Schaeffler joins Low Carbon Vehicle Cluster

Precision bearings and automotive engine components manufacturer Schaeffler (UK) Ltd has joined the Welsh Automotive Forum’s Low Carbon Vehicle Cluster (LCVC).

Set up in January 2010, the LCVC currently has 22 member companies, who will share their skills, experiences and resources in order to help each other address specific technical, manufacturing and marketing issues. Member companies will observe and adopt best practices from other members that will lead to improved processes and systems.

Other member companies include Connaught Engineering Ltd, a developer of hybrid drive technologies, aluminium castings supplier Melloy Ltd, and the University of Glamorgan’s Faculty of Advanced Technology.

Tim Williams, CEO of the Welsh Automotive Forum and member of the LCVC’s management group, commented: “The Cluster is open to any company in Wales who can demonstrate that they have developed or are manufacturing low carbon vehicle or infrastructure technologies, or that they have adopted low carbon technologies in order to reduce manufacturing carbon emissions.”

Roger Evans, Plant Director at Schaeffler (UK) Ltd: “The Cluster is also about member companies sharing their business contacts, which could lead to brand new business opportunities. As a company, we will be actively seeking and submitting collaborative R&D and commercial projects, which can generate sustainable wealth for contributing members. This will include the development of innovative products and technologies that will help to secure new business,” he added.

Schaeffler is no stranger to low carbon technology developments. The Group has already developed a range of innovative bearing solutions that are helping automotive manufacturers produce more compact, lighter vehicles, with improved fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions.

These products include the FAG wheel bearing, which is more compact and 10% lighter than its predecessor. The new bearing also offers simplified mounting via a unique self-centring, axial spur gear teeth design.

Schaeffler also collaborated with Fiat Powertrain on the development of a groundbreaking new engine system, the world’s first fully variable hydraulic valve control system, which reduces vehicle fuel consumption and cuts CO2 emissions by up to 25%. Schaeffler’s UniAir system is a unique fully variable hydraulic valve control system that is making its debut on Fiat’s new Alfa MiTo 1.4 MultiAir. This is the first vehicle within the Fiat Group to be equipped with this technology.

Other low carbon developments at Schaeffler include the INA lightweight balancer shaft and rolling bearing assembly, as well as the ‘twin tandem’ wheel bearing unit.

For more information on Schaeffler’s range of automotive bearings and other engine components, please visit www.schaeffler.co.uk or telephone the marketing department on 0121 313 5870.