Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Boost for Dagenham-made CGI engines
Output of 3-litre V6 diesel engines at Ford’s Dagenham Engine Plant, UK topped 100,000 in 2015
According to sources, plant output reached 105,677 vee-diesel units in 2015 compared with 97,391 in 2014. In addition the UK plant produced 812,417 I4 diesel engines for use by Ford and other OEMs, making a plant output total of 918,094 units.
Ford’s engine plant in Essex was the first to produce vee diesel engines with compacted graphite iron (CG) cylinder blocks.
It is understood the total output for 2015 includes some 2.7-litre V6 units. But according to Ford sources, the numbers are ‘relatively small’ and are shipped from the Dagenham facility to JaguarLandRover (JLR) facilities. However, JLR declines to give the number of diesel engines it sources from non-JLR vendors.
Dagenham no longer supplies PSA in France with these engines.
It is understood that to produce its V6 engines, Dagenham is operating at around 100 per cent of installed capacity on two shifts.
On the basis of these figures, if Ford has a requirement to increase CGI engine production, one possibility will be to increase capacity at Dagenham by adding additional machining lines.
And so, should Ford product planners choose to offer a ‘small’ CGI vee-diesel in its F-Series pick-up truck to rival the Ram 1500, it will be interesting to see which power unit they choose, and from where it will be sourced.
Meanwhile, Ford’s increase in CGI vee engine production tallies with figures released by SinterCast for the fourth quarter of 2015.
According to SinterCast, its full-year volume production finished at the record level 2.1 million Engine Equivalents, providing 18 per cent growth compared to 2014. (One Engine Equivalent is equal to 55kg).
SinterCast adds that volume production in the year has been buoyed primarily by strong growth in passenger vehicle applications, benefitting from the ramp up of Ford’s 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline engine and from continued strong sales of the 3-litre V6 diesel engines for Audi, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) and Ford Motor Company.
The Swedish CGI process control technology company notes that outlook for passenger vehicles remains positive with new vehicle applications being announced for the Ford gasoline engine and with the start of sales of the Cummins ISV5 5-litre V8 diesel in the new Nissan Titan pick up in the US.
The Nissan Titan is exclusively available with the SinterCast-CGI diesel engine, so all sales provide incremental growth.
Flagship CGI vee diesel engine
FCA’s Ram 1500 continues to be the flagship for SinterCast's promotion of diesel engines in the important US pick up market. With the best fuel economy rating in the full size light duty pick-up sector, the 3-litre litre V6 diesel engine from VM Motori in Cento, Italy, won a third consecutive Wards 10 Best Engines award.
VM Motori’s 3-litre V6 diesel was the only winner to receive a third consecutive award; one of only two repeat winners; and, was the only diesel among the ten winning engines.
The success of the Ram diesel has validated SinterCast's longstanding belief in diesel engines in pick-up applications and has established a competitive benchmark in the segment.
Beyond passenger vehicles, the production of cylinder blocks and heads for commercial vehicle applications and components for industrial power applications also increased during 2015.
While the industrial power sector is primarily regarded as large off-road components for agricultural, construction, marine, locomotive and stationary power applications, a new application was announced during the fourth quarter.
Engineered Propulsion Systems (EPS) announced that it has specified CGI for the cylinder block of its new aviation diesel engine. Currently undergoing Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approvals in the United States, CGI enabled EPS to engineer a clean-sheet aviation diesel engine that is setting new standards in weight, size, reliability, and most importantly, fuel consumption.
Initial testing of the pre-production engine has demonstrated specific power of 105bhp/litre (77 kw/l), resulting in an output of 450bhp (332 kW).
It remains to be seen however which new automotive engines will bow in 2016 to further boost world output of CGI diesel engines. General Motors had still to reveal its high-volume commitment to CGI even though it has developed a 4.5-litre vee diesel using this material.