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Ricardo engine assembly facility commences pilot production

Ricardo has confirmed that production has started at the company’s brand new state-of-the-art, high performance engine assembly facility.

Located at the company’s Shoreham, UK, technical centre, the new engine assembly facility has been designed to provide a near clean room production environment in which each and every process is carried out according to strict quality principles and within a comprehensive 'no faults forward' culture. The new facility builds upon the established reputation of the Ricardo Performance Products group that has seen the company produce the advanced Ricardo-designed transmissions for the iconic Ford GT and the Bugatti Veyron supercar, as well as numerous driveline systems and components for the highest levels of competitive motorsport.

At the core of the new 600m2 building is a ten station vertical conveyor based mini-line supported by incoming materials inspection and line-side delivery of components. Each station is equipped with a sophisticated HMI providing guidance to each operator on the precise sequence of operations required at each stage. The tools and assembly equipment used at each station are instrumented and provide data – down to the level of the torque applied to each fastener – directly into a central warranty database for each engine built, thus providing complete finished product traceability. Each line station is interlocked via its HMI to ensure that all operations and checks have been successfully completed and recorded before the line can be indexed and the engine moved forward to the next station. In addition to the main production line, the new engine assembly facility includes a cylinder head sub-assembly line; dress area and an end of line hot test cell so that the performance of every engine produced can be fully tested and validated.

When fully commissioned in the second quarter of this year, the Ricardo engine base will be capable of producing up to 4,000 engines annually across two daily shifts. The facility has been designed and configured around the requirements of its lead customer, McLaren Automotive, for whom it will act as the production supplier of the all-new McLaren M838T V8 twin-turbo engine. The high-performance (600PS), low emissions (279g/km CO2) engine has been designed and developed by McLaren Automotive in partnership with Ricardo, and will power the McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car that is due to go on sale later this year. With pilot production of engines commenced and initial deliveries already taking place, commissioning of the new Ricardo engine assembly facility will be continued over the next two months as production volumes are ramped up.

Commenting on the commencement of pilot production at the new Ricardo engine assembly facility, Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans said: "We are extremely pleased to be able to announce the pilot production of the first products to be produced by this extremely impressive, quality-focused assembly facility for high performance engines. This is an important milestone and we look forward to completing the commissioning of the facility and to supplying the engine needs of the McLaren MP4-12C sports car over the coming years. The successful design and construction of this facility is highly complementary with our existing production facilities for motorsport and niche vehicle drivelines and transmissions. It also serves to demonstrate Ricardo's comprehensive capability to design and develop the ultimate in high performance powertrain systems incorporating the very latest technologies, and to take them into quality assured and fully warranted niche production." 

22 February 2011


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