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New ZF AT 80 Thruster Model Range to Close Performance Gap

The new thruster model range AT 80 from ZF can be adapted to customer requests in various configurations – such as when used as Z-Drive.
The new thruster model range AT 80 from ZF can be adapted to customer requests in various configurations – such as when used as Z-Drive.

Published Feb 9, 2021 2:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

ZF presents its new ZF AT 80 thruster model range at the SMM Digital maritime trade fair. The model range is available as a 360-degree steerable thruster and as a retractable propulsion system, or as a bow thruster. As a result, ZF enables even more ship operators, shipyards and naval architects to use made-to-measure ZF technology for various applications.

Precision is not just important when navigating. When selecting the marine propulsion system, it must be clear by then which product guarantees the optimum interaction between performance, cost-effectiveness, environmental compatibility and flexibility.

It becomes clear now - with ZF's new AT 80. With a power output of 1,380 to 1,585 kW, the propulsion system covers the range between the tried and tested ZF 6000 and ZF 7000 models.

"With this model range, we have created a new generation of environmentally friendly, powerful and efficient propulsion solutions. This way, naval architects, shipyards and fleet operators can rely on a high-quality and robust propulsion system with ZF's renowned features for a great number of ship types.", says Andre Körner, Head of Product Line Commercial & Fast Craft.

Optimized design for more performance

When developing the AT 80, ZF further refined the design of its thruster: The new hydrodynamically optimized shape of the underwater housing reduces drag and improves cavitation behavior. This increases the overall efficiency of the propulsion system. Drawing on decades of know-how at the central ZF development departments when designing the transmissions and oil circuits, this propulsion system meets the highest requirements for robustness, efficiency and availability. The lean and flat design helps save valuable installation space in the hull. 

The development agenda also included reduced operating costs and sustainability: The propulsion system's efficiency is higher, thanks to the low oil fill quantity, which simultaneously reduces CO2 emissions. Leakages are detected early with a future-oriented, double-chamber sealing system. This prevents both – mineral oil leaking into waterways and/or water getting into the transmission. As a result, the model range  meets current and future stricter environmental regulations. 

With its modular design, the model range enables tailor-made solutions for customers. The AT 80 is available as a 360-degree steerable thruster, as a retractable propulsion system, or as a bow thruster. In combination with a resistance-optimized nozzle, the achievable speed is improved – a feature particularly useful for passenger ships, such as ferries. ZF also offers a thrust-optimized nozzle, which impresses with its improved bollard pull, useful for tugs and work boats. 

Easy installation, extension and service

The user-friendly ThrusterCommand control system forms an integral part of ZF's propulsion solution. 

The integrated clutch with the tried and tested ZF AUTOTROLL function has already proven its worth many times in other ZF Marine products. It offers a variable propeller speed control, which allows the captain to vary the speed even below the engine idle speed. This provides precisely the amount of thrust required for the respective operation. This function is used, for example, when towing small ships, maneuvering in ports or during slow journeys for measuring tasks. 

A PTO with a maximum torque of 560 Nm can also be provided upon request. It can be used to operate hydraulic pumps or similar components, for example.

Digital status monitoring with ProVID

ZF supplies the new thruster ex works with the ProVID condition monitoring system. Activated upon customer's request, it monitors the condition of the propulsion components. As possible damage can be detected early on, maintenance and servicing can be planned in advance. This optimizes the availability and operating times of the ship, reduces operating costs and improves the performance of the components in terms of service life and efficiency. Thanks to oil monitoring, lubricant contamination becomes visible quickly. An oil change is only necessary if water or particles are actually present.

The special plus for ship operators: When using the AT 80 series, they benefit from the worldwide availability of spare parts through all the ZF service points in the global ZF Marine network. Thanks to the ZF Service Readiness Program with selected and qualified service partners, spare parts and service expertise are 24/7 available worldwide. 

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.