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24 hours around the globe

24 hours around the globe

We invite you to an Oerlikon journey around the globe. For a moment, we have frozen time in order to guide you through all time zones, unveiling some of the seemingly most obvious but exciting applications in which our technologies frequently play a crucial role. Oerlikon as a part of your life. Until now, unknowingly – from now on, consciously.

Exploring the world

Manmade Fibers Segment Exploring the world

When daring adventurers or scientists go on trips to explore remote areas of the world such as the Chukotsky District, Russia, just south of the Arctic Circle, their survival depends heavily on high-performing outdoor equipment. In winter, temperatures fall below –20 ºC, and winds are harsh. This is why these explorers need functional wear that reliably protects them against the forbidding environment. A variety of fully stretched and textured synthetic quality yarns serves as the basic material for such suits. While efficiently protecting against the cold, such yarns are at the same time elastic, very robust, breathable and dry extremely quickly when they get wet. Yarns for such high-performance textiles are produced using the groundbreaking Winding INtegrated Godet Solution (WINGS) from Oerlikon Barmag. Outdoor enthusiasts all over the world wear functional clothing made from these tailored manmade fibers. Like a second skin to improve performance and quality of life.

The highly efficient WINGS POY winders need up to 35 % less space and require 15 – 20 % less human labor.

Expanding service intervals

Surface Solutions Segment Expanding service intervals

It’s a known fact to every swimmer: moving through water takes a lot of energy and can be extremely tiring. The same applies to vessels: a lot more energy is needed to cover a certain distance in the water than is needed to cover the same distance on land. Engines for marine applications therefore have to meet the highest performance criteria. At the same time, they need to be even more efficient to reduce emissions at sea and also to deliver the best performance in harbors. Higher engine temperatures and pressures lead to increased stress and tribological demands on a wide variety of critical engine components, such as valves, valve plates, piston pins and piston rings. BALINIT® coatings deliver superior hardness and friction properties and therefore significantly reduce friction and wear. This contributes to longer service and maintenance intervals – as is the case for many other standard industrial applications.

BALINIT® DLC coatings help to increase the efficiency and reduce emissions of marine engines as well as reduce maintenance cycles.

Maximizing performance

Drive Systems Segment Maximizing performance

Exploring remote oil and gas fields far out in the ocean is of critical importance to the supply of the fossil energy needed by mankind. Drilling systems and other equipment for the offshore production of oil and gas have to withstand extreme forces and deliver exceptional performance and reliability in the harshest of environments. The Drive Systems Segment is working with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the globe and provides innovative drive designs for a variety of offshore applications. Gear drive systems used in offshore environments maximize performance in lifting, rotating or propelling, and are critical to the reliability of jacking drives, cranes, winches, compressors, pumps and generators. Such systems are engineered and purposely built for the specific applications they encounter.

The Drive Systems Segment produces the S350 gearbox used in many critical offshore applications.

Higher fuel efficiency

Drive Systems Segment Higher fuel efficiency

From connecting major cities and towns in developed and emerging economies, to establishing vital supply chains in the remotest of regions such as Alaska, the transportation of goods relies on powerful road vehicles like trucks. The Drive Systems Segment is a leading designer and developer of shifting solutions for such vehicles. Its new long-life double cone synchronizer, for example, represents the state of the art in terms of performance and durability in the heavy-duty synchronizers for transmission applications field. This patented synchronizer technology contributes to achieving a minimum of 5 % improvement in overall fuel efficiency for heavy vehicles. The Drive Systems Segment focuses on the customer’s specific shifting requirements, drawing upon the organization’s extensive knowledge and experience of working with friction materials for different synchronizer applications.

The modular design double cone synchronizer 162/170 in the Drive Systems Segment is ideally suited for heavy applications.

3D Manufacturing Changes the World

Surface Solutions Segment 3D Manufacturing Changes the World

In the late 1980s, engineers and scientists developed an “additive manufacturing” process – now known as 3D printing – that has created revolutionary new perspectives for R&D and manufacturing by simply having a dedicated computer system read digital design files and add materials – layer by layer – to form a completed item. Once used strictly to make rough prototypes, the sophistication and breadth of applications continue to grow. Innovative businesses use this technology to fabricate products for aircraft, dental restorations, medical implants, eyeglass frames, automobiles, customized prosthetics, and architecture. The advantages are striking: complex parts are made at once and prototypes can be optimized just as quickly, no industrial tooling is needed; a 3D printer can make a variety of items, unlimited by product type or model; only material that makes up an item is actually used, reducing waste and costs. Another tangible advantage is the wide variety of substances are used to create parts and products. Once limited to plastics, ceramics and even high-quality metal powders are used to enable the production of durable objects. This is where Oerlikon Metco plays an essential role, by providing materials, process technology and know-how to help increase the durability, precision and finish of the final product.

Critical to the success of any AM application is the proper choice of materials. Advanced alloys can mean the difference between printing an object and making something that is truly ready for a particular use.


90 years of experience

Drive Systems Segment 90 years of experience

Producing food for a growing number of people requires large and efficient machinery, such as tractors and harvesting equipment. The Drive Systems Segment looks back on 90 years’ experience in the gearing and drive systems industry. Its dependability and reliability make it the market and technology leader for the design and manufacture of synchronizers, hydraulic clutch modules, precision gears and shafts used in agricultural vehicles, off-highway vehicles and in specific industrial applications. 70 % of all agricultural tractors built worldwide today rely on solutions from the Drive Systems Segment to change or synchronize transmission speed.

The solutions and components in the Drive Systems Segment are ideally suited for all critical transmission applications.

Telling time in style

Surface Solutions Segment Telling time in style

High-end mechanical luxury watches, like the ones produced in Switzerland, are small engineering wonders. Up to several hundred individual parts make up a mechanical movement. Some do not only tell time, but contain up to several other mechanical complications such as an eternal calendar or a minute repeater – a mechanical device that will indicate the present time in different sounds. The components within the movements of mechanical watches have to perform reliably in a very limited space. Therefore, some of these tiny parts, such as the coil spring or the escapement wheel, are coated using PVD thin-film coatings from Oerlikon Balzers. This reduces friction and maintenance cycles. Coatings are also applied for decorative purposes, for instance to the watch cases or the bracelets. Thanks to these coatings, the parts obtain a very distinctive coloring. Different combinations of coating materials produce different colors, such as golden yellow, silver gray, copper or deep black.

Tiny parts from mechanical watches are treated in the coating system RS 50 from Oerlikon Balzers.

Wide range of applications

Drive Systems Segment Wide range of applications

Electrically powered utility cars are the vehicle of choice for a wide range of applications: they transport luggage, passengers at airports or in hotel environments, and move golf players and their equipment across the courses. In 1994, the Drive Systems Segment took the opportunity to build its first electric axle for the small electric vehicles market, thanks to a partnership with Club Car, an Ingersoll Rand company. This step marked the beginning of a long-term business relationship that grew over the years, resulting in a market share for these applications of nearly 100 %. Today, the Segment boasts 20 years’ experience and know-how in the design and development of electric transmissions, and continues to innovate in this market. Oerlikon provides solutions for electric heavy and light utility vehicles, electric light commercial vehicles and electric city cars for major vehicle manufacturers worldwide.

The Drive Systems Segment is the major supplier of axles for electric utility cars and has 20 years’ experience.

Surface Solutions

Surface Solutions Segment Surface Solutions

Thin-film coating, high-tech heat treatment, polishing, regrinding: in industrial production and for many end products, optimized surfaces play a critical role for productivity, functionality and design. For instance, coatings protect large forming and pressing tools against abrasion, while at the same time increasing productivity and the quality of pressed parts. These large tools are, among others, used in the automotive industry to form chassis parts such as doors from metal sheets. To protect the tools from wear, hard chrome plating is still the most widely used method, even though it uses hazardous chemicals. With the PPD™ (Pulsed-Plasma Diffusion) technology, Oerlikon Balzers offers an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to hard chrome plating. While hard chrome plating requires four to five treatments over the production lifetime of a tool, PPD™ is typically a one-time solution, resulting in cost savings of up to 65 %. In addition, the technology uses only hydrogen, nitrogen and electricity and is therefore environmentally friendly. The process chamber is 10 meters in length and has a loading capacity of 40 metric tons.

The process chamber of a PPD™ coating system provides enough space to accommodate even the largest forming tools.

Improving aeroplane performance

Surface Solutions Segment Improving aeroplane performance

Flying is the safest way to travel. Every year, more people – especially in the emerging economies – discover air travel, leading to a continuing and sustainable growth for the whole aviation industry. During service, airplane components must withstand wear, corrosion and great loads, while possessing light-weight and low-friction properties. Plus: mechanical aerospace components have to meet very strict environmental and safety requirements. Oerlikon Balzers has numerous innovative solutions focused on tailored aerospace applications. One example is the development of special coatings for turbine compressor blades to protect the blades against erosion, leading to a longer life cycle and enhanced performance. The coatings that are used to protect such delicate parts are only up to 20 micrometers thick, and yet they are extremely effective.

Thin-film coatings from Oerlikon Balzers protect the compressor blades of aircrafts against erosive wear.

Taking the Heat in the Jet Engine Pod

Surface Solutions Segment Taking the Heat in the Jet Engine Pod

When traveling by air, passengers look for a good price and a smooth, quiet ride – and a safe landing. Airlines want a more durable, more powerful and more economical plane. Jet engine manufacturers are key players in this equation, using new materials such as ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) and aluminides—a class of materials that lie between metal and ceramics— that are transforming jet engine design. These lightweight, extremely strong materials are enabling propulsion units with higher operating temperatures for better thermal efficiency, i.e. lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and more thrust for higher payloads. However, running a jet turbine at extremely high temperatures demands high performance coatings for a thermal barrier between the hot combustion gases and the components through which it moves. This is where Oerlikon’s Surface Solutions Segment, Oerlikon Metco, comes in. With unique technology expertise in material properties and surface solutions, Oerlikon provides barrier coatings for CMC turbine blades to assure environmental stability for the newest generation of jet engines

Oerlikon Metco helps engines to be lighter, quieter, more durable,
more reliable and more powerful.

Providing a second skin

Manmade Fibers Segment Providing a second skin

Ski racers can descend the slopes at speeds of up to 150 km/h, so their racing gear needs to fit like a second skin. The aerodynamics are tested in a wind tunnel and are subject to exacting demands – like in Formula 1. Even top athletes would not stand the slightest chance with off-the-peg gear. This is why professional ski suits consist of an exquisite blend of fully stretched and textured synthetic quality yarns, which are elastic, very robust and breathable, while at the same time protecting against the cold and drying quickly. Yarns for such demanding applications are produced using the groundbreaking WINGS from Oerlikon Barmag. The advanced spinning system sets the market standards in terms of efficiency, productivity, quality and user-friendliness. And it is something not only top athletes can benefit from, but athletes on all levels.

Through the texturing process using the eAFK system from Oerlikon, POY yarn can be transformed into attractive and unique products.

Driving Performance in the Porsche 918 Hybrid

Surface Solutions Segment Driving Performance in the Porsche 918 Hybrid

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a mid-engine plug-in hybrid sports car that combines an internal combustion engine with electric power. The traditional V-8 engine (608 horsepower) and two electric motors (adding 285 hp) combine for 893 hp, enabling this powerful sports car to jump from 0 to 100 km per hour in just over 2.6 seconds and hit 200 km/h less than five seconds later – a feeling remarkably similar to piloting a fighter jet! Yet, with all this performance, the Porsche 918 travels 100 kilometers on only about 3 liters of fuel. While the refined design and stellar performance are impressive, Porsche had an invisible advantage: a special ultra-thin coating from Oerlikon Metco inside the V-8 engine that helps reduce friction and improve performance. The Metco F4301 coating is applied in an atmospheric plasma spray (APS) process (SUMEbore™) that melts the coating powder materials, spraying a molten stream onto the cylinders walls without the use of volatile chemicals. The coating binds permanently to the cylinder walls and is machined to a precise thickness. Porsche worked with Oerlikon Metco for nearly five years, developing and testing coatings to find a balance between performance and reliability.

One of its performance secrets: an ultra-thin coating on cylinder walls to help reduce engine friction.


Working underground

Drive Systems Segment Working underground

Mining for commodities is a demanding endeavor. Machines used in mining have to operate in harsh conditions several miles deep underground. As the equipment constantly carves away at solid rock, mechanical drives can easily overheat, leading to the destruction of bearings and gear packages. Drawing on its extensive experience in the development of robust drive systems, Oerlikon’s Drive Systems Segment has recently introduced the RHD (Road Header Drive), a new drive designed for the cutting heads on roadheader machines. During the design phase, special attention was paid to the cooling properties on the RHD. A dual-motor configuration allows for coolant to flow through the drive to the cutter head, and coolant cavities at both ends of the gearbox help the machine to run for extended hours in harsh environments. These features contribute to a long component life. The innovation includes several patentable features and has already attracted the attention of leading manufacturers of heavy-duty mining equipment.

The RHD260 Torque Hub® from the Drive Systems Segment delivers exceptional reliability in the hostile mining environment.

Reinventing the game

Manmade Fibers Segment Reinventing the game

Some innovations unleash a revolution. When the traditional sport of hockey moved over from natural to artificial turf in the 1970s, it led to a revolution in the whole game. The balls, sticks, shoes, tactics and rules all changed. The consistently even, artificial grass allowed much faster ball speeds and more precise ball and movement control. Today, it is impossible to imagine top-flight hockey being played on real grass. Oerlikon Barmag was involved in this technical innovation from the outset as a development partner for the leading manufacturers of artificial turf. The market leader uses state-of-the-art monofilament extrusion systems to produce soft yet stable synthetic blades of grass in various colors and shapes from four to eight single fibers twined or wound together. These innovative materials have contributed to the success of the current mass-market product. Tufted or woven artificial turf is robust, low maintenance and of consistent quality to allow round-the-clock play. And it is bang on trend – whether for hockey, soccer, golf, tennis, American football or landscape gardening.

Oerlikon engineered the MoisTurf solution, a monofilament extrusion system for fabricating high-quality artificial turf.

Hybrid Electric Drivetrains for Industrial Vehicles

Drive Systems Segment Hybrid Electric Drivetrains for Industrial Vehicles

Machinery and vehicles for construction, agricultural and mining applications are usually powered by diesel engines. While quite economical, they still account for a whopping 19% of the world’s diesel fuel consumption and result in higher operating costs. Global demand for more efficient vehicles has increased attention on hybrid drivelines that offer a good alternative to diesel. E.g. hybrid electric driveline systems have been long established in the automobile sector and are used in industrial wheel-loaders and dump trucks. Oerlikon Fairfield has developed an efficient hybrid electric powertrain based on a smaller and lighter combustion engine and provides up to 30% in fuel savings; the diesel engine powers a generator to feed the electric motors in the axles to drive the wheels. And the entire hybrid electric driveline can be seamlessly integrated with various vehicle designs and accommodate a wide range of configurations. This system is also able to store energy while operating; energy regenerated during braking, for instance, is stored in a buffer to be later used for output spikes or to drive auxiliary systems, such as complicated hydraulic systems used to work a shovel, etc. that can now be replaced with electric actuators and motors, further increasing efficiency and flexibility and lowering operating costs.

Power inverters convert the electricity produced by the generator and feed it into electric motors in the front and rear axles that drive the wheels, which means fuel savings of up to 30 percent.


Producing comfortable carpets

Manmade Fibers Segment Producing comfortable carpets

There are various facets to our well-being. In the living room, we love relaxing on a fluffy carpet. In a hotel, department store or the car, however, the textile coating needs to be nonslip, solid and, ideally, nonflammable. The manufacturers of modern carpet yarns develop tailored solutions to meet these differing requirements, primarily based on manmade fibers. Yarns made from polypropylene, polyamide and polyester are more robust, easier to maintain and cheaper to manufacture than natural products; they are also ideal for allergy sufferers. They can be processed to bulked continuous filaments (BCF) using state-of-the-art machine technologies from Oerlikon Neumag, the market leader in BCF yarn systems, with a market share of over 80 %. The groundbreaking concepts for the S+ and Sytec One machine generations are evidence of just how innovative they are: on the one hand, they demonstrate extremely high performance, efficiency, productivity and user-friendliness, on the other hand, real flexibility and fulfillment of special requirements. A wide range of facets for a real feel-good factor.

The three-end S+ BCF plant offers an extremely high efficiency and saves costs for raw materials.

Improving medical instruments

Surface Solutions Segment Improving medical instruments

When people need surgery, they expect the operating room in the hospital to be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Even though more and more tasks are assisted by complex machinery, surgeons still have to rely heavily on their steady hand. The medical instruments they use, such as scalpels for instance, are subject to the highest requirements in terms of sterility, biocompatibility as well as functionality. Some of these instruments, which are used in hospitals around the world, are coated with BALINIT® coatings from Oerlikon Balzers. For instance, sharp cutting edges on medical instruments make wounds heal faster, while antimicrobial properties reduce infections and avoid reconstructive surgery. Additionally, antiglare properties help surgeons work faster and more easily. There are even more medical applications for BALINIT® coating: for instance, these thin-film coatings also improve the quality and durability of dental implants.

BALINIT® coated instruments are bio-compatible with human tissue, are antibacterial and do not stick.

Car-Sharing Reduces Urban Congestion

Drive Systems Segment Car-Sharing Reduces Urban Congestion

Within 20 years, roughly 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. This growth in urban populations also means more automobiles, creating traffic and pollution problems that affect everything from delivering goods and services to residents’ quality of life. Autolib’ (part of the Bolloré Group) created a 100% electric urban car-sharing service that began service across Paris on December 2011 with a fleet of 250 electric Bluecars and 6,000 electric car-charging points throughout the city. Thanks to Oerlikon Graziano’s experience in both sustainable and high-performance automotive systems, the Bluecar is not just practical and eco-friendly – it’s fun to drive. Oerlikon developed the Bluecar’s innovative gearbox that performs when climbing hills or traveling at speeds close to 130 km/h. Oerlikon also collaborated with Bolloré to make the cars more durable to withstand the rigors of car-sharing and multiple drivers. Next up is Bluesummer, an electric convertible perfect for beach trips, and a retail version for sale to private owners.

Bolloré partnered with Oerlikon Graziano in developing some of the car’s components because of Oerlikon’s experience in developing both sustainable and sports car systems.

Keeping sails stable

Manmade Fibers Segment Keeping sails stable

Sails need to absorb minimum water, be breathable and at the same time lightweight, very strong, stable in form and UV-resistant. Running ropes need to be wear-resistant and nonslip, with very little stretch despite increasing loads. Tire cord for car wheels needs to be wear-resistant but elastic, and not shrink if warmed. Airplane components must be extremely lightweight and robust. There are fibers that meet all these requirements, and they are known as industrial or technical yarns (IDY). Oerlikon Barmag is the technical leader when it comes to individual machines and systems for the production of these textile all-rounders. The company also supplies the WinOro, a specialist winder for aramid-based high-performance yarns. These are used in elite sport. Aramid fibers create highly robust, extremely resistant and very rigid sails, which can help produce high speeds for regatta racing yachts. High modulus low shrinkage (HMLS) yarns are used in tire cord. Every second tire on the road is fitted with tire cord made on Oerlikon machines, and, not to forget, carbon fibers, for which Oerlikon Barmag offers the special winder WinTrax.

WinOro from the Manmade Fibers Segment is a precision winder for aramid-based high-performance yarns.