Thanks to tribologists like Bernhard Flöck, our lives run smoothly. MOTOREX DYNCO – an innovative new flushing device for automatic and double-clutch transmissions – is packed with all his know-how in the field of tribology. In this interview, we talk about the queen of lubricants, the lack of intelligent devices and how we will be driving cars in 2031.
Mr. Flöck, what does a tribologist do?
Tribologists try to ensure that things move without wear and with as little friction as possible, for example with the help of a fluid. The first and most well-known tribologists were the ancient Egyptians, who used fluid to reduce friction when transporting an obelisk. Fundamentally, tribologists deal with the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion.
You work together closely with transmission manufacturers. How did this come about?
20 years ago, there were very few German-speaking tribologists around. As a result, I was invited to speak at various symposiums and quickly built up connections, primarily in the automatic transmission business. I was immediately gripped by this field of work, and I still find it exciting today. Automatic transmission fluid, or ATF for short, is considered the queen of lubricants.
Why is ATF the queen of lubricants?
In addition to lubricating, cooling and cleaning, a lubricant has to have the perfect viscosity profile. Put simply, viscosity is the measure of thickness for fluids or gases. Viscosity is a key factor for an ATF, as an automatic transmission should have the same level of shifting comfort at temperatures of both -20 °C and +35 °C where possible. The ATF also takes on the clutch function, with each shift made via the ATF.
Why is changing the automatic transmission fluid so important?
As previously mentioned, the ATF takes on a range of functions. If it is used up, the shifting comfort, clutch function and ultimately the entire drive system suffer. Sludge from as many as 60 clutch discs also causes damage to aluminium parts, including those in the switch box. This can result in damage to the transmission.
You have developed MOTOREX DYNCO, an innovative flushing device for automatic and double-clutch transmissions. How did this come about?
In over 15 years in the automatic transmission business, I have been constantly confronted by devices that were either too complicated, too inaccurate or not intelligent enough. MOTOREX has allowed me to put all my experiences to good use in developing a completely new device. The result is an oil-changing device and flushing device for automatic transmissions featuring a dynamic, fully automated process in which the flushing fluid is automatically added to the used oil and thus transforms it into a flushing oil. As this process is very difficult to describe, we decided on the name DYNCO, which is derived from dynamic fluid controller.
Which challenges were you faced with?
Development of the adapter requires a great deal of attention and is an ongoing process in which we rely on cooperation with the workshops. MOTOREX also sees itself as a partner here who is on hand to support the workshops when establishing this new business area. Another challenge was determining the correct change of the ATF.
What does this mean exactly?
Even in certified workshops, specialist literature on a correct ATF change is very thin on the ground. The level control, control temperature and position of the control screw are just some of the important pieces of information that are critical in carrying out this change. With this in mind, we have invested a great deal in setting up the website motorex-dynco.com. In the password-protected area, specialists can find all the information they need to ensure their ATF change is a success.
Has MOTOREX DYNCO proven itself in practice?
Absolutely. Among others, the company Pneu Dick carried out over 20 ATF flushes in the space of a few months using MOTOREX DYNCO. According to the branch manager, this is a very lucrative additional business area.
What does the future hold from a tribology perspective? How will cars run ten years from now?
The majority of cars will have 8-gear to 10-gear automatic transmissions and will of course be fully hybrid for fully electric driving in cities. However, in order to remain independent outside urban areas and on long trips, we will also be travelling with a mixture of different e-fuels. Even fully electric cars have transmissions and planetary gears. There is already active cooperation with various technical universities on further developments here. In particular, high thermal loads caused by electric generators in fully hybrid transmissions will put the ATF under extra stress. Earlier ATF changes will be the result.
About our interviewee
Bernhard Flöck is a tribologist at MOTOREX and has over 23 years of experience in the ATF business. He started his career in the USA as a technician with integrated studies. He wrote his bachelor’s thesis on tribology with the support of his mentor Dr. Phil Landis (former head of research at Mobil Oil). Bernhard Flöck is a regular speaker at diverse symposiums on automatic transmissions and works closely with transmission manufacturers.