Bonfiglioli has developed a range of mechatronic solutions for new generation of hybrid vehicles capable of integrating electric power with mechanical transmissions. The solutions not only guarantee greater energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption but also help cut operating costs by extending service intervals making servicing simpler than hydraulic drive solution, says Kennady Kaippally, Country Manager, Bonfiglioli India. Excerpts from the interview.
How do you look at the concept of green technology with regard to achieving cost efficiency?
Bonfiglioli's commitment to the green economy is a strategic choice, whose roots run deep into the company's past, and has conditioned Bonfiglioli's entire organisational model, not only in the choice of markets but in the development of new products, and in the application of a detailed health, safety and environment policy. Commitment to green technology is indeed, a cornerstone of the company's vision and mission, as and such is reflected in our logo that states it as: Power, Control & Green Solutions.
We believe that stringent emission norms and increasing demand for highly fuel and energy-efficient equipment will have a significant bearing on growth and development of power transmissions, especially in the energy-deficient countries like India who depend heavily on energy imports.
Brief us on the evolution of the power transmission systems in the last one decade.
In the last decade for off-road equipment, we have developed various products designed specifically for use with electric motors, and offer a wide range of performance specifications/and deliverable torque ratings. The latest products include a series of planetary drives for electric material handling vehicles and planetary drives with integrated electric motors for hybrid machines. These solutions have been shown to deliver numerous benefits in terms of machine manoeuvrability, reliability, operating costs and sustainability, thanks to low emissions and low working noise levels.
What is happening in the Bonfiglioli Group R&D, globally?
Bonfiglioli has developed a range of mechatronics solutions for new generation of hybrid vehicles capable of integrating electric power with mechanical transmissions. It incorporates a high- power electric motor, instead of the conventional hydraulic motor and a braking system. The solutions not only guarantee greater energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption but also help cut operating costs by extending service intervals and making servicing simpler than hydraulic drive solution. Innovations like a central tyre inflation/deflation system may be also included in the solution to improve overall efficiency of the diesel engine to wheel drivetrain. Power losses due to incorrect inflation can be avoided by optimising pressure to suit field work or on road transport condition.
What are the innovative solutions provided by Bonfiglioli in the material handling and construction equipment segment?
Bonfiglioli has launched a number of innovative solutions that we believe will define the future standards in material handling and construction equipment segment. Some of these are:
600WE Series: Bonfiglioli's 600WE planetary drives incorporate an integrated, maintenance-free electric motor and offer significant benefits in terms of compact dimensions, low noise and high efficiency. The 600WE Series drives are designed for use with all kinds of aerial platforms, including articulated and telescopic boom types, vertical and scissor lifts with service heights from 5 to 27 m, for indoor use in tight spaces or outdoor use even on rough ground. This advanced powertrain solution uses a two or three stage gearbox offering reduction ratios of up to 1:95 to satisfy the widest possible range of needs. The gearbox is coupled to a low voltage induction motor (BT Series) specially developed for traction power and control applications.
500 Series: This solution is designed for use with medium/large mixer trucks that have medium/long delivery distances to travel. Drum rotation speed is between 15 and 22 rpm and capacity between 6 and 14 cu m. Bonfiglioli innovative solution comprises a gearbox of Bonfiglioli's historical 500 Series coupled with an AC electric motor that provides normal power and a DC electric motor for emergency use. This solution not only guarantees greater energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption, but also helps cut cement mixer truck operating costs (for example by extending service intervals and making servicing simpler than on hydraulic drive solutions). Performance is improved too: rotation speed control is more accurate, operating noise levels are significantly lower (thanks to the electric motor and the helical tooth profile of the high speed gearbox stage). Finally, functionality remains higher in the event of a failure: the presence of a second, backup DC motor gives reassuring redundancy and eliminates the risks and potentially hazardous situations caused by failures of the drum emptying system (if the drum cannot rotate, the cement can solidify and put the mixer truck out of action).
600F Series: Bonfiglioli supplies high efficiency, low noise planetary axles and drives with integrated, high performance electric motors and low maintenance braking systems for Class 1 material handling vehicles. Typical applications include 3 and 4 wheel counterbalance lift trucks and ground support equipment. Bonfiglioli electric powertrains are fully tested in the factory and guarantee reduced energy consumption. This, in turn, means longer battery operating times, extended service intervals and a lower total cost of ownership. Bonfiglioli's 600F Series drives are complemented by a range of idle steering systems based on axles or steering units, depending on the number of wheels on the vehicle.