Heavy trucks must run reliably and economically to ensure that vehicles and their payloads arrive at their destination safely and on time. Sachs – an original equipment (OE) brand of ZF – engineers its heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) clutches and truck clutch parts to provide the performance, endurance and reliability necessary to meet these demands. This is not just the case when the vehicle rolls off the production line but throughout its life, with Sachs replacement parts for the aftermarket exactly matching the design and quality of the original equipment fitted at the factory.
At the design stage, Sachs HCV clutches are tailored to the requirements of individual vehicle manufacturers to deliver optimum transmission of engine power to the road, allowing the performance of the vehicle to be fully utilised. All Sachs clutches and clutch parts for commercial vehicles are manufactured using premium materials to ensure durability, even to the extent that provision is made for future remanufacturing of the product.
Component kits improve workshop throughput
For aftermarket workshops, Sachs offers individual HCV clutch components ranging from driven plates and concentric slave cylinders to release bearings. To simplify sourcing and save time, the most commonly replaced parts can be supplied in kit form. For example, the clutch release fork, which transmits the release force from the clutch booster to the release bearing, is naturally vulnerable to wear as it is permanently under load. The Sachs clutch release fork is therefore available in a practical assembly kit that includes all necessary components for installation, such as shafts, seals and screws. Similarly, clutch kits comprise clutch cover, driven plate, release bearing, fasteners and grease, bringing together all of the replacement parts needed for a clutch overhaul.
Environmentally-friendly clutch facings prolong clutch life
Sachs commercial vehicle clutches meet the latest environmental standards. Friction materials used for clutch facings are free from asbestos and lead, produced without the use of solvents, and comply with the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. A special facing that is particularly strong and thermally stable is used for Sachs clutch discs of 362mm, 395mm, 400mm and 430mm diameter. This innovative clutch facing protects the friction surface of the flywheel and significantly decreases wear and tear, reducing repair downtime.
Remanufactured clutches perform like new
With the increasing scarcity and thus cost of raw materials, remanufacturing clutches brings a measure of stability to spare parts prices. A significant contribution to protecting the environment is also achieved by reusing components, with energy consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 90 per cent compared to new clutch manufacture.
Sachs is a leading remanufacturer of commercial vehicle clutches. To guarantee original equipment quality, only Sachs core enters the remanufacturing process, as core from other product brands may not comply with the required quality criteria. Drawing on its experience and expertise as an OE manufacturer, Sachs can not only rework the used clutch but also incorporate the latest product upgrades to deliver an item with the performance, reliability and expected life of a new clutch. For remanufactured Sachs products, the same warranty duration and terms apply as for new parts.
The remanufacturing process starts with ZF factory-trained engineers stripping the worn product to component level and washing, measuring and testing the individual parts to assess their ability to complete another lifecycle. Those meeting the necessary criteria are remanufactured to within the original tolerances and placed into stock, while any part at or approaching the wear limit is discarded. Certain parts such as friction linings, fulcrum rings and tangential springs are always replaced with new OE items as a matter of course.
The unit is then rebuilt according to the most recent specifications for the particular product, undergoing the same strict processes, measurements and inspections as volume production products. This includes compliance with the latest quality and environmental standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 as well as customer specified requirements such as ISO/TS 16949. The remanufacturing process concludes with functional testing on the test bench before the released product can be reintroduced to the market.
Remanufacturing versus reconditioning
In such a competitive and price-conscious market place, it is worth noting the distinction between a true remanufacturing process as described above and basic reconditioning services offered by some third party suppliers, as the terms are often confused and misused. A reconditioned clutch may only have the worn friction material removed from the driven plate before new friction linings – not necessarily of OE quality – are riveted in place. A coat of paint may then be applied to the steel parts before the product is boxed and supplied to the retail market. A Sachs OE remanufactured clutch is clearly in a class of its own compared to a reconditioned product.
Surcharge-free programme for Sachs HCV clutches across Europe
Since June 2018, no surcharge has been applied to the sale of Sachs HCV clutches. A single consolidated range of HCV clutches is now offered to all European markets, which simplifies ordering, stock control and core handling for customers. The programme is designed to align more closely with market requirements, increasing product availability and improving cashflow for distributors, who no longer have funds tied up in surcharge fees. It also reduces the amount of core handling required within the remanufacturing supply chain, assisting ZF in meeting its environmental commitments.