the automotive industry as extremely durable and as products that offer maximum flexibility and yet a good price-performance ratio. The extremely robust technology as well as our know-how in fluidics inspire our long-standing customers every day anew. Our experience benefits the continuous perfection of our products and the development of further innovations.
RAPA is helping to shape the growing market of electric and hybrid vehicles – with NVH-optimized solutions and special quiet designs. This is a criterion for electric vehicles in particular, because vibrations, noises and external influences are perceived more strongly in the vehicle interior due to the absence of engine noise. We at RAPA can offer guaranteed noise-optimized valve technology to all automotive manufacturers and first-tier due to our many years of expertise.
System for all drive types
The air suspension system is installed in premium vehicle classes regardless of the car’s drive type. Accordingly, manufacturers of new energy vehicles (battery electric cars, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles) and autonomous models are also interested in this suspension feature from RAPA. Asian automakers in particular are showing interest in installing the air suspension system, which has hardly been used there to date, in their premium and luxury models. RAPA has been able to seal its first partnerships in the Asian market through its sales office in Shanghai, which opened in 2020. The company is already planning its own production plant in China for 2023 in order to establish the valve blocks in the important markets in the Far East.
Advantages of air suspension
- Uncompromising comfort
- Ultra-smooth ride
- Level control
- Roll stabilization
- Adjustable ride height/chassis clearance
- Increased chassis load capacity
- Can be used with all drive types
- Top solution for SUVs and station wagons
Level control for ride comfort and reduced air-resistance
In terms of speed, flexibility and reliability of an air supply system, the RAPA modules guarantee consistent values. This is particularly relevant for station wagons, off-road vehicles and SUVs in order to keep the vehicle level under different load conditions. The same applies to driving at high speeds on the road or on rough terrain. As ground clearance increases, larger bumps can be overcome without contact between the vehicle underbody and the ground.
Level control is also used to lower the vehicle body at high speeds, thus reducing air resistance. This reduces energy consumption. Another advantage is that air suspension guarantees excellent ride comfort, which is why it has almost completely established itself as the most preferred suspension system in the premium segment.
RAPA COMPONENTS INSIDE
Our valves and valve blocks for air-suspended chassis are installed in vehicle models of the leading premium and noble brands. Valves from RAPA represent German quality and certification according to the highest requirements of the automotive industry. The most important competitive advantages include customer-specific product development (open innovation) and manufacturing, as well as a balanced pricing policy. All automotive components are developed by experienced engineers in close cooperation with our customers and are based on the latest technologies. Only high-quality materials are used for production, and quality control is carried out throughout the entire process chain. With our high-tech valve components and systems, OEMs as well as system suppliers are able to significantly shorten their development times and thus reduce costs.
Out of consideration for the interests of our customers, we do not publish details of our references. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You are welcome to contact our employees in Germany, USA and China directly.
For further information and specific inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact our sales team.
In-house manufacturing for individual customized products
An essential core area of our activity is manufacturing, because RAPA not only develops high-tech vehicle components, but also produces, manufactures and assembles them – and even designs the production facilities for them. From manual workstations to fully automated production lines with robotic technology.
We are of the opinion that those who manufacture themselves think differently when it comes to design and have a different view of the optimization potential of components, parts and systems. Furthermore, in-house production enables us to significantly shorten development times. At the company headquarters in Selb, we manufacture in seven halls on an area of around 11,000 square meters, of which around 2,500 square meters are reserved for the laboratory and validation. Including our colleagues from logistics, more than 50% of our workforce is active in production. These are well-trained skilled workers who ensure that more than 15 million parts and system components are manufactured and delivered every year. Anyone walking through our main plant can see every day how components are assembled with skilled craftsmanship and a steady hand. Only this genuine manual labor, in combination with fully automated production and robotics ultimately leads to the product quality and high productivity that are in demand worldwide at RAPA.
Of course, all our company sites are certified according to the strict automotive standard. As a developer and supplier, we bear responsibility for the success of our customers. With our integrated quality management system, we meet the growing demands of the automotive industry and offer our customers the highest possible performance and safety. This is reflected in numerous certifications and awards.
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Product lines RAPA Automotive
Hydraulic and pneumatic valves and customized components, modules and systems as well as overall mechatronic solutions for improvements in weight, function, NVH behavior, emissions and cost