Product Responsibility

Our enthusiasm for innovative products and processes and our uncompromising pursuit of quality have made us a global leader in driveline and chassis technology.

Products and services with great customer value

Our customers in the automotive and industrial sectors welcome our determined focus on products and services, which provide great customer value. Improvements in energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, dynamics, safety, and comfort are key to our work.

Innovations for environment and society

Sustainability lies at the heart of our endeavors to make our products even more cost-effective and eco-friendlier using intelligent technologies. ZF's aspiration of developing and producing "Innovations of Great Value" also refers to the value for society and environment. This becomes specifically tangible in all the applications in which ZF operates: From passenger cars and trucks through to construction machinery; from merchant vessels to wind turbines.

Research and development

ZF invests five percent of the Group's sales in research and development.

In 2014, we invested EUR 884 million in research and development. Approximately 6 870 employees work for ZF Research and Development worldwide. ZF invests five percent of the Group's sales in research and development. Guidelines and Group standards ensure a common basic understanding at all development locations worldwide.

Principles of product development

In the context of target fleet values for CO² emissions, we are continuously further developing conventional drives and hybrid drives. For a long time, ZF has been working hard to push forward e-mobility in addition to hybrid technology. Thanks to our competencies in the areas of drive and electronics as well as their intelligent networking, we generate innovations meeting practical requirements.

More energy efficiency

Optimizing conventional driveline technology remains an enormous lever for climate protection in light of the huge numbers of vehicles on the road. In the case of passenger cars, for instance, the 8-speed automatic transmission (8HP) – combined with the optional start-stop system – has reduced fuel consumption and hence emissions by eleven percent, compared with its 6-speed predecessor. The power-on-demand principle, i.e. only using energy when it is actually needed, also plays its part in achieving this aim.

Contribution to electrification

ZF opens up further savings potential by electrifying the driveline. A passenger car with an 8-speed hybrid transmission as a full hybrid uses up to 25 percent less fuel than a vehicle with a conventional drive and 6-speed automatic transmission. With TraXon, the automatic transmission system for commercial vehicles, ZF is also rolling out the benefits of hybrid technology for heavy commercial vehicles for the first time.

All-electric drive systems are ideal in terms of eliminating emissions – providing renewable energy sources are used to recharge their batteries. ZF has developed an electric drive for small and medium-sized passenger cars for this form of drive. The electric axle drive developing 90 kW displays the kind of acceleration potential already at low speeds that have so far been the preserve of powerful combustion engines.

Lightweight approaches

Lightweight construction is important for the widespread uptake of electric vehicles as well as for further efficiency efforts with conventional drive systems. ZF is adopting a multi-layered approach in this respect, which not only focuses on alternative, lighter materials. It also optimizes components in relation to weight or paves the way for new design options for integrating several functions into a single lighter component.

Eco-friendly mobility

ZF engineers have achieved a great deal over the past few years in order to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and the associated emissions.

Example for transmission

The 8-speed automatic transmission 8HP has been a paradigm of economy and resource conservation since it was launched in 2009. Compared with its 6-speed predecessor, the entry-level version already reduces fuel consumption and, in turn, emissions by six percent – and by as much as eleven percent if the optional automatic start-stop system is specified.

The new 9-speed automatic transmission for vehicles with front-transverse engines saves up to 16 percent fuel compared with modern-day drive technology for this drive category.

The power-split construction machinery transmission cPower keeps the engine within the most economical speed range, thus reducing fuel consumption and emissions by 25 percent.

Road safety

Safety is extremely important across the entire automotive industry. People need to rely entirely on the technology wherever passengers and goods are transported.

The ZF contribution

With its product focus on driveline and chassis technology, ZF products are central to vehicle and occupant safety. ZF therefore meets exacting quality requirements which apply stringent benchmarks right from component development and during design and materials selection: ZF does not compromise to the detriment of safety.

This uncompromising product quality is also continued during manufacturing. At its production locations worldwide, ZF production is based on reliable processes, which ensure the shipped products comply with the specifications agreed with the customer down to the smallest detail.

Examples for road safety

CDC (Continuous Damping Control) adaptive damping system: The electronic control unit accesses key vehicle data and adjusts the damping in fractions of a second to the particular driving situation. The system improves safety notably even if it is just used on a single axle. For this reason, ZF has also recently added a lower-cost system dubbed "CDC 1XL" to its product portfolio – both for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

Active Kinematics Control:

An actuator adjusts a control arm while the vehicle is moving so that the toe angle at the rear axle changes. The control electronics in turn coordinates this barely noticeable steering assistance with the road speed and the steering movement of the front axle. Thus this system also enhances safety and driving dynamics at the same time.

ZF TRW Advances Center Airbag ZF TRW's Center Airbag technology has two variations, one is the interaction airbag and the other is the far side airbag. The interaction side airbag is integrated into the driver front seat back facing the inner side of the vehicle and assists in minimizing occupant interaction between the driver and passenger, occupants, in the event of a crash. The far side airbag helps to keep the occupant in position and assists in avoiding occupant movement over the center console.