Vision Techniques has brought the future of vehicle safety into full view with the launch of a unique, state-of-the-art camera system. Appropriately named VT ‘Overview’, the new 360° vehicle camera system is an entirely new concept, designed to give drivers total vision around large vehicles such as buses and trucks. The system has been hailed by experts as the most comprehensive ‘overview’ any driver can have for the safe manoeuvring of a vehicle. Designed for slow speed truck or bus manoeuvring in any direction, the vehicle camera system uses four cameras. The pictures are stitched together to create one complete image as if viewed from above, giving the driver 360º vision around the vehicle from just a single screen. With one colour screen showing all the information a driver requires, less effort is needed for them to be aware of their surroundings. Andy Kendle, of Vision Techniques, said: “Amazingly, VT ‘Overview’ will also pre-warn the driver if a car, cyclist or pedestrian enters a danger blind spot on either side of the vehicle. “An alarm will prompt the driver to check the high definition picture to see the danger.” Ideal for vehicles working in built-up areas, VT ‘Overview’ is perfect for vehicles used for high street delivery, operating in congested traffic or on bus routes when lane changes and turning are necessary. Andy said: “VT ‘Overview’ utilises the very latest technology to maximise safety for vehicle operators, ensuring a clear view and preventing potential accidents and incidents. “It is the most comprehensive ‘overview’ any driver can have for the safe manoeuvring of their vehicles.” VT ‘Overview’ cameras are suitable for both in the day and at night using infrared technology and are waterproof. Oxford City Council plans to trial the system with its refuse trucks. For more information, visit www.vision-techniques.com.
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Vision Techniques brings vehicle vision to a new level
A new Volvo FM-420 8×4 Tridem has entered service with animal feeds specialist Cowindale Feeds of Carmarthen, South Wales. The FM Tridem was supplied by Volvo dealer Mansel Davies at Llanfyrnach. Thanks to its excellent wall-to-wall turning circle of around 12.5 metres (depending on wheelbase), Volvo’s 8×4 Tridem is able to make deliveries that would defeat a six-wheeler. With a payload that is also significantly greater than a six-wheel rigid, the 8×4 Tridem is a highly productive vehicle for applications such as farm feed deliveries that need to access tight delivery points. Cowindale Feeds new FM Tridem was specified with Volvo’s fuel efficient 13-litre engine, in this case rated at 420hp and developing 2,100 Nm of torque between 1,000 and 1400 rpm – the wide spread of torque making it a popular choice for this type of specialised four-axle rigid due to its excellent driveability. Volvo’s uprated engine brake VEB+ is also fitted to this truck. To aid its exceptional manoeuvrability and stability, the FM Tridem’s lifting, steering rear axle is fitted with 385/65R22.5 tyres. The nine-tonne rated front axle also has 385/65R22.5s and the twin drive axles are fitted 315/80R22.5 tyres. The truck’s specification also includes Volvo’s Day Cab, I-Shift automated transmission and Durabright aluminium wheels, which further improve the payload friendly capability of the competitive unladen weight of the Volvo FM chassis. Bodywork was manufactured and fitted by Muldoon Transport Systems Ltd of Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.
Volvo 8×4 Tridem for Cowindale Feeds of Carmarthen
Andy Eastlake has been appointed as the new Managing Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) – the organisation established to support the Government’s Climate Change Strategy by delivering greenhouse gas reductions from the road transport sector. Andy has astrong backgroundin mechanical engineering, spending most of his career to date at Millbrook Proving Ground where he has specialised for the last 15 years in powertrain developments. Andy joined Millbrook after a year’s training with Vauxhall Motors by whom he was sponsored to study for a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Southampton University. Throughout his career, Andy has worked to ensure that robust data is used to prove the credentials of green vehicles and to demonstrate scientific integrity in the marketing claims of vehicles and systems. He has presented many technical papers across the world on issues surrounding the testing of vehicles, increasingly focusing on issues relating to vehicles’ carbon dioxide emissions. Commenting on his appointment, transport minister Norman Baker said: “I look forward to working with Andy Eastlake in his new role as Managing Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. The LowCVP is a valued partner in the challenging and important work to reduce carbon emissions on our roads. I am delighted to welcome Mr Eastlake and wish him every success.” After graduating in 1987, Andy joined the team at Millbrook as a durability engineer, shortly moving to the emissions department to build a new laboratory and develop emissions testing procedures. More recently he has worked on consultancy projects for UK and European governments to develop testing procedures for hybrid and electric vehicles. During his tenure with Millbrook Andy has been an active and enthusiastic member of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. Following his election as Chair of the LowCVP’s Members Council in 2009 he joined the LowCVP Board. In 2011 Andy was named LowCVP Member of the Year after a vote of members of the secretariat. The Award was presented at the Partnership’s Low Carbon Champions Awards ceremony held in London last November. On his appointment, Andy Eastlake said: “Having Supported the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership since its inception in 2003 out of the Powering Future Vehicles strategy I am excited about having the opportunity to help set the agenda in this vital area of policy. “I am looking forward to working with the excellent secretariat team and with the Board, who I regard as both friends and colleagues, to create industry collaboration and government support towards the ultimate aim of carbon free mobility.” Neville Jackson, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Ricardo UK Ltd and Chair of the LowCVP Board of Directors said: “I would like to congratulate Andy on his appointment as MD of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. The Partnership offers a unique multi-stakeholder perspective on the opportunities emerging in the move to Low Carbon Vehicles and we have much work to do in transforming the market. Andy will offer a new insight and drive towards this ultimate goal.” Andy is married with two daughters. An active volunteer in his local community, Andy has worked as a school governor , leading on sustainability issues, and as an organiser in the scouting movement. He has developed a passion for outdoor pursuits – particularly skiing and snowboarding – and for leading teams. His passion for adventure nearly resulted in his downfall when, on a 5-day adventure on the Zambezi River, he was close to drowning in a section of rapids called the ‘Devil’s toilet bowl’! Andy Eastlake will take up his post as Managing Director of the LowCVP on April 16.
Jigsaw Solutions, one of the UK’s leading providers of large-scale managed transport solutions, has enhanced its capabilities for white good manufacturer Indesit by adding six dedicated double-decker trailers to its ongoing distribution contract. The new trailers promote sustainability and efficiency for flexible loading and overnight transportation of Indesit products from the manufacturer’s central distribution centre in Raunds to six home delivery satellite warehouses around the UK. Jigsaw Solutions estimates it will save 340,000 road miles each year as a result. “These new trailers represent a significant investment by our business and will enhance our ability to provide a highly efficient, sustainable and dedicated service to Indesit,” says Andy Humpherson, Managing Director at Jigsaw Solutions. “Double-decker trailers allow us to transport the maximum amount of goods while retaining flexibility to accommodate a variety of loads. The reduction in vehicle movements and road miles was central to our business case.” Indesit and Jigsaw established a relationship more than five years ago and are currently part-way through a second contract covering deliveries from the manufacturer’s warehouses in Raunds and Sharpness to customers and retailers’ distribution centres. Orders received by Indesit during the day are processed and picked before being released for delivery later the same evening. Items from Raunds are then loaded on to the double-decker trailers ready for shipment during the early hours to Indesit’s six home delivery satellite centres. On arrival at these facilities the items are cross-docked onto vehicles operated by Indesit’s award-winning in-house specialist home delivery network. The items being transported, including fridges, freezers, washing machines and cookers. Order volumes vary from day to day and are difficult to predict accurately in advance. To meet these challenges Jigsaw utilises double-decker trailers which enable flexible loading but with very high volume density. This means that the vehicle carrying capacity is maximised at all times for optimum efficiency and the lowest possible transport costs. The new aerodynamic, energy efficient trailers have been supplied by Cartwright and incorporate hydraulic powered floors to facilitate easy loading and unloading. Each is finished in distinctive Indesit livery. Transportation services, provided by Jigsaw’s network partners, require fewer vehicle movements and road miles to help Indesit meet its sustainability objectives. Jigsaw estimates that on average there are 25 fewer vehicle journeys per week saving up to 340,000 road miles per annum to support the current delivery volumes compared with using conventional single-decker trailers. “Over the years Indesit Company have led the way in double-deck trailer design for the movement of white goods and are pleased to see logistics partner Jigsaw enhance their fleet with the inclusion of these six trailers,” says David Hannam, Operations Manager for Indesit Logistics. “We hope to be able work together on other cost effective transport solutions in the near future.”
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Sustainable double-decker distribution for leading white goods manufacturers
Leading provider of vehicle tracking services, TRACKER is showcasing its groundbreaking, patented technology at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, on 24-26 April, at Birmingham’s NEC. Head to stand #3A10 to find out see firsthand the new level of data available with TRACKER Fleet and how TRACKER’s new battery-powered units provide fleet operators with a robust and flexible solution for valuable assets without a power source, including trailers. TRACKER Fleet is a completely re-engineered product which, crucially, has been designed following a comprehensive consultation programme with TRACKER’s existing fleet customers, as well as potential users of fleet telematics. TRACKER Fleet provides important cost-saving benefits by identifying fuel inefficiency and supplying insight into driver and business behaviour and boasts a flexible reporting suite that can be customised to meet the specific needs of each of its customers. One delighted TRACKER Fleet user is Northgate Vehicle Hire, which has been a customer of TRACKER for over 10 years and is experiencing the power of TRACKER Fleet. Stuart Fairbrother, Head of Non-Rental Sales says, “We are reaping the benefits of TRACKER Fleet for both our customers and our own service fleet of 60 vehicles. Our customers have been crying out for enhanced vehicle and driver behaviour information and TRACKER Fleet provides just that and more, invaluable information to both Northgate and our customers. “TRACKER Fleet’s new mapping system incorporates advanced Google maps, such as Street View with a route replay function, which is a standout piece of technology. We have been able to use mapping to understand exactly where our service vehicles are and where they are needed. Crucially, we have harnessed the telematics data to reduce vehicle delivery times to improve upon our customer service levels.” Vital to TRACKER Fleet’s evolution has been the addition of new technology, such as its unique patented Transient Voltage Detection technology, which eliminates the need to connect to a vehicle ignition to allow for more accurate ‘idling’ readings. TRACKER Fleet even offers battery powered modules to ensure assets which have no built-in power supply, such as mobile units and trailers, can be monitored. All these features have proved invaluable for Clancy Group, operating a fleet of over 1,500 vehicles and 10,000 items of plant. “TRACKER’s telematics product has become an integral part of our business, providing detailed information on speeding, idling, driver hours, journey times and mileage,” explains Bernie Stack, Associate Director for Clancy Plant Hire Ltd. “We are still finding new benefits the system can bring to our business and help look after the wellbeing of our drivers.” Apex Plant Hire has also embraced TRACKER’s fleet telematics offering. This enables them to monitor usage on and off-site, helping them meet employee Duty of Care legislation and increase efficiency. David Marriott at Apex Plant Hire adds, “With TRACKER’s telematics on our HGV vehicles, we’ve been able to improve our day-to-day business practices which has boost customer service and fleet performance levels. The system locates the position of all our vehicles, allowing us to deploy the nearest vehicle to the next rental booking. We can also see if a job is running behind schedule without our drivers having to call in with updates, which means we can take action and enhance the level of customer service we provide.” Stephen Doran, Managing Director of TRACKER concludes, “We are looking forward to bringing TRACKER Fleet to the Commercial Vehicle Show. This product marks our commitment to continually developing and enhancing our products to meet the changing needs of our customers. Visitors to our stand will see how they can harness the power of TRACKER Fleet to ensure vehicles keep moving, while improving efficiency and reducing cost
Leading commercial vehicle bodybuilder Paneltex is celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2012, returning to the CV Show for the first time in 3 years, with an impressive line-up of products from the various long established individual operations within the Group. With an unrivalled pedigree of manufacturing skills within the UK CV body building industry, Paneltex is using this year’s exhibition to showcase the proven expertise that has enabled the company to develop into one of the country’s leading bodybuilders since it first opened its doors 21 years ago. Representing the Somers Refrigeration Division will be two vehicles; both featuring refrigerated van conversions built to ATP Class C specification. A medium wheelbase, high roof Euro5 VW Crafter, converted by Somers for dual temperature applications, will feature the Somers’ patented direct air system and a movable bulkhead. Refrigeration is provided by a GAH Super Rapier SR351F direct drive system and the Somers body conversion achieves a ‘K’ factor of 0.3 W/M²/°C. Other unique body features include the Somers Superfreeze fold back sliding load door on the nearside, as well as Superfreeze modular rear doors. The second Somers’ conversion on the stand is a Mercedes Vito, in long wheelbase specification, with a single compartment body converted by Somers to ATP Class C standards and featuring a GAH Rapier R300 F refrigeration system and the Somers’ sliding freezer side door. From the Paneltex stable will also be two products as follows: Featuring a brand-new livery for the company’s long-term customer Ocado, will be a Mercedes Sprinter chassis cab specified with a dual compartment Paneltex refrigerated body. With a GAH direct drive refrigeration system as standard, the Paneltex insulated body has been custom built for Ocado’s home delivery operation, with access doors on both sides of the body for ease of unloading at customer drops, as well as full width rear doors to facilitate the loading of goods onto the vehicle prior to the delivery journey. Alongside this vehicle will be an 18tonne DAF LF55 chassis cab specified with an 8.4m Paneltex dual compartment temperature controlled body. In the colours of customer Palmer & Harvey, the Paneltex body features a Frigoblok FK24 diesel overcab refrigeration system as standard as well as a three-piece movable internal bulkhead, an insulated rear shutter door and taillift. Completing the five-vehicle line up for Paneltex at this year’s CV Show will be a 7.5tonne all electric vehicle from the company’s Zeroed division. The 7.5tonne Isuzu 4×2 rigid chassis cab is specified with a 6.5m single compartment Paneltex refrigerated body, featuring a side access door on the nearside and double rear doors. This all-electric vehicle will have an electric refrigeration system, as well as lithium iron phosphate batteries and a 50 mph speed limiter. Announcing details of their show plans, Chris Berridge, managing director at Paneltex said, “2012 is a big year for the Paneltex group of companies, a significant milestone in the company’s history and confirming our status as one of the U.K.’s leading specialist bodybuilders for the commercial vehicle industry. The product line-up chosen for the show gives visitors to the stand an interesting selection of vehicles from our group of companies, clearly showing our diverse manufacturing capabilities, as well as our specialist bodybuilding expertise.”
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Paneltex celebrates its 21st at CV Show with impressive product line up
The UK’s leading independent logistics company, Bibby Distribution, has extended its rollout of Masternaut’s award-winning fleet management system to a further 1,300 trailers. The extension follows a succession of new business wins by the company. With Masternaut, Bibby has improved vehicle utilisation as part of their programme to adapt and improve their operations. Bibby Distribution provides a full range of logistics services for many national and multi-national customers including Arla, First Milk, Tate & Lyle, Honda and Toyota GB. Bibby identified areas where improvements could be made, including utilisation management, streamlining administration processes and enhancing trailer visibility. Through its proven ability to deliver, Masternaut was selected as the preferred tender to optimise Bibby’s operations. “Like us, our customers continue to look at different cost-saving methods while maintaining standards to achieve optimal operational efficiency. We are excited to see the Masternaut system positively impacting the quality of our customer service and our ability to remain competitive on price,” explains Adam Purshall, Regional Fleet Manager at Bibby Distribution. “We initially trialled Masternaut’s technology in mid-2011 and found that it not only met our ambitions to streamline customer service but also generated substantial efficiencies.” Keith Walker, Masternaut’s UK sales director, said: “Bibby Distribution is a great example of a business looking to extend the value of technology beyond basic operational benefits to deliver competitive advantage for the company. The use of Masternaut’s products by Bibby importantly highlights the impact of telematics on other areas of the business – for example by strengthening customer relationships and improving competitiveness.” In total Bibby Distribution employs 1,000 drivers throughout the UK. The Masternaut vehicle optimised solution will now cover a total of 1,405 trailers and tankers with the implementation scheduled for completion by the end of March 2012.
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Bibby Distribution optimises performance with Masternaut fleet management
Economical, clean, compact and lightweight: Mercedes-Benz extends its range of heavy-duty six-cylinder engines with the new OM 470
Mercedes-Benz is extending its range of heavy-duty truck and bus engines. The new vertically-mounted six-cylinder in-line OM 470 engine, with a displacement of 10.7 litres, spans an output range from 240 kW (326 hp) to 315 kW (428 hp). This compact, lightweight and highly sophisticated engine will be manufactured from June of this year at the company’s Mannheim (Germany) engine plant. It marks an expansion of the company’s “New Engine Generation” through the addition of “BlueEfficiency Power”. The six-cylinder in-line units, which cover the range from 240 kW (156 hp) to 375 kW (510 hp), are designed to fulfil all the most common requirements for both trucks and buses. All the engines, without exception, already comply with the future emissions standard Euro VI. Lightweight: just under one tonne The new engine is built on the basis of the trailblazing heavy-duty OM 471 model series launched last year. However, with an eye to its specific use in trucks and buses, it has a few individual touches of its own. With a weight of just 990 kg according to DIN 70020-A, the new OM 470 is the ideal engine for use in weight-critical situations. Along with exceptional economy and robustness, environmental compatibility remains a key focus. Right from the start, the new OM 470 will only be supplied in versions that meet the Euro VI emissions standard. Specific offering for trucks and buses The new six-cylinder in-line Mercedes-Benz OM 470 is available in the following four versions for trucks: Output Torque 240 kW (326 hp) at 1800 rpm 1700 Nm at 1100 rpm 265 kW (360 hp) at 1800 rpm 1800 Nm at 1100 rpm 290 kW (394 hp) at 1800 rpm 1900 Nm at 1100 rpm 315 kW (428 hp) at 1800 rpm 2100 Nm at 1100 rpm Due to their specific operating profiles and to the different configurations of transmissions and rear axles, the engines for use in EvoBus buses and coaches are slightly different. For urban buses the OM 470 is available in two output and torque combinations: Output Torque 265 kW (360 hp) at 1800 rpm 1700 at 1100 rpm 290 kW (394 hp) at 1800 rpm 1900 at 1100 rpm For rural-services buses and touring coaches, Mercedes-Benz produces the new OM 470 in three versions: Output Torque 265 kW (360 hp) at 1800 rpm 1700 Nm at 1100 rpm 290 kW (394 hp) at 1800 rpm 1900 Nm at 1100 rpm 315 kW (428 hp) at 1800 rpm 2100 Nm at 1100 rpm The result is a tightly graduated range of output and torque combinations, matched to the specific operational requirements. At the lower end of the spectrum the new OM 470 picks up where the equally new OM 93x model series finishes, while at the upper end of the scale the range merges seamlessly into that of the OM 471. Successor to the OM 457: lightweight, clean and even more robust The new OM 470 achieves the performance of the current OM 457, yet from a displacement of 10.7 litres rather than 12 litres. The compact OM 470 also manages to improve upon the robustness of its famously reliable predecessor. At the same time, even with the additional components it needs to achieve the Euro VI emissions standard and its sturdy design, it actually weighs around 50 kg less. And last, but not least, despite the more stringent requirements of the Euro VI emissions standard, the engine manages to undercut the fuel consumption of its predecessor. With a weight according to DIN of just 990 kg and compact dimensions (length 1287 mm, width 1130 mm, height 1175 mm), the engine is not only ideal for trucks and buses used in weight-critical situations, but also for installation where space is constricted. 95 percent of torque available at just 800 rpm Both the rated speed of 1800 rpm and the engine speed of 1100 rpm at maximum torque are the same as on the OM 471. The new OM 470, however – even allowing for transmissions with a broad ratio between first and top gear – is even more clearly trimmed for driveability. Even at engine speeds well below 1000 rpm, the engine offers impressive traction: at around 800 rpm the engine is already able to deliver 95 percent of the full engine torque. The maximum torque remains constant up to 1400 rpm, at which speed the engine reaches pretty well its maximum performance. This characteristic curve ensures that it has plenty of power in the main operating range, so giving it “bite”. Also adding to the pulling power of the new OM 470 is its long-stroke configuration with a bore/stroke ratio of 125/145 mm. Robust yet weight-optimised construction In terms of robustness, the new OM 470 certainly does not lag behind its bigger brother. The crankcase here is also made out of a special cast-iron alloy, and the cylinder head of vermicular, or compacted, graphite iron (CGI). In the interests of durability and in view of the strain imposed by ignition pressures of more than 200 bar, the pistons are made out of steel. Oil-spray cooling, oil cooling ducts, wet cylinder liners and a sophisticated cooling system ensure optimum cooling at all times. The quiet and efficient gear drive that operates the two overhead camshafts, as well as other ancillary components, was completely redesigned for the OM 470. It is located on the output side of the engine and provides an example of the engine’s weight-optimised construction. The two overhead camshafts of the OM 470 are composite in design, as in the other new-generation engines, rather than being milled out of solid material in the hitherto more conventional way. The basic design is a lightweight tube. Each camshaft controls a pair of intake and outlet valves, arranged in parallel. X-PULSE: minimum consumption, maximum refinement The key feature of the new OM 470 is, as ever, its unique, flexible Common Rail system with fully electronic engine management system and X-PULSE pressure booster. While the pressure in the common rail only ever reaches 900 bar at most, the pressure in the individual injectors is boosted to an injection pressure of up to 2100 bar. Depending on the specific operating condition, the injection rate can be freely shaped, with each injection process comprising up to five individual injections. X-PULSE does not only minimise fuel consumption, but at the same time also makes the engine exceptionally smooth running. The basic design of the injectors is the same as in the OM 471, although the actual spray nozzle is differently shaped. It has the same seven injection orifices. The shape of the combustion chamber in the pistons of the OM 470 has been geometrically optimised, and matched to the other parameters of this engine. Asymmetric turbocharger ensures good responsiveness As with the OM 471, charging takes place via a turbocharger with asymmetric turbine casing, fixed geometry and charge-air cooling. With this particular technology, the exhaust gas from the three rear cylinders is channelled directly into the turbine, without the losses involved in passing through the exhaust gas recirculation system. Only the front three cylinders are directly connected with the exhaust gas recirculation duct. This process improves the engine’s responsiveness. Charge pressure is limited by a wastegate valve. The new turbocharger has been configured specifically for use in the OM 470. Effective three-stage exhaust brake The performance and efficiency of the exhaust brake in the new OM 470 are comparable with those of the engine. Mercedes-Benz has opted to use a turbocharged decompression brake, controlled in three stages via a steering column switch. In the first stage, the exhaust brake is activated on three cylinders, with the remaining three further cylinders brought in as a second stage. The third stage involves increasing the charging level of the engine to deliver an impressive maximum brake power of 340 kW. Euro VI: Exhaust Gas Recirculation, particulate filter and SCR technology The stringent requirements of the Euro VI emissions standard have led to the development of an extremely complex emission control system. At its heart is Mercedes-Benz’s BlueTec technology, which uses SCR technology to clean the exhaust gases. This involves artificial urea, known as AdBlue, being added to the exhaust system. Harmful nitrogen oxides are thus converted into the harmless elements of nitrogen and water in a downstream SCR catalytic converter. BlueTec technology is able to optimise the combustion process and has been proven to deliver excellent fuel consumption figures. Like the OM 471, the OM 470 also features a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR), specifically configured for this engine. The EGR cooler has been completely redesigned, eliminating the need in the OM 470 for a water manifold – another weight-saving measure. The particulate filter is also new. This too has been sized specifically for the OM 470, making it lighter in weight than in the OM 471. Low fuel consumption, long service intervals A high level of economic efficiency is a key feature of the new OM 470. The low fuel consumption of the engine is particularly noticeable. This is achieved with the help of the auxiliary components, such as the closed-loop coolant pump and the air compressor, which has also been designed to help optimise fuel consumption. Another key factor contributing to the engine’s overall economic efficiency is the extension of the service intervals to as much as 150,000 km in long-distance transport operations. The particulate filter is maintenance-free up to 450,000 km of operational use. Ease of maintenance also helps to reduce costs. A filter module incorporating the oil filter as well as the two fuel filters is fitted in an easily accessible position on the cool side of the engine. The filters have been specially designed for the new OM 470 and, compact and light in weight as they are, also play their part in the overall reduction in weight. Special versions for regular-service buses and touring coaches The engine designed for installation in buses and coaches has a particularly flat, space-saving oil sump. Due to space limitations, the auxiliary components are also arranged slightly differently here. Depending on where it is installed, the already very smooth-running engine is also fitted ex factory with a two-mass flywheel. Extensive testing on several continents The engineers involved in developing and testing the new OM 470 were able to benefit from the extensive experience already made with the OM 471. Despite this, the new OM 470 was also very rigorously tested in the toughest of conditions, all over the world. Test trucks were thus not only put through their paces in urban and long-distance traffic in Europe, but also in North America and South Africa. Endurance testing of the new engine’s viability for use in buses and coaches was also conducted by EvoBus in Turkey. The objective of both development and testing work was to ensure a high level of reliability. The new OM 470, like the larger OM 471, therefore managed to achieve an impressive B10 figure of 1.2 million kilometres. In other words: at least 90 percent of the engines are able to cover this distance without the need for a major overhaul. The outcome of all the development and testing is an excellent commercial vehicle engine. The optimised weight of the new OM 471 gives it a higher payload, making it the most efficient unit in the 11-litre class, anywhere in the world. The overall package is thus the ideal solution for customers, delivering maximum customer benefit.
Uncompromisingly eco-friendly, economical, and powerful: the new Medium-duty engines from Mercedes-Benz
With its Blue Efficiency Power range, Mercedes-Benz is now introducing a completely redesigned engine series for light and heavy-duty trucks, as well as for buses and coaches. The medium-duty engines of the OM 93x series, with four and six cylinders and a displacement of either 5.1 or 7.7 litres, span the output range from 115 kW (156 hp) to 260 kW (354 hp). Their outstanding properties serve to underline Mercedes-Benz’s expertise in the field of diesel engines. New benchmark in terms of environmental compatibility, economic efficiency and dynamism in medium-duty engines The new engines set a new benchmark in their class. They are uncompromisingly designed with environmental compatibility, economic efficiency and performance in mind. This is also the first commercial vehicle engine series in which every engine meets the Euro VI emissions standard right from the outset. Daimler Trucks is thus once again leading the way when it comes to environmental issues Exceptional economic efficiency, in the case of the new engines, means longevity of service life, low consumption of fuel, AdBlue and engine oil, plus long maintenance intervals. Powerful means that the new OM 93x engines offer a pleasing immediacy of response, together with impressive power delivery. Such characteristics are the result of some sophisticated engine technology. One of the highlights: the new engines are the first series-production diesel engines in the world to feature an adjustable camshaft. OM 93x: successor to the 900 series The new engine family is made up of a four-cylinder in-line engine (designation OM 934) with a displacement of 5.1 litres, and a six-cylinder in-line unit (OM 936) with 7.7 litres. Each of them is available in various output categories. These two engines take over from the 900 series that was launched in 1996. The engines of that series were considered technically cutting-edge right from the start and still represent the benchmark in their segment in their Euro V versions. Their successors are now setting a new milestone among medium-duty engines. The engines of the OM 93x series are based on a modular system and share a significant number of common parts. With a total of nine output categories, ranging from 115 kW (156 hp) to 260 kW (354 hp), the range is very finely graduated. Engines to suit all requirements of medium-duty trucks as well as buses Manufactured in the Mannheim engine plant of Daimler Trucks, the new engines are customised to meet all light to heavy-duty short-radius distribution needs as well as for use in light and medium-duty applications on construction sites and in long-distance transport operations. The six-cylinder engine, both as a vertically installed unit and in a specially developed horizontal configuration, is also designed for use in urban and inter-city buses. Further stages are planned that will see the engine used in additional brands and models from Daimler Trucks on other continents. The same applies to its use as an industrial engine. Series production will begin this year in the Mannheim engine plant. Daimler Trucks has invested the sum of around 500 million euros in the development of the new OM 93x engine series and the facilities for its production. Uncompromisingly eco-friendly: Euro VI from the outset in all output categories With the new engines in its OM 93x series, Mercedes-Benz is once again leading the way when it comes to environmental issues: they are uncompromisingly designed with the preservation of the environment in mind. As the first diesel engines to do so, all variants meet right from the outset the forthcoming Euro VI emissions standard, which does not become legally binding in the EU until 1 January 2014. The protection of the environment is a hugely important factor for medium-duty engines, since these are primarily used in vehicles operating regularly in inner-city and suburban areas that are particularly sensitive to environmental impact. The first factor ensuring clean exhaust gases is the highly efficient combustion process used in the new OM 93x-series engines. With ignition pressures of more than 200 bar and an injection pressure of up to 2400 bar these therefore punch above their weight and well beyond the medium-duty class. The engines also feature a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system. When it comes to exhaust gas aftertreatment, the new OM 93x series uses a technology that was successfully premiered a year ago in the heavy-duty engines of the new OM 471 series and has since proved its worth in everyday practice. A closed-loop particulate filter, and the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec engine technology with AdBlue injection that has already been tried and tested over so many years, complement each other perfectly. BlueTec technology works by injecting AdBlue to break down harmful oxides of nitrogen into harmless components of air in the downstream SCR catalytic converter. Uncompromisingly economical: outstanding fuel efficiency, maintenance intervals and service life Cleanness and economic efficiency complement each other perfectly in the new OM 93x engine series. Although the fuel consumption of the previous series had until now been considered the benchmark among medium-duty Euro V engines, that of the new engines is even lower, despite the significantly more stringent requirements of the Euro VI emissions standard. The specific fuel consumption even achieves figures that are on a par with those for heavy-duty engines. Low fuel consumption is not only a key criterion for economic efficiency as far as the customer is concerned, but also makes more sparing use of resources and reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. Dramatic reductions in consumption of engine oil and AdBlue The same is true of the consumption of oil, which has also been reduced still further. The engineers have managed to bring the level down dramatically to around half that in the existing engines. As part of the transition to Euro VI, the consumption of AdBlue has also been reduced to just 2.0 to 2.5 percent of the fuel consumption. This is less than half the amount used with Euro V – and another factor with a positive impact on a company’s operating costs. Long maintenance intervals to match bigger models The same is true of the longer maintenance intervals. These can now extend to as much as 120,000 km for an OM 93x in long-distance transport operations, even at full-capacity use, and are thus around 20 percent longer than hitherto. The oil filling capacity of the four-cylinder engine has been increased only negligibly to achieve this, while the six-cylinder unit actually shows a reduction of 12 percent compared with the largest predecessor engine. The maintenance interval for the particulate filter can be up to 240,000 km. Further development work has also been undertaken to improve the functionality of the maintenance monitor. The maintenance intervals therefore now reflect the actual operating conditions of the specific vehicle far better. In short-range distribution use, above all, this leads to longer maintenance intervals. Such long intervals do not only reduce the immediate servicing costs, but also bring about a corresponding increase in the vehicle’s availability. Longevity is another of the new engines’ key advantages. With a forecasted service life of 750,000 km without major overhaul in long-distance transport operations, the new medium-duty engines also manage to achieve figures that until a few years ago were the exclusive preserve of heavy-duty engines. The average service life of these engines is around 20 percent longer than that of the previous series. Uncompromising performance: dynamic response, excellent pulling power and powerful exhaust brake For all their robust build, the new engines deliver impressive performance. A specific output of just under 34 kW (46 hp) per litre of displacement takes the engines into output categories that until now would only have been reached with larger-displacement engines. Exceptional performance thanks to ‘downsizing’ The four-cylinder engine, with a maximum output of 170 kW (231 hp) and up to 900 Nm of torque, is thus able to operate in areas that were until now reserved for six-cylinder units. By the same token the six-cylinder engines, with an output of up to 260 kW (354 hp) and 1400 Nm from a displacement of 7.7 litres, find their way into an output class that could previously often only be achieved with a displacement of more than 10 litres. This phenomenon of ‘downsizing’ is one of the key factors in the new engines’ excellent performance in terms of exhaust emissions, consumption and power-to-weight ratio. Excellent driveability, dynamic response Quite apart from the nominal data quoted, the engines impress with their driveability. From an engine speed as low as 1600 rpm and up to around 2500 rpm, some 90 percent of the maximum output is ready for use. The engines thus get close to achieving a constant power curve across an extremely broad engine speed range. The result is excellent driveability, even in vehicles with fewer gears and thus a bigger distance between gears, as often experienced in short-radius distribution operations. At the same time the new engines demonstrate dynamic torque, even at low engine speeds. Maximum torque is available at engine speeds as low as 1200 rpm and remains constant up to 1600 rpm in the main driving range. But the engines also demonstrate excellent performance at engine speeds below 1000 rpm. In practice, the immediacy of the engines’ response to accelerator pedal movement is also surprising. In this respect they are noticeably more agile than their predecessors. The vigorous power delivery of the four and six-cylinder engines is, like so many of their other characteristics, reminiscent of engines with much larger displacements. High-performance exhaust brake, as on a heavy-duty engine The exhaust brake of the OM 93x series is similarly effective. Its surprisingly powerful performance enhances safety and increases the average transport speed, whilst at the same time reducing brake pad wear as a result of the foot brake being used less. It thus also plays an important part in the overall economic efficiency of the vehicles. The exhaust brake works as a charged decompression brake similar to that used with the heavy-duty engines of the OM 47x series. The performance data are remarkable for this size of engine. While the standard version of the exhaust brake in the six-cylinder engines can achieve 235 kW, this figure rises to an impressive 300 kW in the premium version. This sort of figure could, until recently, only be attained by considerably larger engines in the heavy-duty class. The brake power of the four-cylinder engines, at 145 kW or 170 kW respectively, is likewise quite remarkable. It is thus clear that the downsizing approach has been successfully implemented during the development of the new series in respect of both the performance of the engine and the effectiveness of the exhaust brake. The engines reach maximum brake power at engine speeds of between 2700 and 3000 rpm – which not only improves driveability as a result of the extended useful speed range, but also serves to demonstrate the consistency and stability of the engines in the face of fluctuating engine speeds. The excellent performance of the exhaust brake at low engine speeds is also impressive in practice: in the premium version this is more than twice as good as in the engines that preceded these. The brake is controlled via a two-stage (OM 934) or three-stage (OM 936) steering column lever, whereby the actuation itself is a hydraulic process. Each cylinder has its own exhaust brake module, which transmits the movement of the separate cam on the exhaust camshaft to the exhaust valve when the exhaust brake is activated. The advantage of this system is its improved efficiency, with no friction losses, in normal operation. Uncompromisingly versatile: family of four and six-cylinder engines, including one horizontal variant The new family of engines is customised to suit all types of applications involving medium-duty commercial vehicles. Along with short-radius distribution, these include use in light to heavy-duty long-distance transport and construction site vehicles, as well as in urban and inter-city buses. Thanks to its modular system with a high proportion of common parts, the OM 93x engine series covers a wide spectrum of outputs and applications. The engine series comprises the four-cylinder in-line OM 934 with a displacement of 5.1 litres and the six-cylinder in-line OM 936 with a displacement of 7.7 litres. The bore and stroke, at 110 mm and 135 mm respectively, are identical in both variants, while the cylinder spacing of 128 mm is also the same in both. Horizontal six-cylinder in-line engine for buses and coaches The six-cylinder in-line unit in the output categories with 220 kW (299 hp) and 260 kW (354 hp) is also available in a horizontal variant, specifically designed for use in urban buses. The engineering design work involved is considerable, since the space available for its installation in the rear of a bus is extremely restricted. The basic engine can remain the same, due to the fact that the horizontal variant was already taken into account during the concept phase. Nevertheless, all peripherals have had to be specially developed for this configuration. Peripherals include the fuel module, oil/coolant module, oil sump, turbocharger unit with air and exhaust pipes, valve cover with oil mist separation and all ducting. Indeed, behind the specialised production of the horizontal engine lies a complete development and testing process all of its own. Extensive choice: two sizes, nine output categories The four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 934 engine is available in the following versions: Output Torque 115 kW (156 hp) at 2200 rpm 650 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 130 kW (177 hp) at 2200 rpm 750 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 155 kW (211 hp) at 2200 rpm 850 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 170 kW (231 hp) at 2200 rpm 900 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm The six-cylinder OM 936 engine is available in a total of five output and torque categories: Output Torque 175 kW (238 hp) at 2200 rpm 1000 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 200 kW (272 hp) at 2200 rpm 1100 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 220 kW (299 hp) at 2200 rpm 1200 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 235 kW (320 hp) at 2200 rpm 1300 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm 260 kW (354 hp) at 2200 rpm 1400 Nm at 1200-1600 rpm The OM 936 and OM 936 h (horizontal engine) in the two output categories of 220 kW (299 hp) and 260 kW (354 hp) are available in addition for installation in Mercedes-Benz urban and inner-city buses. The output curve and torque figures remain as for the truck engines. Uncompromising engineering: only the best for the medium-duty engines Development of the new engines began with the proverbial blank sheet of paper with a line down the middle of it. Nor was there any requirement to take existing production facilities into consideration. The focus throughout the development process could therefore be on delivering a product with exemplary qualities, and thus on delivering maximum benefit for the customer. Crossflow cylinder head with four valves per cylinder Sixteen years ago it was the innovative three-valve technology of the series 900 that caused a stir when it was launched. Upping the ante this time around, in its successors, are four valves per cylinder. Intake and outlet are arranged in parallel pairs in the crossflow cylinder head, an arrangement that keeps the intake and outlet ducts as short as possible and thus flow losses to a minimum – one of the principles ensuring that the fuel consumption of the engine remains low. Sophisticated and high-grade engineering is used in every aspect of the engine, in order to be able to offer the customer an engine that is the most economical and most robust in its class. Cylinder head and crankcase robustly joined The cylinder head is made out of grey cast iron with lamellar graphite (GJL). A special cast-iron alloy, developed by the company’s own foundry at Mannheim, gives it exceptional strength. The use of this material also ensures optimum thermal management of the component in those areas directly exposed to the combustion process. The crankcase and cylinder head are held together by six bolts per cylinder, an unusually high number in this segment. Since the materials used for the cylinder head and crankcase share the same coefficients of expansion, there is no warping between the components. The design of the connection is so robust that not a single instance of damage to the cylinder head gasket was reported at any point during the testing period. Two composite overhead camshafts The actuation of the engine’s intake and exhaust valves, which are arranged in parallel, is governed by two overhead camshafts. These are fitted in such a way that the overall height nonetheless remains low. The camshafts, manufactured in a patented process at the Mannheim plant, are what is known as “composite” in design. They comprise a hollow tube, onto which the cams are shrink-fitted. This lightweight yet solid design was first seen in a commercial vehicle engine a year ago, in the OM 471. The camshafts control the intake and exhaust valves via a low-friction, wear-resistant roller-type rocker arm. Premiere for diesel engines: adjustable camshaft One of the most technically refined features of the new engine series is its VCP (variable camshaft phaser). This is the term used for an adjustable exhaust camshaft – the very first camshaft of this type to appear in any diesel engine. The adjustment supports the regeneration of the particulate filter. If regeneration is needed, the timing can be adjusted as necessary by up to 65 degrees to “early”: in this case the exhaust valves open and close earlier, so the exhaust gas released from the cylinder is hotter. This technology makes regeneration of the particulate filter possible under practically any operating conditions and at outdoor temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius. The adjustment is made hydraulically via a vane piston on the exhaust camshaft, acting upon a signal from the engine control unit. If an adjustment is required, engine oil flows into the vane piston. This then turns, so influencing the position of the camshaft relative to its drive gear. Rigid crankcase, rigid crank assembly A key element of the new engines is their rigid crankcase with a supporting spar structure made out of the same material as the cylinder head. The rigid design makes high combustion pressures possible, while at the same time reducing noise emissions. The contact surfaces of the dry cylinder bore are given a final plateau-honing finish. This smooth surface, which thus nevertheless has high oil-retention properties, helps to reduce friction losses and also plays its part in lowering oil consumption. The connecting rods are made out of forged steel and split at the eye in a process known as “cracking”. Bolting the parts together again creates a particularly strong and close-fit join. The crankshaft is extremely rigid and, like all the other components of the basic engine, is designed to be robust enough to cope with high ignition pressures during combustion, yet also light in weight. Like the cylinder head and the camshafts, the cylinder crankcase, connecting rods and crankshaft are manufactured in a new state-of-the-art production facility at the Mannheim plant. The pistons are made out of aluminium and feature an oil-spray cooling system with cooling duct. The geometrically optimised two-stage combustion chamber in a shallow recess at the base of the piston is designed to facilitate the perfect combustion of the fuel in conjunction with the exhaust gas recirculation system. This is one of the key factors behind the outstanding fuel efficiency of the engine. The bore/stroke ratio of 110/135 mm has been chosen as another way to help reduce low fuel consumption. At the same time the long-stroke configuration also ensures excellent pulling power at low revs. Robust gear drive The crankshaft drives the camshafts via a compact and rigid gear drive located on the back of the engine. The arrangement of the gear wheels on the flywheel side of the engine helps to reduce noise emissions, whilst also making it possible to drive the compactly arranged auxiliary units of oil pump, air compressor and high-pressure fuel pump, including feed pump. At the same time the gear drive provides the basis for the optionally available live engine power-take-off units at the rear, with up to 600 Nm of net torque. The flanks of the gear wheel teeth in the gear drive have all been hardened and ground. As well as giving them a high degree of fatigue durability, this keeps gear noise down to an absolute minimum. Tremendous injection pressure of up to 2400 bar The high-pressure fuel injection system is based on the common-rail principle with an oil-lubricated high-pressure pump to deliver the fuel into the pressure reservoir, or rail. Centrally positioned injectors controlled by solenoid valves inject the fuel into the combustion chambers. The very high injection pressure, up to a maximum of 2400 bar, ensures that the combustion of the diesel fuel is extremely efficient and that particulate emissions remain low. Up to five individual injections per injection process The highly flexible injection strategy allows up to five separate injections, including pilot, main and post- injections. Depending on the specific operating situation, for instance normal warm running, cold starting or cold running, the system will apply a different strategy, using a combination of either some or all of the possible injection stages in each cycle. This allows optimum adjustment of the combustion process in order to achieve the specific objectives at each operating point, e.g. efficiency, noise reduction or the heating-up of the exhaust gas aftertreatment system. This ingenious injection system is also the basis of the engines’ outstanding cold-start capability, enabling them to start reliably and without preglow, even at temperatures well below freezing point. Customised turbocharging for each output category The turbocharging of the new engines is customised in each case to the specific output category. In the four-cylinder OM 934, the pressure for output up to 130 kW (177 hp) comes from a one-stage exhaust gas turbocharger. Two-stage turbocharging is then used for the higher outputs. The six-cylinder OM 936 uses an asymmetric exhaust gas turbocharger with double-flow turbine for outputs up to 220 kW (299 hp). Two-stage charging with twin turbochargers is used once again for the two output categories above this level. The high level of investment in the turbocharging systems has certainly paid off, resulting in exemplary fuel consumption, power delivery and response characteristics for all four output categories. All four types of turbocharging system use an electronically controlled wastegate valve to regulate the charge pressure and further improve the engine response during acceleration as well as when using the exhaust brake. Meticulously designed coolant circuit Considerable attention was paid by the engineers to the coolant circuit in the new engines. The cross-sections and flow geometry of the water jacket in the crankcase and cylinder head have been optimised to ensure the best possible longitudinal as well as cross-flow distribution of coolant. This thorough cooling of the components ensures that any loss of power that might affect the drive unit of the coolant pump is kept to a minimum. In order to improve fuel consumption still further, each of the various engine models and variants is fitted with a different coolant pump during its assembly in the Mannheim plant. These vary in their delivery rates and are selected on the basis of the engine output and specification and of the vehicle’s cooling system. Compact dimensions, favourable power-to-weight ratio Thanks to a compact design, with a water pump that is now mounted on one side, the length of the engines remains much the same as that of their predecessors, in spite of the larger displacement. In actual fact the OM 936 six-cylinder unit is 25 mm shorter than its predecessor, the OM 926 LA. The power-to-weight ratio of the new engines is also very favourable. The dry weight of the OM 934 is 495 kg, while that of OM 936 is 650 kg (both according to the DIN 70020-A standard). In comparing these engines with their predecessors, account needs to be taken of the additional design complexity required to achieve the Euro VI emissions standard, the larger displacement and the significantly improved performance. In many cases the four-cylinder OM 934 is therefore likely to replace the previous six-cylinder unit; while the six-cylinder OM 936 will take the place of engines that had much larger displacements and were therefore heavier. Uncompromisingly state-of-the-art and reliable: exhaust gas aftertreatment technology In the development of the exhaust gas aftertreatment systems, one objective remained paramount at all times: that the driver and operator of a truck or bus should be as little aware as possible of having one on board. The specifications book demanded it should take up a minimum of space and have a low weight, low AdBlue consumption, long maintenance intervals and a high level of reliability. The fact that this specification has resulted in systems that not only deliver the perfect combination of these properties but also reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions by around 90 percent compared with the current Euro V products, is extremely pleasing in terms of the environment as well as for customers. The metering system for the injection of AdBlue into the SCR catalytic converter needs no compressed air regulation and, by reducing the requirement for compressed air, so also reduces the vehicle’s fuel consumption. The system has been adopted as it stands from the exhaust gas aftertreatment systems used in the OM 47x range of heavy-duty engines. Similarly adopted from the “heavy” models is the metering system for the diesel fuel (HC doser), which is necessary for the regeneration of the particulate filter. This complex solution was chosen quite consciously. Metering the fuel via the separate HC doser at the exhaust outlet of the engine, rather than inside the engine via the injection system, reduces the impact on both the engine oil and the engine components and helps to increase robustness. The basic structure of the exhaust system matches the systems used by Daimler Trucks North America since 2009 to meet the EPA 10 exhaust emission regulations in conjunction with the company’s own DD13 and DD15 engines from Detroit Diesel. These comprise, in the order of flow through the vehicle, an oxidising catalytic converter (DOC), a diesel particulate filter coated in precious metal (DPF) and an SCR catalytic converter for the reduction of nitrogen oxides with a final AdBlue slip catalytic converter. In contrast to the exhaust gas aftertreatment systems used in the OM 47x engine series, the unit used in the medium-duty engines is single-flow in design. Intelligent integration of engine and exhaust gas aftertreatment system Right from the beginning of the concept phase, development work on the engine and exhaust system was closely interlinked and highly integrated to an extent previously unheard of. In relation to each property of the combined product, the search was never for the optimum in terms of the engine or the exhaust system, but for an overall optimum. As just one example, the consumption figures for diesel fuel and AdBlue were never considered in isolation. The outcome is an optimum level of operating costs that combines the two consumption figures, for diesel and AdBlue, and as a result delivers the maximum benefit to the customer. A further example of this integration work concerns the regeneration of the diesel particulate filter, in other words the regular process of burning off the particulates filtered out of the exhaust gas. During this process, the engine briefly produces extremely hot exhaust gases, into which the HC doser injects fuel, downstream of the engine. In a catalytic combustion process, this fuel generates heat in the oxidising catalytic converter, which in turn increases the temperature of the exhaust gas even further to the level necessary in order to burn off the filtered particulates. In order to achieve this, the measures in the engine (camshaft adjustment with VCP plus multiple injections to increase the exhaust gas temperature) and in the exhaust gas aftertreatment system (HC doser and mixture with the exhaust gas, plus harmonisation of the surface and precious metal coating of the oxidising catalytic converter) had to be perfectly coordinated with one another. The outcome: even at outdoor temperatures of minus 30°C, an automatic regeneration of the particular filter is possible in almost any operating mode imaginable. This almost completely eliminates the likelihood that a forced particulate filter regeneration should be necessary on a stationary vehicle with its engine running – an invaluable benefit, particularly for vehicles used for inner-city short-radius distribution purposes and for buses. MCM and ACM control units: everything under control The impressive efficiency, eco-friendliness and performance of the new engine series is closely related to the electronic control of both the engine and the exhaust gas aftertreatment system. Two ‘superbrains’ work together as a strong team here: the Motor Control Module (MCM) and Aftertreatment Control Module (ACM). The electronic systems are constantly using their tremendous computing power to calculate the ideal injection point, the correct charge pressure and the best operating conditions for the aftertreatment system – and thus to deliver the best possible traction, the best possible economic efficiency and the best possible environmental performance. And they do so in hot and cold weather, up in the mountains or down at sea level. The progress that has been made is impressive: when launched in 1996, the previous engines, in the 900 series, were among the first commercial vehicle diesel engines to have full electronic controls. In those early days, the control unit had to factor in around three hundred different parameters, performance characteristics and mapping data. The new engine series takes advantage of the progress made in the field of electronics: control and regulation in the MCM control module now involves around ten thousand such data fields, with a further seven thousand in the ACM control module. But the control of the operating functions is not the only area in which such big strides have been made. Self-monitoring of all status data and subsystems has also entered new realms. In other words: the control system reacts with extreme sensitivity in the interests of consumption, longevity and reducing environmental impact, constantly monitoring the complete system for its own protection. Uncompromisingly tested: extensive testing under extreme conditions in both short and long-distance transport operations Longevity and robustness have traditionally been considered among the outstanding features of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle engines. And it is a tradition upheld by the new OM 93x engine series. Development for series production began in 2005. By the time the engine actually began to take shape in iron and steel, it had already been thoroughly tested – virtually, as it were – in a series of optimisation steps. This was a process that took into account all the experience gained since the very start of development of the OM 47x heavy-duty engines. Four hundred engines tested at test stations and in vehicles All in all, some four hundred engines were tested, either at test stations or in vehicles. The endurance testing at test stations and in road-going vehicles alone represents more than 18 million kilometres of operational use with customers. The engineers also invested more than 100,000 hours of running time on engine test stations into the development and testing of the functionality of the engine and aftertreatment system, and of all subassemblies. In the meantime, tractor/semitrailer combinations with 40-tonne towing weights spent years travelling to and fro along topographically challenging autobahn routes with constant variations in uphill and downhill gradient – putting extreme strain on these compact engines. The other extreme of the application spectrum was also thoroughly tested: highly dynamic applications involving low loads and low temperatures were used by the testing department for tests of the exhaust gas aftertreatment system in particular. During several stints of low-temperature testing in Lapland and Alaska, as well as during high-temperature and altitude tests in Spain and the Rocky Mountains, the engines were subjected to the same demands as the engines in the heavy-duty class – the most extreme challenges to be faced by any engine. Methods of torture rarely seen in real life Further methods of torture practised by the test engineers at Mercedes-Benz included on-road endurance testing under overload power with a raised water temperature, as well as tests on sloping sites or at engine overspeed. It is certainly reassuring for future users of the new engines in either a truck or a bus that they mastered with ease the sort of conditions that are hardly ever provoked in real-life. The results of such stringent testing deliver the proof: the new engines meet the defined objectives in terms of reliability and durability to virtual perfection. Despite the added complexity involved, the development team were determined to do everything in their power to ensure that the new engines match the exceptional reliability and robustness of the 900 series, itself already legendary in this respect. In terms of durability the new engines even manage to raise the bar: over the challenging reference route between Stuttgart and Hamburg the new engines achieved, with a figure of 6.5 kilowatts per tonne in long-distance transport operation (which corresponds in the case of the OM 936 with 260 kW to a towing weight of 40 tonnes) a B10 service-life value of 750,000 km. This represents an improvement of 20 percent over the predecessor engine. The B10 value indicates that at least 90 percent of the engines will cover at least this distance before needing a major overhaul.
GKN Structures has launched a dedicated test facility with the capability to analyse the performance of single components up to complete vehicles. Originally established as an integral part of the Structures business, the test centre at Telford is now making its specialist services available on a stand alone basis to other developers and manufacturers. The service benefits from the company’s own extensive design expertise and long experience both as a Tier 1 automotive provider and supplier to defence and mass transit markets. This enables GKN to offer intelligent feedback on results and advise on design for manufacture improvements. The site complies with the rigorous requirements of the TS19649 automotive standard and is certified to ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001. Testing capabilities include: Single axis cyclic; static stiffness/strength; multi-axis cyclic; full vehicle/full axle; full corner testing on 150 tonne seismic mass; Remote Parameter Control (RPC); road load data acquisition; road simulation; road load data analysis; component strain data analysis; and access to test track real life conditions. The company has recently installed an MTS 329 multi-axial spindle-coupled road simulator on a 200 tonne self-levelling seismic mass. This is capable of replicating challenging road surfaces, manoeuvres and events. It combines advanced durability testing with the highest levels of laboratory accuracy when assessing quarter, half and full vehicle structures. It can be used for testing to achieve design verification, Controlled Adverse Environment (CAE) correlation, physical material and part data, conformance of production and vehicle correlation. Other systems include: a 100 kN capacity load frame; torsion rig for full chassis and commercial vehicle body testing; a 327 rig fully adaptable to test the front or rear of any vehicle; hardness testing; a multi axis axle rig; brake/acceleration rigs; torque testing up to 20,000 Nm and a range of data acquisition hardware/software. The comprehensive suite of test and analysis equipment is complemented by the ability to design and construct bespoke systems for applications such as steering rack, spring seat, strut reaction, control arm and engine roll restrictor tests. Says Roy Wakeman, Project Leader, Advanced Engineering at GKN Structures: “We believe we are one of only a very few organisations able to offer a bespoke testing service backed by extensive production expertise. It is this combination which provides our customers with insight which goes beyond simply delivering performance data.”
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New GKN service offers testing for single components and complete vehicles