ZF and construction equipment manufacturer LiuGong recently formed a new joint-venture axle company, called ZF Liuzhou Axle Co. Ltd., that will produce wheel loader axles tailored to the requirements of the Chinese market. The companies expect that by 2018, approximately 190 employees will work at ZF Liuzhou Axle and that more than 30,000 of the newly designed axles will be delivered to LiuGong and the third market. ZF and LiuGong have been operating a JV company in Liuzhou since 1995, producing construction machinery transmissions and axles; the new JV was launched in the same location. “A team of engineers from ZF Headquarters, LiuGong, and ZF China have been working together to upgrade the existing axle models for LiuGong wheel loaders since October 2011,” said Hermann Beck, head of the ZF Business Unit Off-Highway Systems. “These joint efforts brought about a modular axle concept which, besides the standard version with dry disk brake (Basic Line), offers the possibility to supply a new, even more sophisticated technical solution with wet multi-disk brake (High Line) using a large portion of common parts.” ZF expects this modular concept to greatly reduce production costs. About 3300 newly designed axles are scheduled to leave the Liuzhou production plant in 2014.