Schaeffler just celebrated a new milestone in China: production of the 5 millionth thermal management module (TMM), marking a new stage for the company in TMM production and its business development. “Thermal management modules are one of the important areas with high growth potential in our automotive business portfolio. I’m very pleased that our production has continued to make growth breakthroughs over the years with the hard work of our Chinese team and trusted support from our customers,” said Dr. Chen Xiangbin, President Automotive Technologies Schaeffler Greater China. “It proves our product and technology as well as our local competence have been recognized by our customers and also shows our fast response to customer’s needs via customer-oriented services.”
Thermal management is the unsung star of the show when it comes to making vehicles even more efficient and user-friendly. From electric drives and hybrids through to internal combustion engines: thermal management plays an important role in improving powertrain efficiency and ride comfort as well as reducing CO2 emissions. In new energy vehicles, it helps to extend the driving range and improve safety of the electric drive system. Schaeffler has been involved in series production since 2011 when it introduced the first thermal management module for use in a gasoline engine powertrain. Since then, both the module as well as its components have been consistently improved in product design, precision, efficiency, and integration level. The thermal management module for combustion engines, for example, has a mechatronic design and is featured with high compactness and efficiency. It helps to effectively shorten the engine warm-up time, improve cabin comfort, and offers a reduction of 2 to 4 percent of fuel consumption in the WLTC.
In 2016, Schaeffler started to produce thermal management modules in China and currently has production lines in its Xiangtan and Taicang manufacturing base. Over the years, Schaeffler has continued to localize its supply chain, adopt advanced manufacturing technologies to meet the increasingly growing demands from its customers and market with best-in-class quality, high cost-competitiveness, and reliable delivery, with market sharing increasingly growing and customers expanded to many local brands and joint ventures. “Schaeffler is a pioneer in intelligent thermal management systems in vehicles. It shows the strength we have in mechatronic products,” said Dr. Jochen Schröder, President of the E-Mobility division of Schaeffler AG. “Electrification significantly increases the complexity of thermal management. Here, Schaeffler builds on its profound know-how from decades of developing and manufacturing TMM for internal combustion engines and develops innovative solutions for electric cars.” Besides China, Schaeffler is producing thermal management modules in Lanskroun and Svitay (Czech Republic) as well as Irapuato (Mexico). Furthermore, the company is developing thermal management modules in Korea, Japan, Germany, and the US.
As a technology pioneer and market leader in automotive thermal management, Schaeffler continues to expand its product portfolio to provide solutions for various types of powertrains, covering applications for both ICE-based powertrains and new energy vehicles. For electric vehicles, Schaeffler has developed an integrated cooling system to manage and control the e-motor and battery cooling system as well as air-conditioning system, and an integrated thermal management system that further integrates components such as water-cooled condenser, battery cooler and gas-liquid separator. In addition, Schaeffler has successfully combined the thermal management into the electric drive system, further improving the performance of the electric motor and the overall thermal management of the vehicle. Schaeffer has received customer nominations for the thermal management solutions designed for electric vehicles and will start mass production in the next years.