ZF Marine to Premier New 4600 POD Propulsion System for First Time in North American Markets During Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

ZF Marine POD 4600 System
  • Marine driveline specialist ZF brings large POD propulsion to vessels measuring up to 130 feet

  • Optimized design leads to better performance with lower fuel consumption

  • North American launch follows European debut aboard an Azimut Grande 26M yacht

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA. During this week’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show (FLIBS), ZF Marine will premier its new 4600 POD Propulsion System for large vessels for the first time in North American markets. ZF Marine will showcase this technology, as well as its next-generation TotalCommand control system, in FLIBS Booth #1078 from October 26 – 30, 2022.

After successfully establishing its inboard and outboard propulsion technology for all ranges of boats and yachts in the boating market, marine driveline specialist ZF is now bringing unrivaled performance and efficiency to large recreational and commercial vessels throughout North America. The 4600 POD Propulsion system provides speed and unmatched maneuverability to vessels measuring from 80 up to 130 feet. It first set sail in the Grande 26M motor yacht by Azimut last fall, but has been unavailable outside of European markets until now.

Combining engineering expertise with decades-long market experience, ZF continues its track record in high-performing marine driveline solutions with the 4600 POD Propulsion system. Designed for vessels with planing and semi-displacement hulls measuring up to 130 feet and compatible with all main OEM engines up to 1,700 hp at a maximum of 2,450 rpm, the new drive technology is suitable for a wide range of recreational and commercial applications.

“We know that shipbuilders around the world count on ZF to bring power, performance, and reliability to an expanding variety of vessels. And that’s exactly what we accomplished with the 4600 POD Propulsion system for larger craft,” states Federico Decio, Managing Director of ZF in Padua and Head of the Pleasure Craft Product Line.

Progress in propulsion
The 4600 POD Propulsion system can be configured in a twin unit installation (for vessels measuring 80 to 100 feet) and triple unit layout (for ships measuring up to 130 feet), depending on the application. For recreational vessels, this includes both planing and semi-displacement yachts; commercial applications include pilot boats, supply vessels, small ferries as well as patrol and rescue boats.

Twice the power at lower fuel consumption
To achieve these goals, ZF relied on its strengths in innovation and know-how in state-of-the-art engineering. The 4600 POD possess an optimized hydrodynamic shape which significantly reduces the drag of the submerged parts. This supports contra-rotating propellers and improves the overall horizontal thrust of the propulsion system.

Inside the 4600 POD, ZF has leveraged its automotive and off-highway experience with newly designed gearing. Its 2.434:1 gear reduction allows for larger propellers (up to 38.5” diameter), boosting efficiency even further. Compared to other pod systems on the market, the 4600 POD System is up to twice as powerful while still consuming up to 15 percent less fuel than a traditional shaftline propulsion system. On larger vessels, the 4600 POD system allows designers to reduce the number of POD units typically required to reach the desired speed. This reduces the complexity of onboard systems and reduces the vessel’s drag, further improving propulsion efficiency. All in all, the streamlined design and contra-rotating propellers of the system are optimized for maximum speeds between 20 and 32 knots.

More space and comfort
Besides better performance and precise maneuverability, the 4600 POD Propulsion System gives ship builders more freedom during the design phase. The engines can be mounted further aft, reducing the engine room length, and thus increasing available space for accommodations on recreational vessels and providing larger working areas on commercial vessels. Compared to conventional shaftline systems, the 4600 POD’s mounting solution with large rubber seals reduces structural vibrations and consequently, structural noise. The engine can also be installed on softer elastic mounts since it does not have to absorb the propeller thrust.

The system comes with an integrated exhaust and clutch which eliminates the need for an additional gearbox. ZF also supplies integrated hydraulic steering and state-of-the-art TotalCommand controls which includes the dynamic positioning feature iAnchor. Furthermore, the PODs are hybrid-ready – a highly desired feature in times of more stringent emission regulations in ports and other waterways.

Also on display: TotalCommand Control System

TotalCommand System
ZF Marine will also showcase its TotalCommand control system which debuted last year at FLIBS. TotalCommand is ZF’s next-generation propulsion control platform that includes advanced functionalities to complement ZF’s industry-leading transmission technology. TotalCommand intelligence enables adaptive gear engagement and near-instant clutch responsiveness through optimized proportional control valves.

TotalCommand also provides telematics data (temperature, pressure, and output speed) via embedded sensors in ZF transmissions, so the captain has complete visibility to the health and function of the entire propulsion system. ZF TotalCommand provides both recreational and commercial vessels unprecedented control and precision with smooth shifting and seamless transitions between operating modes.

TotalCommand delivers unrivaled vessel control. Click here for full details.

About ZF Friedrichshafen AG

ZF is a global technology company and supplies systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. In the four technology domains Vehicle Motion Control, Integrated Safety, Automated Driving, and Electric Mobility, ZF offers comprehensive solutions for established vehicle manufacturers and newly emerging transport and mobility service providers. ZF electrifies vehicles in a wide range of categories. With its products, the company contributes to reducing emissions and protecting the climate.

ZF, which acquired WABCO Holdings Inc. on May 29, 2020, now has 160,000 employees worldwide with approximately 260 locations in 41 countries. In 2019, the two then-independent companies achieved sales of €36.5 billion (ZF) and $3.4 billion (WABCO).

For further press information and photos, please visit: www.zf.com.

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