Oerlikon addresses a CHF 2.2 billion segment of the construction machinery market, primarily through the Drive Systems Segment. That market is forecasted to grow at a five-year CAGR of 2.6 %, in line with world GDP growth. In 2016, the knock-on effects of commodity market volatility and economic slowdown in China impacted the costs and investments in construction. Over the long term, increased mechanization in infrastructure coupled with growing population and urbanization are expected to drive market demand. Emerging trends, such as the increasing requirement for green construction to reduce the carbon footprint, building information systems for efficient building management, and using fiber-reinforced polymer composites for the rehabilitation of aging structures, will also dictate the technologies required in this sector.
The construction sector represented 25 % of the Drive Systems Segment’s total sales in 2016. The Segment serves key market players in this industry such as Caterpillar, one of the world’s largest construction machinery companies. Its strengths include long years of experience in developing driveline solutions and its engineering competencies for hydraulic, mechanical and electric drive applications.
In 2016, the Segment partnered with Ashwoods Electric Motors Ltd. to develop a compact, high efficiency electric drive system, which consists of a planetary drive integrated with an electric motor. The current solutions used in off-highway vehicles commonly utilize large, heavy and inefficient brushed DC or induction motors coupled to a planetary gearbox – and present a number of challenges to vehicle designers, such as limited vehicle range, limited space around the motor/drivetrain and motor durability. The new, integrated system uses an Oerlikon Torque Hub® planetary drive and Ashwoods’ first-to-market Interior Permanent Magnet Motor. These products are integrated and incorporate a brake solution to eliminate redundant components.