Gear Production

DEC 2015

Gear Production

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13—GEAR Production Supplement F E A T U R E By Gary S. Vasilash | Contributing Editor Gears and the Future of Mobility What will happen to things like step-gear transmissions as we transition to electrifed vehicles? We go to Germany to fnd out. I f you want to talk about gears, you'd be hard-pressed to fnd a company that's more engrained in the technology than what was known, 100 years ago, as "Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen GmbH." The frst word, quite simply, means "gear factory." The second is the location of that factory, in a town on the shores of Lake Constance in southern Germany. And, as we are still in a historical mode here, it is worth noting that the company was a spinoff of another company with a name that you'll recognize without any translation: Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH. Yes, that's zeppelin, while the frst word references airships, as in "the building of." The purpose of Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen was, according to historic documentation, to develop, test and manufacture "gears and transmissions for aircraft, motor The ZF Smart Urban Vehicle: Connected to the cloud, capable of being parked via a smart watch, but powered by electric motors. Is this the future of transportation? December 2015—13

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