Tuesday, 30 September 2014

ABB robots power Mini output at VDL Nedcar

Just as ABB robots provide the backbone of automation at BMW’s Plant Oxford in the UK, which has just started to build the Mini 5-door Hatch, so it is at VDL Nedcar in Born, Holland where ABB robots form the backbone of automation in the body-in-white shop.

According to sources, VDL Nedcar has nearly 1,000 robots on site, with most of them provided by the Swedish robot maker ABB. However, some robots have been shipped in by German automation specialist KUKA of Augsburg.

Go-ahead given for Millbrook extension

Planning consent has been given by Bedfordfordshire Council for nearly 25,000 square metres of offices, and research and development space at the Millbrook Proving Ground at Lidlington, Bedforshire.

This is in addition to consent for three new building offering 6,000 square metres of space as the business seeks to establish a technology park on the site.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Navistar chooses Tremec ‘box for ProStar

In an unusual move, Navistar International is to offer the Tremec light-weight 10-speed manual transmission teamed with the 13-litre MaxxForce diesel in its International ProStar model.

Navistar will also offer Tremec  transmissions as an option in ProStar units powered by the Cummins ISX15 engine.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Chrysler uses benchmarking to lift truck output

Chrysler’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant has used benchmarking to boost throughput of  pick- up vehicles at the plant.

With sales of the Ram 1500 on a 52-month sales streak, Chrysler Group’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant, has used benchmarking and other techniques to increase production.

MAN and Scana to co-develop truck gearbox

MAN and Scania, heavy truck makers under the Volkswagen AG umbrella, link arms to develop a new transmission for their joint use, but how will ZF react?

The first fruits of their joint endeavours are likely to appear in 2016 and it is understood that vehicles carrying prototype components are already under evaluation.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

AVL pushes water-cooled electric turbos

Water-cooled electric superchargers, developed as a hybrid system for commercial vehicle applications, and designed to reduce NOx and CO2 emissions, are proposed at the 19th Supercharging Conference in Dresden this week.

Delegates to the conference have heard a technical paper on electric supercharging from AVL.

MAN 15-litre CGI diesel cuts weight

As German truck maker MAN establishes closer ties with fellow VW stablemate Scania through shareholding and heavy truck transmission technology, it also appears to have moved the goalposts with its newly-developed 15.2-litre, six-cylinder in-line D3876, the latest of the company’s Euro 6 range of engines.

With torque figures of 2500 to 3000Nm and power outputs of 520 and 560bhp for long distance and towing vehicles, or 640bhp for heavy goods vehicles, the D3876 is the company’s top model and offers a 160kg weight-saving over a Euro 5 unit.

Jaguar's XE diesel: its most efficient yet

Jaguar claims the USP of its new Ingenium diesel engine makes the rear-wheel drive XE the most fuel-efficient Jaguar yet, with CO2 emissions from just 99g/km.

The Ingenium range is produced at the new £500 million, 100,000 square metres UK Engine Manufacturing Centre in the West Midlands.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Audi/VW engines share power, torque

On the same day Audi announced its revised TT Roadster and TTS Roadster, Volkswagen unveiled its new Golf Alltrack – a crossover between estate and SUV (sport utility vehicle). Both will debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

One striking feature of their specifications is in the choice of powertrain.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Mini launches 5-Door Hatch

Six months after introducing the new Mini 3-Door Hatch to the UK, BMW has launched the Mini 5-Door Hatch.

This second body variant, made at Plant Oxford, features a characteristically sporty profile with a wheelbase is 72mm longer than the 3-Door Hatch. The extra length has been used to create more cabin space. The 3-Door Hatch is made at the Born plant in The Netherlands of VDL NedCar. Production began on 17 July of this year.

VW launches “the perfect” pick-up

 Volkswagen claims its new Tristar beefy pick-up is the “transporter of the future”.

The company suggests it is “The best for your business, whatever it may be,” which is stretching a point, and may certainly draw a wry smile from Ford which claims to be the best at producing pick-up trucks.

Monday, 22 September 2014

BMW lifts 2-litre diesel power/torque

BMW claims a new 2-litre engine has joined its 2 Series Coupé line-up

BMW claims its 2 Series Coupé has again raised the bar in efficiency and dynamics with the introduction of its new four-cylinder diesel.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

And Daimler’s Vito makes it three

An interesting situation will materialise when three Renault-powered vans line up in Europe’s marketplace.

Renault’s 1.6-litre diesel already powers both the Renault Trafic and the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro in front-wheel drive configuration.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Daimler invests €3 billion in German car plants

Mercedes-Benz is realigning global passenger car lines, imposing top job changes and investing in its German passenger car plants.

“We want to continue to grow and will significantly increase our production capacities in the coming years. At the same time we want to permanently and sustainably strengthen our competitiveness with a high-performance organization,” declared Markus Schäfer, member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, production and supply chain management.

Fuso heavy trucks for Indonesia

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of global leader Daimler Trucks, has launched its new Fuso “FJ” and “FI” truck range.

The introduction of the Fuso FJ 2523 and 2528 heavy-duty trucks will expand the brand’s product line-up in a segment previously not served by Fuso in Indonesia.

Electric Fuso Canter now with customers

 Eight Fuso Canter E-Cell 6-tonne GVW trucks have been put into “real-life testing” with customers in Portugal for a year

Mitsubishi Fuso, Daimler’s partner in Japan, claims to be a pioneer of "green" drive systems for the commercial vehicle sector. The subsidiary in Japan is Daimler Trucks' centre of competence for hybrid technology.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Unique engine set to run in 2015?

The prototype of a new automotive engine could be making its appearance next year as an 80 to 100kW engine for a passenger car.

The inventor of the engine claims to be “in contact with some OEMs” and is also looking at alternative means of funding the prototype.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Renault to make parts for Nissan Micra

In late 2016, Renault’s Le Mans plant will begin making chassis components for the next-generation Nissan Micra.

This programme will increase the plant’s workload by about eight per cent and draw an investment budget totalling €7 million.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Wrightbus KERS ready for service trials

In the wake of GKN’s announcement of its Gyrodrive with Go-Ahead bus operator, Torotrak has revealed that its KERS technology in a Wrightbus is ready for start of public service trials.

Wrightbus, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, exhibited its prototype bus fitted with the Flybrid KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) at the recent Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) exhibition.

A silver award for Fiat drivelines

The Turin driveline plant is the first FPT Industrial site in Italy to receive Silver Level certification in the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) programme.

FPT Industrial is part of CNH Industrial, dedicated to the design, production and sale of powertrains for on and off-road vehicles, marine and power generation applications.

Toyota heading for Mexico too?

After Kia Motors, could Toyota Motor Corporation be seeking a location for a new plant in Mexico?

According to rumours, the automaker is understood to be reviewing several Mexican states and company executives have met with Mexican federal officials for preliminary talks on the potential new plant, according to sources “with direct knowledge of the matter”. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Ford's three-millionth UK-built small diesel

Ford's three-millionth UK-built small-capacity diesel engine has rolled off the line at the company’s manufacturing centre at Dagenham, Essex.  

Low-carbon diesel engines have been built at the Dagenham Diesel Centre plant for a variety of models across Ford's range, and for other manufacturers, since production started in May 2007

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

GM tosses 2-litre diesel gauntlet at Jaguar

General Motors, under the umbrella of Opel and Vauxhall, has thrown down the gauntlet to Jaguar by unveiling a more powerful 2-litre diesel than Jaguar’s “clean sheet” Ingenium engine to be built in a new £500 million facility in the UK.

GM has well and truly spiked JaguarLandRover’s guns with a new 2-litre CDTi engine giving a power output of 170PS and and a torque of 400Nm.

BMW makes three millionth Mini

BMW has celebrated the production of its three millionth Mini car since 2001, and its two millionth international export.

Relaunched in 2001 under the stewardship of the BMW Group, the Mini brand has become one of the most popular in the automotive world.

GKN moves deeper into electric drives

GKN has developed smaller and more powerful EVO drives for pure electric and extended range electric vehicles.

The UK-based global engineering group is looking to extend the business opportunities of its GKN Land Systems business, one of the company’s four divisions.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Navistar cuts loss as Clarke’s measures bite

It appears that measures implemented by Navistar International’s boss Troy Clarke are beginning to take effect, raising the possibility of the company being put up for sale

Navistar International Corporation has posted its smallest quarterly loss in two years, narrowly missing the break-even point. Third-quarter results to 31 July point to a net loss of $2 million, compared with a loss of $247 million in the same period a year earlier.

Jaguar XE: “as strong and light as possible”

Jaguar’s XE sports saloon is the lightest, stiffest and most aerodynamic saloon car the company has ever built, the company claims.

It is also the first Jaguar to be equipped with electric power steering, tuned to provide “exceptional responsiveness and feel” but with “lower energy consumption than hydraulic systems”.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Jaguar matches BMW on power, torque

The latest figures from show that it's new 2-litre Ingenium diesel engine is matching BMW on power and torque, but installed in the new XE sports saloon it has improved fuel economy.

According to Jaguar, the new 2-litre Ingenium diesel engine manufactured at the company's new bespoke £500 million facility in Wolverhampton can develop 163PS, which is the same output from a BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics saloon.
 Likewise, the torque available from the new Ingenium is given as 380Nm - the same as that from the 320d model.

   However, in terms of fuel economy, Jaguar claims the new XE can deliver a CO2 reading of 99g/km compared with 109g/km for the 320d.

   In terms of fuel economy this equates to 75mile/gal  for the XE compared with 69mile/gal for the 320d.

   Also available is the 3-litre V6 gasoline engine from the F-Type and which gives 340PS and 450Nm in supercharged form.

   Both engines are teamed with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission - ZF 8HP, although a six-speed manual will also be available.

   Two ratings of the clean-sheet modular diesel engine will be available. The Wolverhampton facility will also make "clean sheet" modular gasoline engines. Eventually, it is possible that JaguarLandRover will be able to separate itself from Ford Motor Company as its engine supplier, finally severing the link with its previous owner.

Revised engines give Focus new edge

The new Ford Focus delivers the car’s most fuel-efficient powertrain line-up with improvements of up to 15 per cent, and a significant CO2 emission reduction across the line-up.

Focus will be the first vehicle in Europe to offer Ford’s new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and it will also be available for the first time with Ford’s 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Pay-back time arrives for JaguarLandRover

Jaguar-branded vehicles are expected to double in production with the arrival of the XE sports saloon from the 77,000 level achieved in 2013. But just when this happens remains to be seen.

Certainly, the arrival of the make-or-break car, on which so much has been invested, is expected to help the company edge past the 500,000-mark for this year.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Ricardo to aid Tenneco with DPF support

Ricardo has been selected by Tenneco (Suzhou) Emission Systems Co. Ltd.  to provide diesel particulate filter (DPF) control software and development support.

Ricardo is a leading developer of next-generation fuel-efficient and clean technologies, and is no stranger to working within the Chinese market and has a well-equipped engineering facility and team in Shanghai.

Skoda starts €45 million engine tech centre

Skoda Auto has opened its new engine centre in Mladá Boleslav where Volkswagen Group has invested €45 million over a two-year expansion of the existing technology and development centre.

The Czech car manufacturer is expanding its expertise in engine and powertrain development through this new engine centre.

GKN in flywheel bus push

GKN has stolen the limelight as its flywheel kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) is about to hit the streets of London in a series of buses to be fitted with its technology.

GKN, thought by some to be one of the sleeping giants of the automotive industry, acquired Williams Hybrid Power from the Formula One business earlier this year to form GKN Hybrid Power, implying that at times GKN can move fast.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Electric turbos for diesel and gasoline engines

An electrically controlled turbocharger (ECT) developed by EcoMotors International Inc. of Allen Park, Michigan can be use on both gasoline and diesel engines.

According to executive chairman Don Runkle EcoMotors has built 2.5kW and 5kW turbochargers for use of 300bhp engines.