Bonfiglioli deserves a special mention at SIMA Awards for Electromobility Solutions
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Bonfiglioli deserves a special mention at SIMA Awards for Electromobility Solutions

The high energy efficiency of mechatronic drives means lower fuel costs, lower operating costs, and improved working performance too.

This complete mechatronic solution from Bonfiglioli was originally conceived for use on self-propelled crop sprayers. It can, however, also be applied to other types of new-generation hybrid agricultural vehicle capable of integrating electrical power with a mechanical transmission and weighing between 7 and 20 tons. This new generation of hub drive incorporates a high-power electric motor instead of the conventional hydraulic motor and a braking system, may include as well a system for inflating and deflating the tyres. Bonfiglioli’s innovative solution comprises:

1. A multi-stage planetary gearbox
2. A high efficiency electric motor that is sufficiently compact to allow self-propelled machines to work without damaging crops.
3. A multi-disc braking system
4. A tyre pressure management system

Self-propelled agricultural machines are characterised by a demand for high power but only limited available space. The possibility of using electric motors inside hub drives instead of conventional hydrostatic systems is therefore of great interest to manufacturers.

By integrating a synchronous motor that produces optimal power, gives excellent acceleration and a high top speed, Bonfiglioli has succeeded in developing an extremely compact drive unit. The size of a the drive is critical, especially for machines like self-propelled sprayers and harvesters that have to work between crop rows.
Bonfiglioli’s intelligent design means that the overall dimensions of this new solution are no greater than those of a conventional hydraulic hub drive.

The solution presented here was conceived for hybrid electric vehicles in which a diesel engine drives an electrical generator instead of a hydraulic pump. This combination achieves greater overall efficiency in the drive train between the diesel engine and the driven wheel.
Electric motors can also generate energy during deceleration or braking. This full-time effectiveness ensures lower fuel consumption and permits the diesel engine to be down-sized too.
Bonfiglioli traditional wheel drives can also be equipped with a multi-disc dynamic brake.
A central tyre inflation/deflation system fits in the solution. The presence of such a system also improves the overall efficiency of the diesel engine to wheel drivetrain. Power losses due to incorrect inflation can be avoided by optimising pressure to suit field work or on-road transport conditions.
The simplicity of the mechanical design and the reliability of the electrical components involved ensure reduced maintenance as well as lower fuel costs, and the consequent increase in service capacity leads to lower overall operating costs.
Independent torque and speed control at each wheel represents another major advantage in terms of vehicle usability: manoeuvrability is dramatically improved, steering radius can be minimised, and tyre wear reduced too. Bonfiglioli’s new drive is also more environment-friendly than conventional ones as it eliminates the risk of crop contamination and the need for oil recycling.