Schaeffler shows product portfolio, announces municipal vehicle electrification

By Becky Schultz24 March 2023

At ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023, Schaeffler Group presented a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for the construction and aggregates industries, including precision-engineered products designed to increase reliability, reduce emissions, optimize power density and transition to electromechanical actuation.

“In addition to providing solutions that help customers improve the efficiency and reliability of their operations, we are showcasing numerous innovations such as electric motors, electromechanical actuators, fuel cell stacks and current-insulated bearings to support the industry’s transformation to zero-emissions products,” said Michael White, vice president of regional business units and engineering for Schaeffler in the Americas.

The company’s interactive display focused on eight product categories, including bearing solutions, actuation, e-mobility, engine, driveline, chassis, fluid power and sensor technologies. (Photo: KHL Staff)

The company’s interactive display focused on eight product categories, including bearing solutions, actuation, e-mobility, engine, driveline, chassis, fluid power and sensor technologies. Elaborate cutaways of the P2 Hybrid Module with PEU (high-voltage wet triple clutch) and the PowerWheel wheel hub drive were shown alongside:

  • a new range of split bearings for conveyor applications and upgraded housing designs for the SAF200 and SAF500WS (wide series) mounted models;
  • an array of sealing solutions;
  • spherical roller bearings for vibratory screens;
  • and the OPTIME wireless condition monitoring solution, Concept1 single-point automatic lubricator and OPTIME C1 “smart” lubricator from Schaeffler Lifetime Solutions.
Electrification of municipal utility vehicles

Following the show, Schaeffler also announced collaboration with three manufacturers of compact municipal vehicles for use of its electric wheel hub motors in their production lines over the coming months. The vehicles will include fully electrified road sweepers, vans and snowplows.

According to the company, the power output of its low-noise, fully electric wheel hub motors is scalable from 7 to 26 kW (nominal) and peaking at 60 kW for short bursts. The torque generated by the electric motor is transmitted via the gearbox directly to the wheel for reduced energy loss. Torque and direction of rotation are controlled individually for each wheel, resulting in an all-wheel drive vehicle. Schaeffler currently develops wheel hub motors for 48 V and 400 V applications and is exploring the possibility of higher voltages.

All the components needed for propulsion and braking are integrated directly into the wheel rim, saving space and making the vehicles more maneuverable in city traffic. (Photo: Schaeffler/Frank Eppler)

The motors feature a unique architecture, in which the electric motor (stator and rotor), gearbox and mechanical friction brake are arranged around the wheel bearing inside a 14-in. rim. This compact design envelope frees up space elsewhere in the vehicle – for battery or cargo stowage, for example – and gives vehicle manufacturers greater design freedom to develop a range of mobility formats, including rolling chassis solutions, the company added.

“Our highly integrated electric wheel hub motors also improve vehicle maneuverability, which is a key prerequisite for automated driving,” said Dr. Jochen Schröder, head of E-Mobility at Schaeffler.

The inverter, which is not integrated, can be accommodated anywhere in the vehicle. A single inverter controls one or two wheel hub motors, depending on the use scenario.

Jungo will be one of the first companies to launch a multi-function vehicle utilizing Schaeffler wheel hub drive technology. (Photo: Jungo)

One of the first companies to be launching a multifunction vehicle comprising the Schaeffler wheel hub motor technology this year is Jungo. The two companies have been partnering to tailor the drive technology to the specific everyday requirements of commercial street sweeping.

“The electric in-wheel motors and braking technology eliminates the need for oil changes and greatly enhances our vehicles’ performance in terms of efficiency, power-to-weight ratio, safety, handling and braking reliability,” said Jungo founder and CEO Nicolas Jungo.

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