CLUTCH INDUSTRIES: INNOVATING FOR SUCCESS
From OE manufacturer to aftermarket specialist, Clutch Industries has always been an innovator
Clutch Industries says it is proud of its 70-plus year history as a major Australian clutch manufacturer, supplying original equipment for Toyota, Nissan, Ford, GM and Mitsubishi.
With the decline in vehicle manufacturing, Clutch Industries pivoted its business to supplying the aftermarket parts market almost 20 years ago. However, it retained its OEM test lab and the majority of their manufacturing equipment.
Research and development is a high priority for the company and Clutch Industries has a dedicated R&D division, called Mantic Engineering.
Mantic Engineering holds 10 current patents on clutch technology and employs six mechanical engineers in its Melbourne facility.
In recent years, the company has invested one million dollars in modernising and increasing its manufacturing capabilities.
Part of this investment has included state of the art automation equipment and robotics to increase efficiencies in its Australian manufacturing processes.
Another focus of Clutch Industries is to undertake initiatives to increase efficiencies for workshops.
These initiatives have included adding installation instructions, spline grease, alignment tools and spigots into its clutch kits.
An initiative recently launched was Clutch Industries’ OEM replacement flywheel program. Traditionally when a clutch kit is replaced, the flywheel must be ground to ensure the surface finish is correct.
Clutch Industries has surveyed workshops and found that on average, 4.5 hours of hoist time is wasted due to this process. In addition, the trade price for a grind is on average $70 plus the delivery cost.
Financially to workshops this is a massive cost when the cost of the grind, delivery time/cost and lost hoist time is considered.
Clutch Industries believes this single mass flywheel range will revolutionise the clutch replacement process by offering a range of OE style replacement flywheels at an affordable price.
Clutch Industries explains that previously, to buy an OE spec replacement flywheel there were very limited options which meant if a replacement flywheel was needed, a workshop would have to purchase a second-hand unit from a wrecker.
Generally, the only option to buy new was through an OEM which in most cases is not stocked locally and the price can be several times more than the price of the clutch kit, Clutch Industries explains.
“This flywheel range will change the way a clutch replacement is done, in same way as replacement rotors did with brakes,” Clutch Industries Senior Product Manager, David Talbot, said.
“Eventually as the range extends, replacing the flywheel will be a common practice for every clutch replacement.”
Clutch Industries says there is a multitude of reasons why you would replace a flywheel instead of grinding one, including:
• Faster installation time; less hoist time wasted
• In most cases the price is comparable to a grind
• Eliminates issues related to a poor grind like shudder, noise and slipping
• Restores correct stack height, reducing the chance of disengagement issues after installation
• Stick out from the competition; offer your customer new instead of old!
Clutch Industries says that the range currently covers around 50 percent of the common clutch kits sold (where the OE flywheel is single mass), with the range being expanded regularly.
The range is available in major Repco or NAPA branches, meaning that you’re able to buy everything you need to get the clutch job done in one place.
The OEM style replacement flywheels are available in the CI range which comes with a two-year or 40,000km warranty and also offers other advantages such as:
• 1045 grade steel, exceeding Australian standards
• Manufactured by quality assured factories
• Includes a ring-gear
• Engineered and manufactured to OE specifications
Looking to the future, Clutch Industries says the rise of Electric Vehicles (EVs) will decrease demand for a lot of common vehicle parts, outside of a handful of categories. It states while the effect of this has not been felt in the Australian market yet, with major manufacturers phasing out production of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles in 2030, Clutch Industries says it is only a matter of time before the effect is seen in the industry.
Clutch Industries says Mantic Engineering has a future thinking philosophy and therefore has been proactively approaching the challenge of how to ensure workshops have immediate access to the parts they need in a complex and significant category (clutch) when demand will be declining with increased adoption of EVs.
In 2018 a dedicated engineering team at Mantic embarked on a project to decrease clutch SKU complexity (ie. increase carparc coverage with less parts), reduce installation time for mechanics whilst also looking to enhance performance and quality compared with typical OEM clutches.
What they created is a clutch system that replaces thousands of different clutch kits with less than 20 products. The system is called: UniClutch.
UniClutch works by taking the fitment complexity out of the clutch and consolidating the mechanical interfaces into what they call a fitment kit, which contains its patented multi fit flywheel mount and patented interchangeable splines.
This system allows the sealed pre-assembled clutch to be adapted to various makes and models where traditionally a new clutch kit would be required.
Another key piece of patented technology, new to UniClutch, is Mantic’s Radial Dampening Centre (RDC) found in the UniClutch disc.
Clutch Industries says this technology is the pinnacle of noise and harmonics reduction inside a clutch disc and performs comparable to that of a dual mass flywheel.
Lastly, UniClutch is designed to handle prodigious torque in a compact modular package which fits into the bellhousing of most vehicles from a Toyota Corolla to a Nissan Patrol.
This is achieved by leveraging Mantic Engineering’s 70 years of experience manufacturing multi-disc clutch systems in Australia.
With the development stage of the project now complete, Mantic Engineering is launching a pilot program for its innovative clutch system.
It will be fitting the new system to hundreds of different vehicles not only in Australia, but also around the world, to show off what it says is the most innovative solution ever developed.
For more information, visit www.clutchindustries.com.au or call 1300 369 787.