The Components division develops and produces individual components and system solutions for use in Liebherr products and for external clients. In 2017, the division reported numerous sales successes. Many new clients were gained, especially in the segments of large-diameter bearings, drive trains and combustion engines.
Wind industry drives growth in components
The division benefited in the reporting year from strong growth in the wind industry. In particular, there was demand for large-diameter bearings among clients from the wind power industry. 2017 also saw the first deliveries of crankshaft bearings for wind power facilities. For testing and validating these constantly rotating bearings, Liebherr launched a specially designed endurance test stand. The series qualification of roller bearing slewing rings as wind turbine blade bearings now cements Liebherr’s position as a strong partner in the wind power industry.
The development of the first prototypes for three-row roller bearing slewing rings for ship propulsion systems, also known as thrusters, opens the division up to an additional field with strong potential for growth. Furthermore, Liebherr secured deals with various major clients for the supply of bearings for tunnel boring machines. Another highlight of 2017 was the delivery of a one-piece large-diameter bearing with a 7.5 m diameter.
Liebherr engine named ‘Diesel of the Year 2017’
In the diesel engines segment, the division successfully rounded up multiple projects in 2017. In February, the 12-cylinder D9812 diesel engine from the new engine series was named ‘Diesel of the Year 2017’ in the highest power range of up to 4.5 MW. In addition, the engine portfolio for stage V was expanded to include the D964, D956 and D966 models.
In August 2017, the division announced that it would team with an engine manufacturer for the distribution and service of a total of four Liebherr engine models in the 200 to 620 kW power range. In the agricultural sector, the division secured a contract for the serial delivery of V8 engines to a major client. Production of the D96 diesel engine series also kicked off as part of a partnership with a power set manufacturer. In the gas engines segment, the improved G96 engine series was unveiled. Meanwhile, the 20-cylinder G9620 gas engine marked the division’s entry into the segment for power ranges up to 1 MW.
Increasing automation in hydraulics
The division expanded their portfolio in 2017 to include additionally optimised servo cylinders as well as cylinders produced in accordance with the standards for the ISO 6022 industrial series. Furthermore, the division integrated the LiView position transducer into its first test applications for clients. This sensor solution enables clients to precisely determine the position and speed of pistons in hydraulic cylinders.
In addition, research projects in 2017 continued to focus on optimisation and automation of hydraulics using smart electronic sensors and actuators. At Agritechnica 2017 in Hanover (Germany), the division unveiled for the first time its telematics portfolio for mobile work machines.
The series qualification of roller bearing slewing rings as wind turbine blade bearings now cements Liebherr’s position as a strong partner in the wind power industry.
Development of hybrid ship propulsion systems
There was a clear increase in demand for propulsion systems in the earthmoving and maritime industries over the last year. In the drive train and control technology segments, the division forged an international partnership to develop a hybrid ship propulsion system starting from 200 kW power per drive. Another focus for development was electric travel drives. The product range was expanded to include three new gearbox sizes. Now, clients are offered a full series of electric travel drives, including permanent magnet motors.
The division concentrated its investments in 2017 on expanding production facilities. The works expansion announced in the previous year for Oberopfingen (Germany) as well as the expansion of the production floor in Ettlingen (Germany) were successfully completed. Furthermore, Liebherr pushed forward with the internationalisation of its remanufacturing business. Additional plants for remanufacturing components were set up in Canada and Russia. Remanufacturing also commenced at the Guaratinguetá, Brazil site, according to plan. Now, Liebherr offers its clients in these countries the possibility of economically and sustainably remanufacturing their used propulsion system components into parts that are as good as new.
The division will continue its growth in 2018, particularly in the engines and propulsion systems segments. The recovery of the mining industry after years of difficulties will also contribute to this development. Business relationships with external clients will continue to increase in 2018.