Engine Expo a tremendous success!

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Leading exhibitors from the powertrain industry greeted visitors on the first day of Engine Expo 2015 at Messe Stuttgart, Germany. At the forefront of this year’s show are three key areas of focus: precision, quality and weight reduction, with exhibitors demonstrating the very latest in materials science and components engineering. The show welcomed guests looking to achieve enhanced reliability and performance as well as weight and efficiency improvements.

Now in its 17th year, Engine Expo is an established global industry occasion. Building on the success of last year’s busy event, the powertrain fair provides visitors with an ideal platform to meet the world’s leading companies as they exhibit their latest engine and powertrain breakthroughs. These include state-of-the-art designs; cutting-edge components and subsystems; innovative materials, manufacturing technologies and bespoke services; and pioneering concepts that will shape tomorrow’s powertrain R&D.

A key element of Engine Expo is the adjoining Testing Expo, where around 70 companies have invited visitors to see the latest engine test and validation technologies, with dynamometers, emission testing and electric and hybrid powertrain test rigs all featuring strongly.

Rapid prototyping engine control unit

Visitors to Pi Innovo at Engine Expo 2015 (booth 3020) saw the company launch its M670 ECU, a product that cuts development costs and provides an ideal niche production platform. The unit is a significant step forward, allowing customization of production-level hardware, accelerating speed to market for mainstream automotive development – while also providing a robust platform for niche volume production projects from specialty vehicles to large engines and off-highway equipment.

The latest in Pi Innovo’s OpenECU family of rapid prototyping ECUs, the M670 breaks new ground in functionality, robustness, customization and performance, providing an ideal architecture for OEMs to develop the next generation of advanced engines and vehicles.

“We have designed the new M670 with the customer firmly in mind,” explains Pi Innovo CEO Walter Lucking. “This product builds upon and extends our well-proven OpenECU architecture of modular, reusable ECU rapid prototyping technology; it is implemented to production standards and open to custom configuration, adaptation and application-specific development. We believe that it represents perhaps one of the most cost-effective and versatile single box platforms available for the development of the next generation of ultra-fuel efficient and low emissions diesel, gasoline, and alternative fuel engines.”

Cold-forming technology

Travelling all the way from Japan to exhibit at Engine Expo 2015 (booth 3324), Fukui Byora, a world leader in cold-formed parts and fastening technology for the automotive industry since 1959, is displaying several innovative cold-formed automotive components, such as engine-related (injection, EGR and timing chain), safety-related (seatbelt and airbag), door mirror and windshield wiper samples. On show are the company’s cold-forming technology explanatory videos, and product-design-related cost-reduction examples. Also showcased are samples of the Phillips Screw Mortorq technology, a lightweight screw type with extra-thin head.

An extensive R&D division is helping Fukui Byora expand the limits of cold-forming technology, which provides valuable cost savings to the automotive industry. As a result, the company is able to display its newest automotive products at the Messe Stuttgart. These include technology examples of how to convert expensive machined parts into more efficient and lower-cost parts manufactured by cold-forming technology. The latest and most innovative part developments for engine, airbag, seatbelt, brake and powertrain applications are all on display.

High-pressure GDI systems

Lighter, energy efficient cars of tomorrow, with low emission engines, require the next generation of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine components – like those Sandvik (booth 3002) has been promoting at this year’s Engine Expo 2015 at Messe Stuttgart in Germany.

Pressurfect is a new range of GDI tubing designed to handle higher operating pressures while delivering exceptional weight savings of up to 40%. The range offers substantial design and operational benefits with the ability to handle operational pressures over 350 bar/35MPa.

“The development and introduction of Pressurfect means highly efficient gasoline direct injection systems can advance still further continuing the development by manufacturers of high efficiency, low emission vehicles,” explains Jari Ponsiluoma, Sandvik global product manager, for Pressurfect.

The drive to deliver lower emissions is being dictated by tougher regulations in Europe, as well as in the USA and China. In particular, China has recently specified GDI as one of the powertrain technologies of the future with the government stating its intention to accelerate the development of direct injection fuel systems. By 2015, China estimates that 30-40% of new production cars will use GDI systems to reduce fuel consumption.

Designed for stronger, safer handling of fuel pressures with no pitting or cracking, standard Pressurfect is an austenitic chromium nickel steel designed for fuel rails and fuel lines. Offering lightweight duplex stainless steel tubing with superior mechanical strength Pressurfect XP enables the reduction of tube wall thicknesses by up to 40% with the ability to handle the same high operating pressures as thicker tubes.

Both Sandvik materials offer higher corrosion resistance and the ability to handle the increasing operational pressure levels being demanded for GDI fuel systems. Optimized for safe, reliable operation, as well as drilling and turning, when used in fuel lines they are easier to bend and shape as required.

“Selecting the right material to meet specific application requirements needs careful consideration to ensure we deliver the best solution for a given application we work closely with manufacturers at the outset of the process,” adds Ponsiluoma.

Counter-gravity investment casting

Hitchiner Manufacturing’s counter-gravity investment casting technology, which enables high-quality and near net-shape castings, while meeting demanding volume and cost targets, is on display for visitors to the Messe Stuttgart this year.

Hitchiner is displaying castings from key market segments that take advantage of this casting process – variable-valve actuation rocker arms, GDI fuel-rail components and heavy-duty turbo wheels for applications that require superior quality.

VVA rocker arms that perform switching, or two-step functions, require a highly engineered casting that can operate within a tightly constrained environment. Hitchiner showcased how its casting technology gives designers the freedom to create parts that perform these functions, while using the least amount of material and reducing part weight. This is achieved through superior metallurgical cleanliness, providing unique fatigue properties for demanding valvetrain components that need a high stiffness-to-inertia ratio.

Visitors to Hitchiner at booth 3212 can also see how the company has adapted a process based on counter-gravity investment casting, but with the assistance of centrifugal force: the production of high-quality turbo wheels in Inconel 713C alloy that meet increasing durability demands has been enabled.

June 17, 2015

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About Author

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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