Voith Turbo of Heidenheim,
Germany, has developed an economical torsional vibration damper that
could soon make every tractor ride a smooth one.
Voith Turbo of Heidenheim, Germany, has developed an economical torsional vibration damper that could soon make every tractor ride a smooth one. Comfort is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions tractors, but today’s high-end tractors are probably as comfortable as many automobiles, with standard features including air conditioning, stereo systems, on-board computers, and GPS tracking systems. Most of them use a device called a torsional vibration damper in the drivetrain to smooth out the impact of shock loads on a tractor’s powertrain. Reducing torsional shock loads can significantly extend the life of mechanical components. Of course, all of that comfort and mechanical sophistication comes at a price, which is why many of these high-end features have not been available on less expensive tractors. Voith Turbo decided it would try to take enough cost out of the manufacturing process to make these units practical for high-volume, mid-line tractors. Their “Turn Four Into Two” program focused on reducing the number of components in their Hydrodamp units, and eliminating as many of the costly metal-cutting operations as possible. The result is a torsional vibration damper made largely from stampings. The Hydrodamp HTSD 300 NewDesign is significantly less expensive to manufacture than its predecessors, yet retains most of the performance features of the company’s more sophisticated torsional vibration dampers. It was introduced to the world market by John Deere in 2004, and will soon be standard equipment on many other tractors.
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