LuK celebrates 100-millionth Dual Mass Flywheel
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Schaeffler has reached a reached a major milestone in its vehicle component production having just produced its 100-millionth LuK Dual Mass Flywheel. The history-making DMF came off the production line at the LuK clutch plant in Bühl, Germany, 30 years after the technology was first used as original equipment.
Matthias Zink, President of Schaeffler’s Transmission Systems business division, said, “The development of the Dual Mass Flywheel is one of the outstanding innovations in our company`s almost 50-year history and has emerged as a ground-breaking product for the automotive industry.”
The DMF was the brainchild of LuK engineer Dr. Wolfgang Reik, and the first unit to be used in mass production was introduced by BMW in 1985 on the 525e. The earliest designs had arc springs not much bigger than a conventional clutch torsion damper, but with the all important ‘split masses’. This means that one half of the flywheel was attached to the engine crankshaft and the other effectively attached to the gearbox and driveline through the clutch, lowering its resonance frequency. It wasn’t long before damper capacity was increased five-fold by expanding the size of the arc springs and pushing them out to the larger outer diameter of the DMF.
BMW was closely followed down the DMF route by Mercedes-Benz, with Opel joining the revolution in 1987 and Porsche following in 1988. Even the Americans understood the benefits of the new system with the Chevrolet Corvette fitted with a DMF in 1989. By 1994 Audi, Toyota, Ford, Jaguar, Daimler, Land Rover and Lancia all had power trains featuring the DMF. Also in 1994 the humble Volkswagen Polo was originally fitted with a DMF, essentially making the Dual Mass Flywheel a mainstream product rather than one just for high-end or luxury cars.
Today the latest DMF’s mean engines can be operated at even lower speeds in a very smooth and comfortable way that allows the transmission ratio to be made longer and thus designed for greater efficiency in terms of fuel consumption.
To celebrate the 30th birthday of the DMF during 2015, Schaeffler has introduced the DMF CheckPoint app. Available to download from iTunes for Apple devices and Google Play Store for Android, DMF CheckPoint is an invaluable tool for professional motor mechanics who regularly service and repair modern clutch systems that include a DMF.
To accurately check if a Dual Mass Flywheel needs replacing due to wear, mechanics need to be aware of the correct operating tolerances and bolt torque settings that are unique to each DMF.
Technicians can now simply enter a LuK DMF part number into the DMF CheckPoint app and instantly see all of the information needed to be aware of before carrying out a professional repair.