Press Release


Digital Competence for the Industry: ZF at the HANNOVER MESSE 2016

  • ZF connects mechanics, electronics and digital technologies for industrial applications
  • Digitalization of wind turbines
  • ZF offers cross-linked solutions also for the logistics, construction and agricultural vehicles industry

At the HANNOVER MESSE 2016 trade fair ZF demonstrates intelligent system solutions where classic mechanical products are cross-linked by electronics and IT-connection. With its intelligent wind turbine gearboxes ZF presents an example for this approach. This concerns revenue growth with reduced downtimes and lower service costs. In the future ZF will use this connectivity for new fields of activity and business models.

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Digital Competence for the Industry: ZF at the HANNOVER MESSE 2016

”ZF as a technology company focuses on innovative approaches with all of its product areas”, says Wilhelm Rehm, responsible for Corporate Materials Management and Industrial Technology on the ZF Board of Management. “Our concept of “Intelligent Mechanics” aims at quick feasibility and thus providing high customer value. We trust that the trend towards digitalization, which has also characterized the industrial sector for several years, is not just a technological race. No, the rapid speed of innovation will lead to higher demand soon.”

ZF is able to expand high-performance mechanical systems to smart systems by using its digital know-how and its electronics competence. “Intelligent Mechanics” ensures that ZF profits from the trend towards digitalization in industrial technology in two ways: Proven mechanics is indispensable for the industrial sector in the digital age. While new opportunities emerge for intelligent systems, ZF has the ability to use them fast and better than competitors.

Digitalization of wind turbines

How this can be realized is shown by ZF in several ways at the trade fair HANNOVER MESSE 2016. At the ZF booth in hall 17, a wind farm model demonstrates the benefit in a broader context: An economic wind farm operation depends on several variables – apart from wind strength or weather forecast these are the electricity price, the maximum power input, the need for maintenance as well as the availability and costs of service specialists. These variables are evaluated by means of modern data analysis. This allows a modification of the wind turbine, which in turn leads to revenue growth.

”We can realize such cross-linked solutions for the entire range of products for industrial applications – from wind turbines and large transmissions to agricultural and construction machinery – and thus also respond faster and better to changing customer needs“, explains Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer, ZF Head of the Division Industrial Technology. For this reason ZF is presenting a second booth in hall 17 in Hanover to illustrate the concept of the “Intelligent Wind Gearbox“ drafted under the auspices of the VDMA.

Thus ZF introduces a series of innovative approaches showing how the use of the latest integrated sensor technology and associated data analysis increase the efficiency and reliability of wind turbines.

ZF way to go – connected to the cloud with openmatics

At the booth of IT specialist Microsoft in hall 7 ZF demonstrates further application examples: A key role in linking ZF product data to the cloud is the telematics platform openmatics. ZF already uses openmatics for many mobile services. At the booth of Microsoft visitors will discover a logistics concept which makes information indicating the state of charge (temperature, vibration) available to the entire supply chain via cloud.

The information obtained by Bluetooth Low Energy Tags (BLE Tags) is processed and made available by openmatics. In the future, ZF can implement openmatics covering the entire product range, also including predictive diagnostics and predictive maintenance concepts – for stationary applications in the industrial sector as well as for mobile applications in construction and agricultural industries.

Autonomous and anticipatory driving with ZF

ZF demonstrates with its Concept Cockpit how digitalization can increasingly change the interaction between drivers and autonomously driving commercial vehicles. By presenting passenger cars as an example, this concept was already introduced by the company at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the beginning of this year. Innovative features such as hands on/hands off detection, a touch display with realistic key simulation, a new, highly precise facial and emotion recognition feature, and actively responsive and communicating seat belts can also be utilized for agricultural and construction machinery.

Equally interesting as autonomous driving is the anticipatory GPS-based gearshift strategy PreVision GPS, which was developed for the automatic transmission system TraXon. Thanks to the GPS-based system and an interface to navigation data it operates especially proactive and fuel-efficient. TraXon is now also installed in medium and heavy special vehicles and mobile cranes.

Large transmission portfolio and electric drive for agricultural machinery

In addition, ZF newly introduces the product portfolio of the market with large transmissions for industrial applications and mobile machinery at the HANNOVER MESSE 2016. This emerged from the acquired industrial gears and wind turbine gearbox business of Bosch Rexroth in December 2015. The wide application spectrum ranges from tunnel drilling machines and cable railways to offshore platforms.

ZF also presents an electrically driven wheel hub for agricultural applications. The application area of this innovative drive concept is manifold – ranging from electrically driven axle systems for trailers and slurry tanks to electrically driven support wheels for plows. In daily operation, the electric vehicle effects additional traction in the most efficient and emission-free way – for example during adverse weather conditions or dangerous driving maneuvers such as driving up a slanting slope.


Cornelia Urlhardt

Team Leader Market & Company Communication

+49 851 494-2556

Gernot Hein

Head of Communication & Public Affairs, Industrial Technology

+49 851 494-2480