Growth in OEM Demand for Industry's Cleanest Engine
JCB is reaping the rewards of making one of the biggest investments in its history to develop the off-highway sector’s cleanest engine. A year after the unveiling of the award-winning JCB Ecomax T4 engine range - in readiness for Tier 4 Final/Stage IV emissions legislation in North America and in Europe - JCB is experiencing a surge in demand from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from around the world.
The company invested around $130 million in developing the new fuel-efficient JCB Ecomax T4 4.4 l engine – the latest generation of the JCB Dieselmax engine – and delivered an industry-first solution that eliminates the need for any exhaust after-treatment and cost savings for customers.
Now JCB’s innovation with the JCB Ecomax T4 engine has been honored with the presentation of two awards in 2011: the coveted 2011 Diesel Engine of the Year Award by Italian magazine Diesel and also an award for innovation from the organizers of the SIMA agricultural show in Paris.
2010 was a record year for engine sales to OEMs, with new customers in a variety of industry sectors, from power generation, water pumping, crushing and screening, forklift truck and even the marine sectors. Further expansion of the engine sales and distribution network is underway in countries such as North America, Australia, New Zealand, Benelux & South Africa.
Since its launch in 2004 the JCB Dieselmax engine, which powered the JCB Dieselmax car to a world diesel land speed record of 560 km/h on the Bonneville Salt Flats, USA, in 2006, has undergone continual development. More than 100,000 engines are now working in the field globally.
The latest developments will see the Dieselmax engines cleanly past the Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB legislation that will come into effect for engines of this size in 2012 and they are well set for Tier 4/Stage IV Final in 2014.
As many engines within the 75-175hp range are used in a variety of applications where equipment is operated under variable light loads, there can be concerns about Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) regeneration, with the engine management system having to force the regeneration process by burning additional fuel. This is not only inefficient but can result in additional service requirements, substantial cost increases and the risk of damage to the DPF if a contractor uses a high sulphur fuel.
To achieve the next round of emissions regulations, JCB Power Systems has worked closely with research and development specialist Ricardo, using computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and a Ricardo designed combustion bowl to perfect the combustion process.
With second-generation common rail fuel injection technology, injection pressures have been raised to 2,000 bar and nozzle hole geometry has been refined to provide highly effective atomization and distribution of the fuel within the cylinder. JCB has incorporated variable geometry turbochargers on all but the lowest powered 74hp (55kW) Dieselmax engine, which falls under a slightly different emission regulation. Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is also used to clean up the exhaust gases before they are passed from the engine. This means that there is no requirement for any exhaust after-treatment components to meet these emissions levels on the 4.4 liter JCB Ecomax T4 engine.
The company has worked with fuel system and electronics specialist Delphi to develop an electronic control system with a form of learning capacity, that will ensure that the engine stays within its intended parameters even as the components settle throughout their design life.
As well as there being no need to fit a costly exhaust after-treatment system, there has been no requirement to increase the cooling pack size or to reduce service intervals from their standard 500 hours. In addition, under test conditions, the engines have been achieving a 5-10 per cent fuel consumption improvement compared to the previous generation.
The engine design is also future-proofed, as the structural architecture, the componentry and systems will remain the same for Tier 4/ Stage 4 Final regulations in the future, at which time exhaust after-treatment for NOx reduction may be unavoidable.
JCB has invested heavily in its Power Systems business in Derbyshire, United Kingdom. The original 4.4 l Dieselmax 444 engine has been joined by a 4.8 l Dieselmax 448 version, while power ratings have been extended at both ends of the scale. The latest investment has created one of the most sophisticated engine test facilities in the world, with JCB Power Systems operating 10 state of the art test cells.
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