ZF is a leading worldwide automotive supplier for driveline and chassis technology.
ZF took up the challenge of responding to permanent changes within the markets and developed into the technology leader for drivelines by supplying highly innovative products. Today, ZF's responsibility starts from the project phase and extends through planning, product development, testing, volume production development, quality assurance and logistics right through to volume production. For system solutions, ZF benefits from the testing and development potential of all corporate divisions and uses this expertise for most different custom-tailored applications. All ZF corporate divisions have production systems which are matched to the market-specific requirements. The six principles of these production systems are standardization and flexibility, process-orientation in customer-supplier-relationships, just-in time, employee and team orientation, zero-error, as well as innovation and continuous improvement. The strict focusing of the company towards value-added processes along with the upgrading of all processes and products by innovations are the basis for customer benefit by leading technology. ZF also demonstrates this competence on the lift truck market by offering its Ergomat drive systems for electrically driven trucks of up to 6 tonne lifting capacity. These systems include optimally matched components: traction motor, brake, drive wheel, frame plate, steering motor and steering sensors - in fact everything needed for driving, steering and braking. To suit individual customer requirements, ZF provides front and rear drives for electric counterbalance lift trucks and ready-to install complete systems for any kind of warehouse handling equipment such as elevating work platforms, electric tractors, cleaning vehicles, automatically guided transport systems or other special applications with various options (spur gear-, helical bevel gear- or planetary transmission).
For diesel applications ZF supplies its Ergopower transmissions for lift truck systems, reach stackers and straddle carriers of up to 60 tonnes lifting capacity and 330 kW engine power. By optimum matching of transmission hardware and electronic control, the new ZF-Ergopower units ensure soft shift transitions in operation - a decisive criterion in practical lift truck applications. For terminal, yard and RoRo tractors, ZF offers its Ergopower transmissions which suit gross combined weight ratings of up to 270 tonne.
ZF development expertise
In all phases of the product development ZF can rely on the global research and development network of the entire ZF Group. More than 4,500 development engineers guarantee on-going product innovation extending from fundamental and materials research right through to know-how transfer from the automotive sector. The Corporate ZF Research is also very strong in mechatronics and electronics development. In-house transmissions with integrated load sensors and telemetric system for example enable ZF to determine the stresses on the driveline in real lift truck application. Torques measured inside the transmissions are transferred outside to the measuring computer via telemetry. This allows recording of the operation over whole shifts or even longer periods. ZF did extensive measurements in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Research Institute and these findings are continually reflected in the layout of new products.
For this purpose, the transmissions were installed into a Fraunhofer LBF test bench with the typical stresses under load conditions being recorded by sensors. The measuring results serve ZF for continuously optimising its test machines and are a major prerequisite for market- and customer-oriented product development.