In the past year, the components division benefited in particular from strong growth of the wind power industry. It also expanded its range of activities in numerous product areas, and extended its production facilities at various locations.
In 2015 Liebherr considerably increased the proportion of components it produced for the wind power industry. In most cases, these were large diameter bearings and drives.
The division also received numerous orders from maritime customers, including one for a segmented roller slewing ring of more than 9,700 mm in diameter and a large order for transmissions to be used on two offshore cranes with a maximum load capacity of 10,000 metre-tonnes.
For the first time, Liebherr exhibited at the “electric&hybrid” trade fair in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and at “SPS IPC drives” in Nuremberg, Germany, where it displayed innovations in control technology and electrical machines. At “SPS IPC drives” the control technology business area announced a new series of innovative power modules with eight categories covering the range from 110 to 1,100 kW. They can be extended to form a modular frequency converter system. Control systems for Liebherr’s tower and container cranes with optimised safety features were also developed.
The fuel injection systems product programme was extended in 2015 by the second generation of common rail systems. These have a newly designed pump and a continuous rail for inline engines, and there is an additional installed version with pressure infeed from the top.
For its modular engine programme, the division introduced new engine management units and SCRFilter exhaust emission control. With this system, Liebherr is prepared for compliance with the EU Level IV emission directive for diesel engines, valid from 2019 onwards. It is already in use for tunnelling work and in Switzerland.
At the “Agritechnica” trade fair in Hanover, Germany, the axial-piston hydraulics business area exhibited a medium-pressure pump. With a nominal pressure of 280 bar, this pump is ideal as a fan drive or for the power hydraulics on mobile machines. Hydraulic assemblies were also added to the hydraulic components programme. They are initially used for tower crane climbing systems. A research priority in this business segment is the automation of hydraulic applications with the aid of intelligent electronic sensors and actuators.
The division invested a total of 147 million € in 2015. In Biberach an der Riss, Germany, Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH successfully completed construction work on its branch production plant. Liebherr Machines Bulle SA, Switzerland, continued its major investment project. The new logistics centre for the diesel and gas engine production company has now begun operation, and construction work on the extension to the test rigs has been completed.
To meet the demand from international companies in the wind power industry more effectively, construction work began in Brazil on a large diameter bearing manufacturing facility, which is scheduled to start work in mid-2016. In addition to Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH and Liebherr Monterrey, S. de R.L de C.V. in Mexico, which delivered the ten thousandth large diameter bearing in the summer of 2015, the new facility in Guaratinguetá, Brazil, will be the third in this product area.
The division continued to develop the international character of its remanufacturing (Reman) business area. Equipment for component reconditioning was also installed in Guaratinguetá. The increasing importance of component reconditioning is borne out by an investment project in Germany: at the end of 2015, construction began in Ettlingen on an extension workshop with a floor area of 2,500 m².
In Deggendorf, Germany, in May 2015, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for a production facility dedicated to micro-precision parts and injectors for common rail fuel injection systems. Completion is scheduled for mid-2016. In Kirchdorf an der Iller, Germany, construction work started at the beginning of 2016 on a plant for the assembly, testing and painting of the complete hydraulic cylinder programme.
In 2016 good utilisation of available capacity is expected once again in the wind power equipment components area in particular. Liebherr also anticipates positive progress in the gas engine and hydraulic cylinder areas, as well as increased after-sales service business.