Small series and prototypes


Small series and prototypes

Proplan GmbH Managing Director, Herbert Kunkel, talks about the development of the ROTRAC and what it takes to move an intercity train.

Portrait of Herbert Kunkel, managing director of Proplan Herbert Kunkel, Managing Director of Proplan

What triggered the development of the ROTRAC?

We were at a trade show with a demonstration vehicle, showing what was possible with modern electric drives. A G. Zwiehoff GmbH representative came up to us and asked whether we could apply this technology to a draisine. That was a very special undertaking, which we hadn’t actually thought of before.

What was so special about it?

It was clear from the outset  that the ROTRAC would have to pull up to 250 tonnes – in other words, a vehicle the size of an office desk would have to move an entire intercity train. Going off appearances it doesn’t seem possible, and technically it is a real challenge.

How did you approach the project?

Actually, in the same way we always do. We analysed the requirements and we were soon sure that something like this would be possible with Linde technology. We then configured existing series components specifically for the draisine. And suddenly we realised a figure of 250 tonnes would be easy to achieve.

What particular strengths in your company came to the fore?

First of all, the collaboration between Linde Material Handling and Proplan is particularly important. We can draw on a vast wealth of experience at Linde MH. For decades, they have been finding practical solutions to critical issues concerning batteries, charging technology and drive technology. On top of this, you have the engineering expertise of Proplan in small series and prototype production. With this combination, we can put unusual ideas into practice very quickly.

Where can you see opportunities for Proplan?

We specialise in the development of electric vehicles for explosionhazardous areas. We can also see new opportunities for the ROTRAC in this area, for example in the chemical industry. In future there will be a whole range of new applications.

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