Schaeffler celebrates 50th anniversary of LuK clutch brand

An exhibition was opened at the LuK headquarters in Bühl with around 100 invited guests

Schaeffler celebrates 50th anniversary of LuK clutch brand
Left to right: Prof. Dr. Peter Gutzmer, CTO of Schaeffler AG; Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG; Jürgen R. Thumann; Winfried Kretschmann, Baden-Württemberg’s Chief Minister; Schaeffler shareholder Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann; Gerlinde Kretschmann; Hubert Schnurr, Mayor of Bühl; Schaeffler shareholder Georg F. W. Schaeffler; and Norbert Indlekofer, CEO Automotive of Schaeffler AG.

The exhibition, entitled ‘The LuK story. 50 years. Quality. Technology. Innovation’, offers an historic and technical insight into LuK innovations over the past five decades, which have seen the company produce more than 500 million units.

The ‘Gallery of Innovations’ is at the heart of the exhibition, which explores six key innovations from the company’s history, including the diaphragm spring clutch, the Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF), the self-adjusting clutch (SAC), CVT components, double clutch systems, and the integrated torque converter.

Norbert Indlekofer, CEO Automotive of Schaeffler AG, started his career 25 years ago at LuK in Bühl. He said: “We are very proud of our employees worldwide, who have made a decisive contribution to this success story, and we would like to thank the Schaeffler shareholders for their trust and the opportunity to work on long term projects.”

The LuK success story began when brothers Dr. Georg and Dr. Wilhelm Schaeffler invested in the Lamellen- und Kupplungsbau August Häussermann company, the initials of which went on to form the more familiarly known name of LuK, and its yellow and black logo.

Schaeffler shareholder Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann said: “The Schaeffler brothers recognised the opportunities presented by the new diaphragm spring clutch, taking on this great entrepreneurial venture at the beginning of the 1960s and overcoming all of the associated challenges with a highly motivated team.”

The first manufacturing plant was built within just six months and by mid-1965 LuK was already supplying diaphragm spring clutches to VW – providing 25,000 units per month of a technology that was still relatively new in Europe.

In the mid-1960s, the diaphragm spring clutch replaced the coil spring clutch, and in the mid-1980s, the DMF made driving turbo diesel engines more enjoyable in terms of acoustics. From the mid-1990s, the self-adjusting clutch reduced the amount of pedal force in vehicles with increasing torque, and from 2000, the CVT made automatic transmissions even more relaxing to drive.

At the beginning of 2008, the LuK dry double clutch set new standards in driving comfort and fuel consumption reductions, and later this year, a completely revised, lighter generation of integrated torque converters with lower vibration levels will be introduced.

Schaeffler, with its product brands INA, LuK and FAG, is a leading global automotive and industrial supplier, find out more by following the ‘More Details’ link below.

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