Schaeffler strengthens bearings business and develops bearings for electromobility

February 22, 2022
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Innovative technology for electric vehicles: The TriFinity triple-row bearing from Schaeffler offers greater rigidity and a longer service life than standard bearings with two ball bearing rows. The face spline design opens the way to significant reductions in bearing diameter.
  • Innovative bearing technologies from Schaeffler are key to efficient, sustainable mobility
  • The TriFinity triple-row bearing and the high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc offer outstanding efficiency and service life for all types of powertrain
  • Custom solutions for electrified vehicles highlight Schaeffler’s successful transformation

Innovative bearing solutions play a key role in sustainable mobility by making powertrains and chassis systems more energy efficient. In electrified vehicles, every bit of energy saved translates into increased range. Vehicle developers are therefore looking closely at every bearing location as they seek to optimize friction performance and enhance utility for the customer. The global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler understands the major potential impact of innovative bearings, and is now presenting two further product innovations designed specifically for electric vehicles: the TriFinity triple-row wheel bearing and the high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc.

“Innovative bearing technologies are a core part of our product DNA and underpin the success of our Automotive Technologies division,” said Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies of Schaeffler AG. “Schaeffler is looking to fit its efficient and high-precision bearing solutions in electrified powertrains and chassis systems, as well as conventional powertrains, to further enhance these systems and make them more sustainable.”

To achieve greater synergies and even shorter development times for its custom solutions, Schaeffler established a new Bearings business division within its Automotive Technologies division at the start of this year. “E-mobility represents a major opportunity for our bearings business,” said Dr. Dieter Eireiner, the head of the new business division. “We are expecting strong growth over the next few years, with major sales potential particularly for ball, cylindrical roller and tapered roller bearings. We are already involved in a number of promising development projects with big-name vehicle manufacturers. Innovative bearing technologies are also very important for lightweight and heavy commercial vehicles, because they significantly increase vehicle range. Working with our customers, we intend to take bearings to a whole new level.”

TriFinity: Three bearing rows for maximum modularity
Schaeffler’s TriFinity product is a triple-row wheel bearing designed for use in electrified powertrains. TriFinity is no bigger than standard two-row ball bearings, but is able to transfer greater axle loads, while also offering a significantly longer service life and improved rigidity. Moreover, this innovative ball bearing design provides an alternative to preloaded tapered roller bearing units. Switching from tapered rollers to balls leads to significant improvements in frictional torque and rigidity, resulting in a 0.7 percent reduction in electricity consumption per vehicle in FTP75 test cycles. The combination of the TriFinity with Schaeffler’s face spline technology allows downsizing solutions in the form of wheel bearing units with smaller diameters, and hence reduced bearing and seal friction, optimized bearing weight, and a smaller carbon footprint. For the same dimensions, the clearance-free face spline technology reduces bearing weight while enabling the component to transmit up to 50 percent more drive torque. It also makes the bearing easier to mount and reduces noise emissions in electric vehicles.

Schaeffler’s ball bearing with centrifugal disc offers outstanding efficiency and has been nominated for the 2022 German Innovation Award.

High-performance ball bearing for enhanced efficiency and maximum service life
Schaeffler’s new high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc is a high-performance, friction-optimized and sustainable product for electromobility applications. It combines the benefits of both open-bearing and sealed-bearing designs. With 0.3 Nm less friction and CO2 emission reductions of about 0.1/km per bearing, the high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc is a smart yet simple solution that has a major impact on overall performance. It has ten times the service life of an open bearing and represents a significant reduction in costs. This product innovation has already received the Magna Supplier Award and has been nominated for the 2022 German Innovation Award.

SchaefflerGroup – We pioneer motion

As a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors,the Schaeffler Group has been driving forward groundbreaking inventions anddevelopments in the fields of motion and mobility for over 75 years. Withinnovative technologies, products, and services in the fields of CO₂-efficientdrives, electric mobility, Industry 4.0, digitalization, and renewableenergies, the company is a reliable partner for making motion and mobility moreefficient, intelligent, and sustainable. The technology company producesprecision components and systems for drive train and chassis applications aswell as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a multitude of industrialapplications. The Schaeffler Group generated sales of approximately EUR 12.6 billionin 2020. With around 83,900 employees, the Schaeffler Group is one of theworld's largest family companies. With more than 1,900 patent applications in 2020, Schaeffler is Germany’s second mostinnovative company according to the DPMA (German Patent and Trademark Office).

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