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14 June, 2024

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Sauer-Danfoss buys Thrige`s LV motors business
Published:  01 January, 2002

Mobile hydraulics giant Sauer-Danfoss is buying Thrige`s low-voltage electric motors business in a bid to broaden its technology base. The business, which consists of Thrige Electric in Denmark and Schabmuller in Germany, makes LV motors as well as pump, steering and drive systems, mainly for use in mobile materials-handling machinery.

The business, which employs around 450 people and has sales of around $50m, is the leading European supplier of motors for forklift trucks. It makes DC motors up to 40kW, as well as switched reluctance and AC asynchronous brushless drives. Thrige, which has been making motors for more than a century, will keep its large DC motors business.

For Sauer-Danfoss, the acquisition is strategic. The aim is to add electric drive technology to its portfolio in anticipation of a move away from hydrostatic drives in materials-handling vehicles, towards electric systems.

"We want to establish electric power technology in parallel with hydrostatics to be competitive with the potential future technology shift in the materials-handling market," says Albert Zahalka, vice-president of Sauer-Danfoss` global electrohydraulics business. "Over the medium term, fuel cells are expected to gain momentum, which will require complementary electric drives."

Sauer-Danfoss has been developing power electronic products since 1997 and has recently introduced electronic power steering and battery-powered inverter ranges. The company employs around 7,000 people worldwide.

Sauer-Danfoss is cutting its Danish workforce by 59 because of falling demand in the mobile hydraulic market. Since March last year, 113 of the company`s Danish employees have lost their jobs.

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