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Herzogenaurach, 25.10. 2007 08:53

Tokyo Motor Show 2007
Future-orientated technologies for sustainable development: Schaeffler Group with its brands INA, FAG und LuK intensifies activities on Japanese market

Schaeffler Group, a leading manufacturer of rolling bearings and automotive supplier worldwide with its brands LuK, INA and FAG, has undertaken further steps to strengthen its position in the Japanese market. „We have already substantially increased our engineering and sales workforce in Japan in order to improve support and service in recent years. In addition we intend to install a local R&D Center until 2012“, emphasizes Dr. Juergen M. Geissinger, CEO of Schaeffler Group, the long term commitment of the company on the occasion of Tokyo Motor Show. „With Yoi-chi Asaoka, the new President of Schaeffler Group Automotive in Japan, we could win a dedicated professional with excellent contacts in the industry, who will help us to further intensify our relationships with Japanese customers – in Japan but also at our customers’s plants in other parts of the world.“

In view of the high significance of the automotive industry in Asia for the global market, Schaeffler has inaugurated a 20 million € R&D facility in the Shanghai Automotive City of Anting and a modern plant covering 110,000 sqm in Taicang / China in May 2007 as well as a new plant in Pune/India in March. This contributes to a tighter network of manufacturing plants and thus an increased production capacity in the region. In addition, the goal is to further refine the R&D network in Asia by adding a facility in Japan, probably near the existing subsidiary in Shin-Yokohama/ Tokyo. “In a technology-driven market like Japan, market-relevant application specifications and best customer service - which also implies fast reaction time due to proximity - are key to success”, summarizes Geissinger the strategic aim of Schaeffler Group.

Schaeffler Group has been present in Japan for 20 years with an engineering and sales office for the brands INA and FAG, and since 2004 also with engineering work-force from LuK.

“Having understood the demands of industry and authorities for sustainable development and climate protection, Schaeffler Group is unrivalled in terms of its comprehensive and in-depth understanding of systems for engines, transmissions and chassis and can, therefore, develop and supply customized solutions to lower fuel consumption, reduce emissions and increase driving comfort”, according to Geissinger. Advanced Components for friction reduction, higher variability or control of gearshifting in vehicle powertrains like engine valvetrain components, roller bearings, clutches and torque-converters contribute to fuel reduction potentials between 2 and 15%. Examples are given below:

INA engine know-how
INA variable valve train systems, for example, using switchable or variably-operated tappets, roller tappets or finger followers, optimize the torque characteristics and the maximum power output of the engine. Depending on the type of engine, it is there-fore possible to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions while increasing power and torque. A further significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption and emissions can be achieved by combining camshaft phasing systems or the recently developed UniAir fully-variable valve train from INA.

In addition, innovative solutions for rolling bearing supports for shafts in the engine offer considerable potential for reducing fuel consumption, emissions and weight while at the same time achieving quieter running. Balancer shafts with rolling bearing supports enable a reduction in friction of approximately 50 % in comparison with shafts supported by plain bearings. A weight reduction of up to 40 % can also be achieved by using an optimized balancer shaft design.

LuK transmission know-how
For the lower and medium torque ranges, dry twin clutches from LuK for twin clutch transmissions combine the efficiency of a manual transmission with the comfort of an automatic planetary transmission. Further savings in fuel consumption can be achieved with components for hybridized twin clutch transmissions, for which LuK also offers concepts. Power loss in torque converters can be minimized by means of new concepts for torque converters, for example, by improving fluid circuits or by disengaging the converter while the vehicle is waiting at traffic lights. By using the LuK multi function torque converter, fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 5 %.

FAG chassis know-how
A reduction in fuel consumption in the order of up to 1.5 % is possible if conventional tapered roller bearings used as wheel bearing supports in vans, SUVs and light trucks are replaced by innovative, four-row twin tandem angular contact ball bearings from FAG. This concept can also be transferred to the final drive units in passenger cars. Tandem angular contact ball bearings with only double rows can be used to replace tapered roller bearings as bearing supports for pinions and differentials thereby reducing bearing friction by approximately 50 %. A reduction in fuel consumption of around 1.5 % is also possible here based on standard driving cycles.

Visitors and customers at the Tokyo Motor Show can learn all about the excellent products and services offered by the Schaeffler Group. At booth W013 West hall INA, FAG and LuK will present innovative products for the engine, transmission and chassis.

Dr. Jürgen M. Geißinger
Vorsitzender der Geschäftsleitung der Schaeffler Gruppe

Gerhard Zaiß
Schaeffler KG
Director Corporate Communications
Industriestr. 1-3
91074 Herzogenaurach
Tel. +49 9132 2277
Fax +49 9132 3584