RENK's History

From trainee mechanic to pioneer of the Industrial Age:

The drive technology developed by Johann Julius RENK revolutionized the engineering industry.

Firmengründer Johann RENK


Key turning point:

The “Zahnräderfabrik Augsburg” joint-stock company for the production of gear wheels is founded.

Conversion to Zahnräderfabrik Augsburg


Quantum leap:

RENK constructs a gear cutting machine with a processing diameter of seven meters.

Gear cutting machine



Production of gear wheels with ground flanks begins.

Augsburg plant



500 precision automotive gear units each month

Automotive gear unit


Bigger, faster, further:

Large gear production facility is installed.





The first reversing gear units for marine applications are built.



RENK builds the fastest gear unit in the world.


New invention:

RENK causes a paradigm shift in the transfer of power and energy for tanks thanks to the principle of hydrostatic superimposition steering.


Global innovation:

RENK produces the first turbine gear unit with the highest pitch circle velocity (185 m/s).


Shifting gears:

RENK builds the first vehicle transmission dynamometers for tanks with automatic transmissions.

Pure innovation:

RENK invents the hydrostatic-hydromechanical steering drive for tracked vehicles.

HSWL measuring cabin 14


All inclusive

RENK designs the first integrated braking system with friction brakes.

Gear unit design



Maximum control:

Development of the RENK checker – an electronic device for monitoring gear units.

Even more dynamic:

Development of the RDDS (RENK dynamic data system), an automated system for controlling a drive shaft dynamometer, which is still in use today in an enhanced version.

RENK Wülfel plant



Global pioneer:

RENK becomes the world’s first company in the field of drive technology to harden and grind gear wheels measuring over 3,000 mm in diameter.


RENK manufactures one of the largest marine gear units for ice going ships with a diesel motor drive. Power: 40,000 kW.

Photo of the plant


Trailblazing technology:

Based on the company’s expertise in the development of electronic control devices for automatic transmissions, the RDDS (RENK dynamic data system) was created for controlling a drive shaft dynamometer, and is still used in the area of development in Formula 1 motorsports today. The RDDS has been continually enhanced since this time.

RDDS axle test stand



New venture:

The product areas of industrial and marine gear units are spun off into RENK-TACKE GmbH.


New name:

The company’s name is changed to RENK Aktiengesellschaft – including the product areas of automatic vehicle transmissions, drive elements, and test systems.


In a class of its own:

RENK produces a turbo gear unit with the highest power rating ever transmitted by gears in mesh: 75,000 kW.


Vice versa:

RENK builds a planetary gear unit for a marine propulsion system with counter-rotating propellers – with an unbelievable performance potential of 20,600 kW.


Full turbo:

First type of the world’s most powerful gear unit with a gas turbine output of 90 MW.



RENK-TACKE GmbH is incorporated into RENK AG.


Maximum boost:

The output of a turbo gear unit increases to 100 MW gas turbine output for the first time.

Big debut:

Delivery of a bevel planetary gear unit weighing 110 metric tons, designed for an output of 5,400 kW. The gear unit is used in the world’s largest and most powerful roller mill at a cement works in Argentina.

Assembly of KPBV Komploeyer


New dimension:

RENK presents the newly developed etaX(trademark R) gear unit for a higher degree of efficiency.

etaX P1240007


Major feat:

The first CODAG system in the world for the main propulsion system of a frigate with a total output of 38 MW.

CODAG system


Above and beyond:

The first RENK AEROGEAR gear unit is installed in the AREVA 5-MW system at the Alpha Ventus Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea.

RENK AEROGEAR gear unit for AREVA 5-MW system at the Alpha Ventus Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea



First type of the high-capacity marine propulsion gears for COGAG arrangement with the lowest specific weight in the world and a total output of 6,300 kW.

6,300 KW CODAG system


Strategically important alliance in 2007:

The founding of RENK-MAAG GmbH in Winterthur, Switzerland, and thus the takeover of MAAG’s successful turbo series as well as the global service for the turbo and marine gear units.

Aerial view and office building of RENK-MAAG and logo



Pinnacle of development:

Production of a multiple power splitting gear unit with a multiflow for an output torque of 15 million Nm – which is approximately three times greater than any previous torques.

Highlight of 2011:

The approval of the first system in the world built for the hybrid propulsion of a frigate, CODELAG, with an output of 30,000 kW.

CODELAG type F125


Gateway to Asia:

RENK opens a central base, RENK Shanghai Service and Commercial Ltd. Co., in 2012.




The world’s largest planetary gear unit for a wind power nacelle test rig is built in 2013 – with a torque of 15,000 nM.

Gear unit for Clemson University, USA. Gear unit built in cooperation with Rheine/Augsburg


2015 is a mega year in which the company simultaneously sets three unique records:

Construction of COPE, the most powerful cement mill gear unit thus far with an eight-motor drive and an output of 10 MW...

COPE cement mill gear unit


... the construction of the world’s largest spur gear unit (290 metric tons) for the propulsion of the cutting head of a head suction dredger with a torque of 2.5 million nM…

world’s largest spur gear unit


... and the construction of the first AED electric drive module for extremely low-noise marine propulsion systems.

AED electric drive module


A superlative scale:

The world’s largest test stand for gear units up to this point is built in 2016.

Clemson-Prüfstand von RENK Test System GmbH (RTS)


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