The UK is one of a world centre of excellence in diesel engine technology, proof of which can be found in the need for a large and well-established China-based diesel engine maker to knock at the door of Ricardo plc.
Set up in 1949, Anhui Quanchai Engine Co. Ltd. is a large, well-known and respected diesel engine maker employing 3,000. It specialises in multi-cylinder and single cylinder diesel engines.
Quanchai’s annual production capacity is about 420,000 multi-cylinder diesels and 500,000 single-cylinder units ranging in output from 2KW (1.5bhp) to 235KW (175 bhp) – relatively modest by European standards – so clearly the company has much to learn in developing its range to meet tough new emissions and fuel economy standards.
Its diesel engines are used in light commercial vehicles, forklift trucks, construction equipment and agricultural machinery. Interestingly, Europe is one of the principal territories missing from its global spread, as well as India, South America and Australia.
Against this backcloth, Ricardo has signed an agreement with Quanchai – one of China’s largest diesel engine makers – to support the development of a new generation common rail diesel engine platform for commercial applications.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ricardo will support Quanchai, based in QuanJiao, Anhui province and China’s largest diesel engine manufacturer in 2015 in terms of volume production for on-highway applications, in the design and development and calibration of a new diesel engine family.
The new family will range from 2.5 to 3 litres and be deployed in both on- and off-highway applications.
The significance however will be the extent to which the China-based company will use its time and experience with Ricardo to garner information about European diesel engine design and manufacturing standards, and how it uses that knowledge to gradually enhance its own extensive engine ranges.
Patented low-soot technology
The new engines will be developed to the latest applicable China6 Heavy Duty and China Stage4 Off-Highway regulations, and will employ Ricardo’s patented low-soot Twin Vortex Combustion System.
Ricardo says that its wide experience in the design and development of advanced and yet affordable clean combustion diesels will also be brought to bear on the project, as Quanchai seeks to maintain and improve its market presence in China, and develop its presence in targeted overseas markets.
Quanchai Engine president Zhongde Pan commented: “Urged by emission upgrades, the domestic Chinese diesel engine market is going through a new revolution. The cooperation with Ricardo will not only add new energy to our innovation and development activities, but will provide the ‘dynamic heart’ for commercial vehicles and off-highway transportation using Quanchai’s products.”
He added: “It will strengthen Quanchai’s technical advantage and lay a solid foundation for Quanchai to step forward in the market revolution.”
Ricardo Asia president Gary Tan sees signing of the agreement with Quanchai as an “exciting engine development project”.
He added: “We look forward to a successful collaboration with Quanchai in developing a range of top performing clean diesel engines with wide applications and strong commercial appeal and look forward to enlarge the collaboration to further developments.”
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