AWARDS 2021 | Best Gearbox Supplier – ZF Group
Best Gearbox Supplier – ZF Group
As the world’s biggest manufacturer of gearboxes for marine use and other applications, it is probably unsurprising that the ZF Group won the best gearbox award. There are several other manufacturers of marine gearboxes, but none have anywhere near the market penetration of ZF. There is obviously a very good reason for that and, from what we hear from owners, the reason is the high quality combined with excellent service that comes with a ZF gearbox.
Even as Covid-19 continued to spread globally, the year 2021 provided ZF’s marine division with numerous opportunities to introduce new products in the market beyond its commercially successful marine transmissions. The company kept its focus on low-emission solutions with the introduction of hybrid maritime drives with electric motors to enable vessel owners to comply with ever-tightening environmental regulations. In addition to generating reduced noise and emissions, the electric motors will also enable an additional “boost” function, which increases the maximum input power of the driveline. ZF said this feature can be particularly critical when sudden evasive maneuvers are required, as in coast guard patrol vessels, or when tugging heavy cargo.
Another product added to the company’s portfolio in 2021 was a new type of electric saildrive developed in partnership with electric outboard manufacturer Torqeedo. Although originally marketed to pleasure craft owners, these drives are also considered ideal for the workboat market, particularly in the urban commuter ferry segment, because of their reduced emissions and quieter operation.
Other notable products added to the ZF marine selection over the past year are a two-speed transmission for outboards, which will ensure maximum torque and acceleration as well as cruising efficiency in a single package, and a new thruster range that offer benefits such as greater overall efficiency and better scheduling of maintenance. The options under this range include 360-degree steerable thrusters, bow thrusters, and retractable propulsion units.