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Wilo in BMWs

After the first innovative development steps on the way to more efficient motor technology had been taken, a new field of application opened up in 1995. Wilo had been working on an electronically controlled coolant pump with a PM canned motor and integrated electronics.

Cooling water pumps without a shaft seal for BMW six-cylinder engines; motor technology: PM can, electronically controlled, 160 watts, 12 volts.

The idea had arisen because the first prototypes for pumps with a low-voltage winding had been designed with 24 volts. While all pumps with asynchronous motors required a mains voltage of 230 volts or 400 volts to operate, entirely different fields of application opened up for this new design. The task and idea was now to develop a pump with an electronically commutated direct-current motor for a car battery voltage of 12 volts. This idea was advanced thanks to a cooperation with Mercedes. The first prototype was developed in 1996.

In 1997, BMW asked Wilo and six renowned automotive suppliers, including Bosch and Siemens, to participate in a concept competition for a coolant pump. Once again, Wilo was able to demonstrate its technical excellence, and although the company had no experience as an automotive supplier, Wilo won the competition.

In 1997, the first prototype with integrated electronics on a ceramic substrate (hybrid) for cooling a car engine was presented at BMW, and a patent application was filed. This prototype resembled the coolant pumps later produced in series by Pierburg very closely.

In 1998, Wilo received the order from BMW to develop the coolant pump. Using a Wilo glandless pump instead of the mechanical coolant pump used otherwise could save between 0.3 and 0.6 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres.

In 2000, Wilo sold the development of the project “electronically controlled coolant pump” with PM canned motor and integrated electronics to Pierburg GmbH. This newly developed pump that Wilo had transferred from the heating to the automotive field was used as standard in the automotive industry for cooling a six-cylinder engine for the first time in 2004.