mi Technology Group Build State Of The Art Test Rigs For £2.5m Efficiency Project
mi Technology Group has built two large-scale state of the art test rigs which have been built to help test the efficiency of heavy duty vehicle (HDV) axles.
The bespoke test rigs have been built for use in a £2.5m project which is designed to cut the amount of parasitic losses in HDV lower drivetrain systems by 50%. The project is commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) as part of its HDV Efficiency technology programme.
mi Technology Group has built the full-scale test-rigs on behalf of Romax Technology. The test rigs are capable of measuring small changes in axle efficiency and also allow engineers to observe oil motion within the axle over a range of temperatures and axle tilt angles.
Chris Thorne, Programme & Strategy Manager for Heavy Duty Vehicles, at the ETI said: “The work that mi Technology is carrying out is critical to this project, ensuring that we accurately assess the benefit of the various design improvements that we plan to make. Vehicle fuel efficiency could be increased by 2 to 5% if lower drivetrain losses could be effectively halved which means this project has the potential to make a marked improvement in HDV efficiency.”
Lorraine Fullbrook, the MP for South Ribble, speaking during a recent visit, said: “I really enjoyed visiting mi Technology – a fantastic Leyland business providing highly skilled testing to manufacturers worldwide. It was great to see the work that the excellent team does and the highly skilled expertise carried out on the test rig project, which helps test the efficiency of HDVs. I am proud of the strong manufacturing and engineering sector in our region and high-performing businesses like mi Technology are the backbone of our local and regional economy.”
Dr Paul Wilkinson, mi Technology Group Technology Director added: “I am delighted to be able to show Lorraine the great work our team has done in creating these world-class test facilities here in Leyland. This is one of a number of projects that mi Technology are involved with, aiming to reduce carbon emissions from a variety of vehicles, and developing an outstanding capability in low carbon technologies that is already attracting business from around the world.”
Romax Technology, the company responsible for the lower drivetrain design and analysis in the ETI project, is working in collaboration with Castrol Ltd and ANSYS Inc. Castrol Ltd is working on oil development and ANSYS is modelling the lubrication system using engineering simulation technology.
Parasitic losses – that are caused by the churning of the lubricating oil and component friction – in HDVs and off-road vehicle drivetrains can account for more than 10% of overall vehicle energy losses. This project is looking to improve the overall system design, with a synergistic focus on gears, bearings, surface treatments, lubricant flow and lubricant composition.
Technologies advanced and developed through this project will then be available to be utilised across a portfolio of HDVs including heavy goods vehicles, coaches, buses, tractors, back-hoe loaders, wheeled loaders and articulated quarry trucks.
Launched last year by Business Secretary Vince Cable, the ETI’s HDV efficiency programme is focused on improving systems integration and technology development across the HDV sector, with an aim to increase efficiency in land and marine vehicles by up to 30%.