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Engine Extravaganza! - Supplier success in Stuttgart

Engine Expo returned to Stuttgart, Germany, last month for what turned out to be the best show in the event’s 11-year history. “Visitor numbers are not only up on last year, but there’s a real quality feel to the traffic that comes to our booth,” enthused Richard Li, deputy managing director at F Diesel. Jon Hilton, managing partner at Flybrid Systems agreed: “We’ve seen key people from some of the key places we wanted to contact. Even on the evidence of the first day, it’s been worth being here. It’s the first time we’ve been to a road-car show and we’ve had the right hybrid people visit us.” And those visiting the booths were equally impressed. “This show provides us with a great opportunity to meet key people and companies in engine design, as well as finding out the latest trends and technologies in engine development taking place in Europe,” said Venkatesh M, senior engineer, Mercedes-Benz India.

This year’s essential trade fair for all automotive powertrain engineers not only boasted the latest state-of-the-art engine technologies and subsystems from some of the world’s leading component suppliers, but also featured for the first time an Electric & Hybrid Pavilion – a dedicated area exclusively for businesses displaying next-generation electric, battery, hybrid and fuel-cell powertrain systems.

Occupying Hall 3 at the Messe Stuttgart, Engine Expo 2010 had some of the biggest names in the automotive powertrain world presenting papers as part of the free-to-attend Open Technology Forum, which ran throughout the three-day event. Day One of the Open Technology Forum focused on engine and transmission development in the morning, and engine downsizing in the afternoon, as well as advanced injection and turbocharger technology. Papers on Day Two focused on sustainable transportation, with the morning session discussing hybrid powertrains and asking what happens next. In the afternoon of the second day, key powertrain figures gave several presentations discussing the challenges that remain for EV mobility. Finally, Day Three of the Open Technology Forum kicked off with three presentations on SCR and EGR. The programme then moved on to presentations focusing on alternative materials that can improve powertrain characteristics. The Open Technology Forum closed with two presentations in the afternoon that discussed the key developments in coatings and lightweight materials.

Building on this year’s runaway success, next year’s Engine Expo promises to be even better – so make sure you plan your trip to the Stuttgart Messe on 17, 18, 19 May 2011 to be part of the world’s greatest automotive powertrain trade fair.

 

Exhibitor quotes:

“We’ve seen key people from some of the key places we wanted to contact. Even on the evidence of the first day, it’s been worth being here. It’s the first time we’ve been to a road-car show and we’ve had the right hybrid people visit us”
Jon Hilton, managing partner, Flybrid Systems LLP

“This show has provided us with some very good contacts to build on in the weeks ahead”
Helmut Birnleitner, Miba

“Another great show. Engine Expo this year has given us the opportunity to educate more engineers about our technology”
Bill Wrinn, marketing director, Scuderi Group

“Visitor numbers are not only up on last year, but there’s a real quality feel to the traffic that comes to our booth”
Richard Li, deputy managing director, F Diesel
 

Visitor quotes:

“This show provides us with a great opportunity to meet key people and companies in engine design, as well as finding out the latest trends and technologies in engine development taking place in Europe”
Venkatesh M, senior engineer, Mercedes-Benz India

“It’s a really interesting show. It’s my first time here as a visitor but I’m thinking we need to be here as an exhibitor”
Martin Reef, marketing manager, Vernay Europa

 

Flying High

The big news at Flybrid’s stand was the arrival of the new CFT KERS, which is smaller, lighter and cheaper than the company’s previous offerings. Development has centred on an all-new transmission arrangement for connecting the flywheel to the car, using a number of discrete gears and special Flybrid-developed high-speed clutches that perform a controlled slip to transmit the drive. CFT could even prove to be cheap enough to feature in small cars, which is unlikely ever to be the case for battery-electric hybrid systems, according to Flybrid’s managing partner, Jon Hilton. The company’s technology continues to move at pace towards mass production. Its flywheels (probably a CVT version) could hit the market in low volumes as early as the end of 2012. Speaking to ETi exclusively at Engine Expo 2010, Hilton revealed that technical partners are likely to be in place by the end of 2010, and a potential joint venture with an established Tier 1 could pave the way for volumes in the hundreds of thousands of units.


 

Diamond takeover

Representatives of Miba were keen to discuss the Austrian company’s recent acquisition of Teer Coatings, thereby adding DLC coatings to the portfolio of its growing Miba Coatings Group. The company was exhibiting at Engine Expo as part of a drive to add more high-volume contracts to the DLC business, with applications including piston pins and valves.



Material matters

Engine Expo visitors were attracted to CX Gruppe’s booth by an electrically powered Formula Student car (CX sponsors the University of Stuttgart’s team) and a table football game, which proved to be very popular during the World Cup week. But among all the fun, there was some great technology making its debut on the company’s booth – specifically in the form of a thin-walled cast-steel engine block that’s currently under development. Building on its experience with lightweight steel-chassis structures in the EDAG Light Car, CX Gruppe is aiming to match the weight of an aluminium block but offer better performance. CX believes that a cylinder-wall thickness of 1.5-2mm is achievable, with sheet-steel or even carbon-fibre plates being used for reinforcement in key locations. Early prototypes are finished, and attention is turning to how the design might be mass produced at a rate of up to 3,000 units a day. The supplier expects to have completed its studies within three years. OEMs have shown initial interest, but the thin-walled block remains a CX Gruppe project for now.



Advances in lubricants

Visitors to the Messe Stuttgart looking for the latest developments in the area of lubricants flocked to the International Products Corporation booth. Exhibiting at Engine Expo for the first time, this US-headquartered company had on display its P-80 range of temporary assembly lubricants, which are already used in a wide range of automotive applications wherever rubber or plastic parts are a tight fit. Components, such as hoses, seals, ‘o’ rings, bushings, gaskets and grommets, can benefit from the use of the innovative P-80 technology. The lubricant is designed so that once assembly is complete, the lubricant dries and the part returns to its original condition. When dry, P-80 lubricants will not become slippery again, even in the presence of moisture. The appeal of the P-80 lubricants range from International Products Corporation is enhanced even more by the fact that they do not contain silicone, alcohol or petroleum distillates, and they are safe for use on most natural and synthetic rubbers, metals and plastics.


 

Data development

Having had a very successful time at last year’s Engine Expo, Scuderi Group returned to the Stuttgart Messe this year armed with the news that independent laboratory test results of the Scuderi Engine prototype at part load show a coefficient of variability (COV) of up to 4%. Such a range, which measures the variance between each combustion cycle, further proves that the Scuderi Cycle’s combustion process is as consistent as that of a conventional Otto Cycle engine, which in many cases has a wider COV range.

Testing of the naturally aspirated, 1-litre gasoline unit at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, continues to meet or exceed the initial computer simulation expectations. The current testing program, which will map the engine from idle to 4,000rpm, measures how the engine operates under a variety of driving speeds up to full throttle. “While exploring the engine speeds in the range of 1,000-3,250rpm, we continue to see extremely successful and consistent combustion,” commented Stephen Scuderi, vice president for Scuderi Group. “We continue to be extremely pleased with the test results.”

 

Axial motor technology

EVO Electric, a leader in the design, development and production of electric drive solutions for the automotive sector, made its debut at Engine Expo’s innovative Electric & Hybrid Pavilion. EVO has made waves recently with its advanced, ultra-light axial flux motor/generator technology, which offers unparalleled performance in terms of power, torque, weight, size, efficiency, reliability and durability. Recent tests have demonstrated industry-leading power densities of 5kW per kg (2.5kg/kW nominal), effectively surpassing the 2015 and 2020 performance targets set out by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for traction motors. The technology also supplies very high peak torques, making it ideal for high-performance and commercial-vehicle applications. EVO technology has been applied to a number of vehicle platforms. It was most recently featured in the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid, which was unveiled at this year’s Geneva motor show. The Lotus concept features two EVO drive motors, each providing 152kW (204bhp) of power and 400Nm of torque, and an innovative 35kW range-extender system featuring EVO’s electric generator technology. EVO’s technology helped Lotus optimise fuel economy and vehicle performance. Michael Lampérth, CTO and co-founder of EVO, commented, “EVO’s technology, though applicable to a wide range of hybrid and electric vehicles, is particularly appropriate for range extenders due to the very tight space and weight requirements of this application. For instance, the high power and torque density of EVO’s axial flux motors and generators makes it easier to package and integrate range extenders into vehicles, and contributes to optimising fuel economy. Other promising applications include drive motors and generators for hybrid and electric commercial vehicles.”

 


Complete management solutions for diesel engines

One of the busiest Engine Expo booths was that of Pi Shurlok. The UK-headquartered company used the event to showcase the company’s innovative OpenECU products, which provide a better way to create vehicle control systems, from prototypes through to volume production. The latest members of the OpenECU hardware family are the M250 ECU and the S070 slave driver for diesel-fuel injectors. On its own, the M250 is targeted at diesel-exhaust after-treatment, but when coupled with the S070, the system becomes a complete solution for common-rail diesel engine management. The OpenECU concept created by Pi Shurlok engineers can reduce time and risk during all project phases, from concept to manufacture. The key elements of the concept are to provide proven hardware, software and service components that have the flexibility to adapt to a wide range of applications, including a family of standard off-the-shelf ECU hardware.

 


VCR revolution

Making the journey to Engine Expo 2010 from India was GYATK, and its breakthrough engine technology created much interested in Hall 3 at the Messe Stuttgart. Patented in India, USA and other countries worldwide, GYATK’s advanced new technology centres on sequential operation of vanes inside a hollow toroidal chamber, thus eliminating reversal of inertia forces and the crank mechanism. The mechanism achieves intricate control on engine parameters by enabling analogue variation in compression ratio throughout the desired range. The system also has the capacity to operate on differing fuels, starting from light fuels like LNG through to high-density HFO. The peak-pressure control and variation leads to finer fuel efficiency throughout the load range for any specific fuel. Key features include enhanced emission control enabled by the peak pressure and temperature control; improved fuel efficiency by constant-volume heat addition that the mechanism facilitates; the number of strokes is halved, hence the two- and four-stroke equivalents are single and dual stroke, and therefore the mass requirements of flyweights is reduced.

Other key advantages include the balancing of the engine rotating mass, which is simplified owing to the elimination of reciprocating pistons and rigidly fitted pistons that remove second-order vibrations, such as the chattering of pistons floating on the gudgeon during fuel explosion.

2 July 2010


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