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ZF Presents EcoLife 2 Transmission System



ZF presents the latest generation of its proven automatic transmission system for buses: numerous technical refinements make EcoLife 2 lighter, more efficient, more robust, and easier to maintain. The most significant improvements include possible fuel savings of up to three percent, stop-start capability for all model variants and reduced wear thanks to an optimized cooling concept. In the latest EcoLife generation, ZF has also further enhanced the comfort levels, with improved shift quality, as an example. 

“ICE powered buses are still a central component of public transport systems and long-distance travel provision. It is therefore important to contribute to reduce emissions and increase efficiency in this area. The market demands high levels of comfort combined with best performance – we have achieved this with the new EcoLife 2,” says Dr. Andreas Grossl, responsible for bus axle and transmission systems at ZF. 

ZF has retained the basic principle of a six-stage planetary gearset with torque converter and primary retarder in the second generation of the EcoLife transmission. Numerous technical modifications optimize the new version of the powershift transmission, allowing city and intercity buses to pull away gently with an input torque of up to 2,000 Nm which enables smooth gear shifting. 

Economical, robust, and comfortable 

A torque converter with a new torsional damper enables fast and smooth shifting. It also provides all model variants of the EcoLife 2 with a fuel-saving stop-start function. ZF has adapted the torque converter and torsional damper, satisfying the current trend toward low engine and transmission speeds which are important for efficient operation: the torque converter also transmits fewer engine vibrations to both transmission and complete drivetrain. This increases levels of comfort while minimizing wear. 

There is also something new inside the gearbox: the planetary gearset of the EcoLife 2 makes it possible to increase the total gear ratio’s from 5,469 to 5,727, necessary for increased mechanical power transmission and thus for greater efficiency. ZF engineers were able to further reduce internal transmission losses by applying a special coating to the lamellar clutch. This coating also optimizes cooling, which in turn reduces wear. 

Another innovation in the EcoLife 2 is the cooling concept. The stainless-steel heat exchanger mounted behind the transmission is now triple-ducted, integrating the transmission cooling system and eliminating the requirement for an additional container. The results is weight savings of around 10 kilograms and increased ease of maintenance. 

Gearbox control creates further advantages 

Further advantages of the EcoLife 2 result from the transmission control system. The control software is not only responsible for the extremely fast, smooth and more comfortable shifting: it equipps the new generation of city bus transmissions with a coasting function that contributes to fuel savings. Customers also benefit from the fact that the transmission software can also be adapted to a variety of different engine characteristics. ZF can provide the EcoLife 2 with different starting characteristics, according to customer requirements. 

Further advantages include simpler assembly and easier diagnostics, for which ZF also offers preventive service packages through its international partner workshops. 

EcoLife 2 will be made available to ZF’s existing customers by next year, after which it will be rolled out to the open market. An EcoLife 2 variant for coaches is also under development, covering the torque range between 1,700 to 2,800 Nm.

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Dişsan DKP Series Planetary Gear Units for Mixers



Planetary gear units enable high power capacities in compact sizes. DKP series planetary gear units are specially designed for twin shaft concrete mixers. They are available in sizes suitable for 1 m3, 2 m3, 3 m3 and 5 m3 mixers.

DKP series gear units have a special input flange that enables to connect the gearbox with belt pulley as well as to connect two gearboxes with cardan shaft. 

Thanks to their rigid structure, they are suitable to operate safely even in harshest conditions. Housing material is GGG40 cast iron. Gears are produced from high quality, case hardened steel. Heat treatment process is applied to obtain 58-60 HRC surface hardness. The gears are precision ground to ensure a quiet and low vibration operation. Special oil seal options are available.

Input Options: 

  • With flange
  • Solid input shaft

Output Options: 

  • Hollow output shaft
  • Solid output shaft

Applications: Concrete, asphalt and other mixing applications 

Industries: Construction, Concrete and Asphalt Plants, Mining, Chemical 

Specifications:                                    Advantages:

Ratios: 5/1 – 28/1 Robust housing

High quality gears

Easy mounting

Long life bearings

High quality oil seals

Power: 11 – 75 kW
Optional:  Output coupling

Output shaft

Adapter and cardan shaft


Gearbox Size DKP2-360 DKP2-400 DKP2-420 DKP2-450
Nominal Torque (N.m.) 28,000 36,000 52,000

DKPK – Planetary Gear Unit with Reinforced Output

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Main causes of gearboxes failures



In a world of optimization and digitization where factories are trying to reduce costs and downtime, the identification of basic gearbox failures can help you to save money and precious time so let the repair shop and service team become a key part of your optimization process.

With almost 50 years of years in the design, development, production and servicing of gearboxes and power transmission solutions, I-MAK’s experience has produced over a million possible configuration of its products implemented in thousands of applications. As a result, and while closely communicating with customers and end users we identified 3 main reasons for gearboxes failures.

1. Alignment of the gearbox on the application

This first cause of gearbox failure is purely mechanical, gears being designed to work in a certain configuration and backlash settings for each gear tooth, that when misaligned can cause a concentration of loads on a part of the gear, housing, bearings or other weaker part of the gearbox and induce premature failure. The identification of misalignment can be done during the maintenance period throughout the lifetime of the gearbox. Before failure, the healthier way to process is to ensure the right mounting of the gearbox during the installation in a new application or after the servicing of some of the machine’s components. We also advice a regular control of the gearbox alignment, our service team is controls this alignment during our regular visits with end users that signed an I-MAK Service plus agreement, securing an early identification or future failures.

2. Lubrication of the gearbox

Most of I-MAK’s gearboxes are supplied with high quality lubricant oil adapted to the type of application, environment and mounting configuration. As the manufacturer, IMAK calculates the right quantity and defines the right type of oil to ensure an ideal lubrication for both gears and bearings. The bath and splash lubrication configurations allow the right spread of oil in the gearbox, allowing the oil to create a thin film on the gears. This thin layer of oil prevents a metal to metal contact between the gears during their engagement. During the gearbox lifetime the oil quantity and quality can change depending on the applications and regular service intervals. Sealed and protected from external pollutants, that can affect the oil quality is a good method to ensure the health of the gearbox, a yearly oil change is recomended to allow for optimal lubrication. During the oil drain a quick analyse of the oil quantity, colour, presence of external elements, can give key indicator of the gearbox health and conditions. Gearboxes working in harsh condition can lose significant quantity of oil during their lifetime, causing a lack of lubrication of the primary gears and irreversible damages. 

3. Overload and operating mistakes 

Often exposed to harsh working condition, the gearboxes also suffer from overload and operating mistakes. Gearboxes are initially supplied with the right configuration and service factor to offer optimal working and enhanced performance. Yet the working conditions at the end user facility can differ from day to day and sometimes grow to extreme for the gearboxes, in facilities like; water treatment plants, bulk material producer and recycling companies.  These applications are often the ones imposing the hardest working conditions to the gearboxes. Exposed to external conditions these operators are regularly forced to stop their operation in emergency due to rain, electrical outages, feeder overloads etc.  During these emergency stop events, heavy loads are applied to the output shafts, torque arms and backstop devices. Fully loaded a conveyor, mixer or shredder is demanding an extra effort to the geared motors until it gets to the requested operating speed. Soft start devices and adapted automation can reduce the overload and mitigate the efforts made by the gearboxes. Unfortunately, it is hard to identity a damaged gearbox in such noisy environment, at the same time the gearbox rarely shows noise or vibration difference until it is too late. At this stage the operating temperature of the gearbox remain a good factor to identify potential failures that sometimes take years to appear. 

Although gearbox failures cause are not limited to these 3 causes, applying these basic advice could help you to save thousands of dollars and precious hours. We also invite you to consult our I-MAK Online service team, a unique online support service available in 5 different languages 24h/7.  

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Discover the new I-MAK product configurator!



We are happy to announce the official launch of our new product configurator. Already available for distributors and internal sales, the new I-MAK  product configurator is now available online via . Configured for computer, tablets and mobiles devices, it offers a quick and easy access to a large range of solutions and information.

Designed to help and assist customers and development engineers to select the right gearboxes and motor, the new program allows a quick access to more than 1.000.000 products references. Available in 4 different languages ( Turkish, English, French and Russian) the new I-MAK product configurator assist you in the selection of the best power transmission for your needs.  Starting from the definition of the key data of your gearbox, the program guides and assist you until the selection of special options and features. The program then generates tailor-made, dimensions pages, 3D drawings and several other technical content.

The new I-MAK product configurator gives you access to one of the largest range of products available on the market. Ranging from 0,12 kW to 650 kW, I-MAK solutions covers more than 1.000.000 products references. Divided in 14 series, I-MAK products can be configured with helical, bevel or worm gear units, to match the exact configuration and demand of your application.

This new update from I-MAK comes with the official introduction of the new MA Series Monobloc, with 8 new housing ranging up to 35.000 Nm and hundreds of new combinations, the new series are reinforcing the position of I-MAK in heavy duty sectors. I-MAK has also integrated NEMA configuration to a large part of its product catalogue. Customers from North America can now directly order geared motors in NEMA and 60 hertz configuration.

The program allows you to configure and select among a large range of options, special ratio and output speed, customized motors and input options, adapted mounting position, adapted cooling options, painting grades and customized colours(RAL), special flange and shaft configuration, brake options, special material for the output shaft, ATEX configuration, you can build up your gearbox as your system needs.

Select your option, adapt your gearbox :

  • Special ratio and output speed
  • Customized motor and input options
  • Adapted mounting positions
  • Cooling options and special oil
  • Special coating grade and colors (RAL)
  • Special flange and shaft configuration
  • Customized dimensions pages


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