What Voith says, it does
One company at the IAA had a presence that extended well beyond its own stand. Voith’s truck and bus drive systems were evident in the stands of its various successful customers, also presenting its wares.
Voith Turbo describes itself as a leading specialist in power transmission and a solid, competent partner of customers all over the world. With its products being advertised for it by Mercedes-Benz, with its Atego trucks, MAN Germany on the TGS, and used by Anadolo Isuzu in Turkey and SOR in the Czech Republic, it seems this is a justified claim.
Available as an ex works option in virtually all Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks, with G60 and G85 gearboxes, one of the most prominent displays at the Voith IAA stand was the Magnetarder. The Magnetarder operates with the world’s most powerful permanent magnets and is the lightest secondary retarder currently available on the market. At only 39 kg, the Magnetarder is capable of reliably and comfortably braking coaches and trucks between 7,5 and 16 tons. Voith has taken the need for reliability to extremes; the Magnetarder is so efficient as a back up to the service brake that up to 90% of all braking operations can be performed by this secondary unit. Apart from the obvious safety benefits, there is an added perk in terms of comfort, as gear-shifting movements are reduced. Trip comparisons showed 36% fewer gearshifts in retarder-fitted vehicles.
The Magnetarder has been specially designed for easy installation. The retarder runs directly on the propshaft, so that the shaft does not have to be shortened for installation of the Magnetarder and it can be easily retrofitted. Iveco has, in fact, issued a retrofit approval for the Magnetarder for the Eurocargo. The Magnetron has proved itself with practical Atego-vehicle driving tests, including through steep passes in the Swiss Alps. After the tests, the front brake linings were shown to have the same thickness as a new set, even after 10 000 km. Perhaps light trucks and coaches can indeed now brake, wear-free.
An additional offering for the retarder market that was on display at the IAA was the new Aqua Tarder. After years of continuous research, Voith considers this product a milestone. The innovative hydrodynamic retarder uses water instead of oil as an operating medium. This retarder is designed for heavy vehicles with two-bladed wheels (rotor and stator), facing each other. During braking, the medium is moved between the bladed wheels; it is accelerated by the rotor and then decelerated by the stator. As a result, the rotor also slows down and the vehicle brakes. Braking heat generated in this process is quickly and effectively dissipated via the vehicle cooling system. The basic rule is that the higher the speed, the higher the available braking power of up to 950 bhp.
Not forgetting the flexibility and variety of Voith’s product solutions, the stand also had something interesting specifically for buses. The DIWA.6 provides automatic transmission for city buses. Technical innovations, which have allowed for up to 5% less fuel consumption for its customers, include need-based control of auxiliary units and an intelligent start-up management system. The newly designed housing for the transmission already meets future noise regulation requirements, and the automatic transmission itself is up to Euro 6 Norm requirements for exhaust emissions (only effective in 2014). This is good news for European manufacturers who won’t have to endure a sudden increase in expenses for compliant replacements and good news for forward-thinking customers elsewhere.
Also on display in the DIWA range was a hybrid bus drive. Voith developed the DIWA hybrid based upon the proven DIWA technology. The company has sold more than 200 000 DIWA transmissions and so can rightly call itself a specialist for automatic transmissions in city buses. This technology was further supplemented by a low-loss asynchronous motor. During braking, the asynchronous motor turns into a generator and acts as a primary retarder. The strength of this parallel hybrid lies in its universal suitability but is particularly effective in bus applications with higher average speeds.
Voith is now one of the largest family-owned businesses in Europe, with 39 000 employees, €5,1 billion in sales and over 280 locations worldwide. That’s one big family, and it certainly seems to have proven itself a useful family-friend for vehicle manufacturers to have in their neighbourhood.