This year saw the 20th edition of Engine Expo come to Stuttgart Messe, where more than 80 companies – from more than 20 countries – presented their latest developments, including a number of exciting and innovative new technologies, ensuring Engine Expo 2018 was solidly busy throughout the three days as it celebrated a key milestone in its history.
Held alongside four complementary shows – Automotive Testing Expo Europe, Automotive Interiors Expo Europe, Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo, and Autonomous Vehicle Technology World Expo, which all took place in adjoining halls at the Stuttgart Messe – more than 14,000 visitors came through the doors over the full three days (5-7 June) of the combined event, creating a new record. In all, some 800 companies were in Stuttgart to showcase the next-generation in automotive technologies and services.
Highlights from the floor at Engine Expo included Sentronics’s debut of its integrated system for automotive fuel consumption measurement. The FlowSonic system features a new FlowSonic FCM rack control module, which delivers real-time mass flow fuel consumption measurement when used in conjunction with the FlowSonic LF sensor and a third-party density meter.
Lisk also introduced its newest fuel metering solution at Engine Expo 2018. “The new metering valve has been designed for use in small two-stroke engines with electronic fuel injection,” said Norbert Heavey, sales manager at Lisk. “The benefit of the new valve is that it is both vibration-resistant and lightweight. In the current industry climate, the need for this fuel metering valve is becoming greater and greater.”
Elsewhere, Coating specialist Oerlikon Balzers announced details of a new plant in Bielefeld, Germany. The coating centre combines the expertise from three previous locations into a new floor space of 6,000m² (64,580ft²) with cutting-edge surface technologies for machining, forming and plastics processing.
Hitchiner Manufacturing detailed plans to expand its New Hampshire operations with a new, 85,000ft² (7,900ft²) facility. The building represents a multi-phased US$50m capital investment and will house operations to support new growth and customers across the globe.
Meanwhile Aumet used the 2018 show to introduce its new Ultra-low NOX engine. The innovative unit is a hybrid between a two- and four-stroke cycle, using single-fuel RCCI combustion.
“The main idea during development was to make a very light and compact engine that produces zero NOx,” said Timo Janhunen, managing director at Aumet Oy. “In the Z-Engine we can take out the aftertreatment, which means we can make a diesel engine at the same price as a gasoline engine. A diesel engine produces 20% less CO₂ which is more harmful to the atmosphere, so in my opinion gasoline engines should be thrown away. In terms of CO₂ the Z-Engine is a very good answer to that problem.”
The new design allows the Z-Engine to boast high efficiency, especially at partial load and with almost zero NOX and particle emissions. This is achieved as a result of a high intercooling rate, which lowers the TDC compression temperature of the engine so that no NOX formation can take place, removing the need for aftertreatment technology.
The Finnish company claims that the fuel consumption achieved is comparable to that of a dual-fuel RCCI engine, while manufacturing costs are estimated at US$1,200 less than for a comparable four-cylinder diesel engine.
Metal component manufacturer JD Norman Industries announced it had acquired all the assets of REGE Motorenteile GmbH, as well as all shares in REGE Automotive Brasov, Romania.
Headquartered in Eisenach, Germany, REGE is a manufacturer of precision-machined components and assemblies for automotive and industrial markets.
“To grow our footprint in Europe, we have acquired two plants in Germany and one plant in Romania,” said Mark Rawlings, engineering and sales manager, JD Norman, speaking on the first day of the show. “This is a strategic acquisition for us, to give us a bigger footprint in Europe.”
According to JD Norman, the acquisition will create a global automotive and industrial supplier of highly engineered components, employing approximately 2,000 people throughout 14 locations in six countries.
Engine of the Year Awards
The 2018 Engine Expo also saw the Ferrari V8 scoop the International Engine of the Year Award for the third year in a row. The Ferrari 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 was once again crowned overall winner of the coveted International Engine of the Year, becoming only the second engine in the awards’ history to scoop the title for three consecutive years.
The same Ferrari engine was also named the best engine of the last two decades, winning the ‘Best of Best’ Award that has been created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Engine of the Year Awards.
Ferrari also walked away with the hotly contested New Engine award for its 6.5-liter V12, as well as winning the Performance Engine and 3-Litre to 4-Litre categories, again with its 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8.
The 2018 awards also saw Volkswagen celebrate its first International Engine of the Year Awards win for four years, taking the sub-1-Litre award for the 1.0 TSI 999cc three-cylinder turbo.
Tesla was another winner, with the US marque once again topping the Green Engine and Electric Powertrain categories.
Throughout the three days of the show, visitors were impressed with the wide array of companies that were attending, and with the level of expertise on display.
“I visited the show last year and the year before, but this year I’m here looking into some really interesting companies,” explained Stefan Bossler of Krytox Performance Lubricants.
“I work in automotive lubricants so it’s good to come here and meet potential suppliers.”
For Jan Hofmann of PWC Autofacts, Engine Expo provided an insight into the way the automotive industry is moving. “I haven’t come looking for anything in particular but it’s great to look around and see new companies and make new contacts,” said Hofmann. “It’s very important for us to get a good understanding of the current state of technologies in the industry.”
Engine Expo remains the place to make contacts and strike deals, as Adam Silhavy of Valeo explained: “It’s nice to meet potential partners, customers, suppliers. I have been to the show every year for a few years now, and it is always great to meet people here and get a good idea of what is new within the industry.”
Exhibitors were full of praise for the calibre of fellow exhibitors as well as visitors at this year’s Expo. For Kevin Neven of Advantech International the show provided an opportunity to assess competitor technology.
“I have had the chance to speak to a competitor from Korea, so it was good to get an insight into what they’re doing in the industry,” Neven noted. “And we have had lots of discussions with other companies, we may have one or two new potential partners from it.”
Meanwhile, for regular exhibitor Van Der Lee the show was an ideal place to speak with existing suppliers. “It’s great to speak to our current suppliers and iron out any issues that we’ve had,” said Jules Cobblen, project engineer, Van Der Lee Turbo Systems. “There are companies here that we didn’t know existed until today, now we get the chance to meet them. And this means we can have discussions with new suppliers.”
For Mike Woodcock, strategy director at Advanced Electric Machines the ever-increasing electrification within the industry is generating unprecedented interest in the company’s hybrid technology. “We work with hybrid systems, something that is obviously becoming more and more popular with many of the biggest companies in the industry,” said Woodcock. “It’s great to be able to offer something that is fairly niche at the Engine Expo, it has meant that we have had the chance to speak to a lot of companies that want to work with us. It’s fantastic to see some of our existing contacts, but we are making new contacts too. So, all in all we’re really pleased.”
Engine Expo will return to the Stuttgart Messe in Germany in 2019. The dates for your diary are 21-23 May, 2019.