What we do
With today's pressures to continually reduce the vehicle's CO2 output, the key driver for the Engines team is Mechanical and Thermal efficiency improvements. There is a major focus on downsizing with an emphasis on friction reduction, combustion efficiency and reduction in pumping losses by de-throttling the engine.
The Engines department's work starts with deriving an engine’s target catalogue in support of the supplied vehicle attributes. This also has to be consistent with the Powertrain Product strategy which is formulated having considered the Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legal and Economic factors affecting our business. Each component grouping in the engine’s make up has a technology route-map, which is continually checked for consistency and appropriateness from our competitor benchmarking studies.
The Engineers in the Engines Department have on average 28 years industrial experience in automotive design and development. The design team majors on the concept's original design using PTC’s ProEngineer as its main tool. The parametric designs are then imported into the numerous predictive analysis packages to study and optimise the Thermo-Mechanical, Fluids Mechanics and Dynamic behaviour well before any designs are committed to hardware.
The Design team are capable of completing all aspects of product design, whether that is a gasoline or diesel product, from concept creation through to production drawing release.
The Failure Mode Effects Analysis drives our whole Design Verification Plan. Looking at the function of the systems, considering what could go wrong and what the effects are focuses the mind on ways to prevent and what should be tested for. The test results are then fed back for a closed loop process, where design revisions can be incorporated and then validated as necessary. Another key consideration is manufacturability, and here 'Design for Manufacture' assembly techniques are employed.
In support of the Design Verification Plan, the Development team has a suite of engine dynamometers and sub-system test rigs onsite. The test department are capable of conducting all the necessary engine testing from Performance and Economy, through Mechanical Integrity\Functional test to Noise, Vibration and Harshness testing. The mission here is to improve component design through experimental techniques.
Given the complexity of modern engine systems, 'Design of Experiments' is employed extensively, particularly in the optimisation of the gas exchange process whether that be for Wide Open Throttle performance or Fuel Economy. The team also uses a structured approach to problem solving employing the 8D principles.
The team work within a structured New Product Introduction process, which has laid down standards and procedures. As with all processes and procedures the test standards are continually reviewed for their appropriateness given the emerging technologies.