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Construction : Special Focus | February 2018 | Source : Equipment India

Transmission Systems

With technological advancements, there is going to be many innovations in the field of transmission systems for construction equipment. 

Large scale hybridisation and automatic features are being introduced in power transmission systems and assemblies for construction equipment, trucks and dumpers being manufactured in the country. Interestingly, electronic sensing for ensuring multi-mode power transmission, Telematics tracking or inbuilt diagnostics features fast becoming standard equipment for OE supplies. Coupled with the drive to light weight and support fuel efficiency by using alternate materials have now propelled this industry to a new level of performance offerings.

The transmission system plays an important role in an equipment as the gearbox determines the performance and robustness of an equipment. The key components in a drive line of the construction equipment (CE) transmission system are front and rear axles with planetary gears, differential brakes, transmission shaft, clutch, and torque converters.

Current trends
With the focus is now more on efficiency and productivity of equipment,advancements in transmission systems play a major role in achieving these requirements. According to Suresh KV, Country Head, ZF India, cost reduction as a result of reduced fuel consumption while simultaneously increasing productivity are the mega trends in the construction machinery business. 'Today, there is a lot of emphasis on safety and sustainability. Some of the current trends also include diesel electric hybrid transmissions, continuously variable transmission and electronically controlled power shift transmissions,' he adds.

According to Kennady V Kaippally, Country Manager - India, Bonfiglioli Transmissions Pvt Ltd, market trends in transmission systems of construction equipment are driven by the ever-increasing expectations of the customer from their equipment. These include expectations of better efficiency, enhanced performance, higher durability and improved operator comfort. Transmission systems play an important part in helping the equipment to achieve these desired deliverables.

Role of transmissions in productivity
The transmission system determines the efficiency, productivity and power of a machine. Says Suresh, 'Efficient and eco-friendly transmission systems ensure significant consumption benefits. A variable transmission system will have multiple benefits like ease of operation, durability of machine (working under extreme conditions) and it will increase the productivity. A robust transmission ensures that everything remains steadfast in motion during operation.'

Kennady highlights on the importance of transmissions to achieve productivity, 'Design of a transmission plays a vital part in delivering better efficiency, its optimisation with other elements in the drivetrain enhances performance, right sizing of transmission gives higher durability and finally smooth operation and low noise levels improve operator comforts.'

Market outlook
Looking ahead, there is a lot of technological advancements expected. There are going to be a lot of innovations in the field of transmission systems for making the construction equipment more productive and efficient. This will enable the growing demand from the increasing infrastructure development and construction activities in India. Though incorporating the latest and cutting-edge technologies in the transmission system may take time, we can expect a lot of innovative concepts in the field of transmission systems. (Read more about transmission systems in the following interviews.)
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