VULKAN Couplings Debuts New Products

Posted by Irina Tabakina

At the SMM 2014 in Hamburg, Vulkan Couplings presented two new products: the TDS Plafrix, a shifting clutch and flexible coupling combination, tailored to the use of harbor tugs in particular, and The Vulkardan GBF, a coupling for generator applications featuring a solution for the so-called “blind fitting” applications.

ECA’s Drive TDS Plafrix Development

The TDS Plafrix clutch is specially designed for use in harbor tugs. To develop and market the new TDS Plafrix clutch, Vulkan Couplings and DESCH Antriebstechnik, Arnsberg, entered into close cooperation. DESCH Antriebstechnik GmbH & Co. KG is a worldwide active manufacturer of products for drivelines for the complete machine building industry.
TDS stands for Tug Drive Solution and Plafrix is the well-known market name of the DESCH Planox clutch, which is already marketed by Vulkan Coupling. The background for the development of the TDS Plafrix includes the increasingly strict laws and regulations for watercraft operation in coastal waters, together with the increasing number of Emission Control Areas (ECA), which make alternative drive concepts necessary. Tugs are particularly affected by ECAs, as by their very nature they perform their work almost always close to the coast, and thus in ECAs. Tugs usually share a certain load profile, so that the market regards hybrid drives in particular as a future-proof solution for this application. Moreover, in the version currently favored by engine manufacturers and designers, an electric motor between diesel and gearbox is switched onto the drive shaft. The TDS Plafrix clutch combination, designed and optimized for this application is designed to be a cost-effective and weight-optimized solution.

Vulkardan GBF
Vulkardan GBF is an extension of the Vulkardan-G product family for generator applications in the medium torque range with the addition of this coupling in the plug-in execution. The Vulkardan GBF series covers a power range up to 63 kilonewton meters. The elastic Vulkardan G range has been developed for modern auxiliary engines and fixed mounted generator applications. The 54-62 sizes so far introduced to the market feature a nominal torque of up to 25 kilonewton meters, and are already used in engines with SAE flywheel connection. The coupling series was originally developed for free-standing systems. In order to also meet the special requirements for bellhousing Installations, Vulkan developed an axial plug-in version, in addition to the above-mentioned free-standing version.
Pluggability was obtained thanks to a new solution in which rolling elements made of a high performance composite material are embedded in precision-crafted pockets. Thus the new Vulkardan GBF is almost backlash free, tooth slipping is excluded and, at the same time, wear has been significantly reduced.


(As published in the October 2014 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News -

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