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Schaeffler demonstrates its innovative force
Schaeffler Once Again Ranked 4th Most Innovative Company in Germany(PresseBox) ( Herzogenaurach, )
"This fourth place and the increase in the number of patent registrations demonstrates our innovative force. After all, an average of seven inventions were filed for patent applications every working day last year. This makes us very proud and I would like to thank all those who made a decisive contribution to increasing our competiveness with their ideas and inventions", says Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Member of the Executive Board of Schaeffler AG, CTO.
Renewable energies are one of the focal points of the research in the Industrial division. This includes bearing supports, which are operated in seawater, for example, in tidal stream or wave power plants. In addition to the high exposure to corrosion due to salt water, these applications are complicated by the fact that oil or grease lubrication of the bearings should be omitted if possible. Instead, the bearings should be "lubricated" with the surrounding medium, i.e. seawater. These bearings are therefore called media lubricated bearings. Schaeffler is consistently driving forward the development of these bearings and supporting this development work by filing relevant industrial property right applications.
An additional example from the Industrial division: The market for bicycles with auxiliary electric drives is experiencing particularly dynamic growth. Customers expect the electric assistance of an e-bike to operate smoothly and, in particular, they do not want to notice the power switching on and off. A prerequisite for this type of operation is very fast and precise measurement of the pedal force applied by the rider. This requirement is met by a bottom bracket with an integrated torque sensor, which Schaeffler has developed and successfully placed on the market. In this case, Schaeffler has also developed a relevant portfolio of industrial property rights. The integration of the bearing support and torque sensor system including the electronic evaluation system within a small fitting space and also the limited budget were a special challenge.
The issues energy efficiency and reducing fuel consumption continue to determine the focus of research and development in the Automotive division - and not only for the classic drive train in internal combustion engines, but above all for hybrid solutions and all-electric vehicles.
Downsizing and downspeeding are two approaches for significantly reducing fuel consumption in internal combustion engines. There is therefore a trend towards engines with a smaller number of combustion chambers. This results in more pronounced vibration behavior, which in turn necessitates new damping concepts. The centrifugal pendulum-type absorber is an innovative key technology for solving the vibration problems at low speeds. Engineers at Schaeffler have been carrying out intensive research on the centrifugal pendulum-type absorber for years and are continuously driving forward this development. Schaeffler currently has 146 patent families pertaining to this innovative product which sets Schaeffler apart from the competition. Specialists at Schaeffler are already working on new damping concepts because automotive manufacturers are aiming to produce engines with even higher torque at lower speeds in the future.
Schaeffler is also actively shaping electric mobility in the automotive sector and has an attractive product range. The Schaeffler ACTIVeDRIVE, for example, is a concept vehicle for electric mobility and also serves as a mobile laboratory. ACTIVeDRIVE is an all-electric vehicle in which active electric differentials (eDifferentials) enable active distribution of torque. The eDifferential is also an ideal component for modern hybrid vehicles. Numerous inventions pertaining to this product were also filed for patent applications in the last few years. The eMobility Systems Division was set up last year in order to bundle the numerous activities of both divisions with regard to electric mobility - from the sensor bottom bracket and hybrid vehicle components to renewable energies - and to utilize synergy effects.
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