China is well on the way to being a market leader in wind energy and ZF is already there, in the established Tianjin facility and the satellite plant in Beijing. The European trained Chinese staff includes designers and technicians all eager able to provide a top class service worldwide. PES brings you the latest developments from this dynamic, pioneering company, who is set to remain top player in our industry for some time to come.
ZF Group is a world-leading technology group in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. ZF Wind Power (ZF) is one of its major industrial business units, as part of a long-term corporate strategy of involvement in the wind market; ZF has enhanced its product range and advanced gearbox solutions through the acquisitions of wind gearbox suppliers Hansen Transmissions in 2011 and the Bosch Rexroth AG wind business in 2015.
ZF has been pioneering wind gearboxes since 1979 and has always had a strong focus on advancing the wind power market, with innovative designs, to drive down the cost of electricity. With over 60,000 gearboxes shipped, ZF has installed more than 110 GW covering 25 percent of the globally installed base of geared wind turbines.
ZF was first with the serial production of a 3MW wind gearbox in 2002. The innovative integrated design was a benchmark in the market, as it significantly reduced the turbine top mass. ZF today powers more than 50% of the global 3MW onshore installations. New generations of the 3MW product range are currently also produced at the facilities in China, driving the world’s most powerful 3MW turbines with rotor diameters up to 140m.
With the growth of the offshore segment and more than 60% of the large offshore wind gearboxes in the segment over 6.xMW, ZF was the first supplier of the largest 8MW offshore gearbox in 2013 and achieved a stable supply with more than 125 units shipped.
ZF Wind Power currently leads the geared high torque offshore wind segment by supplying dedicated differential-type medium-speed planetary gearboxes for both the initial 8MW V164 and the latest world’s largest 9.5MW upgrade. ZF is continuously expanding its R&D technological competences and advanced product philosophy, while leveraging the ZF Group quality and production processes.
With state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and worldwide service locations, ZF is further expanding its presence in China to deliver the next generation of advanced gearbox solutions and services on a global scale, meeting the individual needs of the global wind energy market.
ZF’s footprint in China includes manufacturing facilities at Tianjin and Beijing. The Tianjin facility was established in 2009, the combined total capacity is currently 5000MW. The overall plant layout and in-house processes, manufacturing, quality assurance, and assembly, closely resemble those of the original gearbox plant in Lommel (Belgium).