Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Inside the new 'green' Silao: VW starts EA888 Gen3 production in Mexico

Image: Slide3.jpg
VW's new EA888 modular engine family features flexible architecture. It is designed for improved efficiency and emissions performance.
When Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto pushed the big red button starting production at Volkswagen's new $500 million engine plant in Silao last month, he launched the latest phase of VW Group's strategy to pass Toyota as the world's biggest automaker.
The new plant, VW’s 100th manufacturing facility worldwide, is part of the company's plan to invest $5 billion in the North American auto market during the next few years. It's key to placing production capabilities close to where VW intends to sell more vehicles, VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn said during the opening ceremony.
“Silao is thus also a strong symbol of our uninterrupted growth trajectory and the Group’s continuing internationalization,” he told the large assembled audience. Global distribution of manufacturing assets also lets the automaker avoid currency exchange risks.
Operating on a three-shift schedule, the new Silao factory will have capacity to build 330,000 engines per year—1.8- and 2.0-L units from VW's third-generation EA288 family—once it fully ramps up to line speed. The facility brings 700 relatively low-wage but sorely needed jobs for the region.
VW said it is also considering building its latest four-cylinder diesel engines, also part of the EA288 family, in the huge Silao complex, but a decision has not been finalized. The gasoline and diesel EA888 engines share more than 50% of their parts.

LEED Gold rating

Located amid the parched and job-thirsty Mexican Altiplano, the new plant appears almost as austere as the nearby rocky hillsides. But inside the white walls of the cavernous factory stretch long lines of the most modern machining cells that German industry has to offer for casting and forging cylinder blocks, heads, crankshafts, connecting rods, as well as assembling and testing the finished product.
And despite its looming size, the huge “inland-port” facility has been built to the LEED Gold Standard of the U.S. Green Building Council, said Manuel Andrade, assembly line supervisor at Silao. “We’re working toward Platinum now,” he told AEI during a plant tour.
The facility is replete with sustainability measures including energy-efficient light fixtures throughout that are augmented in daytime with natural light that streams through rooftop skylights which diffuse incoming sunlight while blocking out its heat.
The facility also incorporates an integrated water management system that catches rainwater in nearby ponds for bathroom use, then filters it through adjacent marshes of buffalo grass as well as an associated reforestation project.

Launching the Gen3 Triple Eights

The new Silao factory will build improved-performance turbocharged 1.8- and 2.0-L TSI gasoline engines slated for future U.S.-spec Jettas, Beetles, and perhaps Passats, said Michael Tille, Project Manager at VW of Mexico Engineering. The 1.8 TSI replaces VW's 2.5-L inline-five-cylinder unit later this year.
VW’s EA288 Gen3, or third-generation EA888 (Triple-Eight), is one of three new engine families (including the EA211 and EA288 MDB) created primarily to achieve lower CO2 emissions. The flexible factory could manufacture the EA211 and EA288 MDB engines as well.
The Triple-Eights were engineered to share 90% of their components, Tille said. They will be shipped by rail or truck to the company’s long-running Puerta car plant 300 mi (483 km) away, as well as to VW’s Chattanooga, TN, assembly plant 1700 mi (2736 km) to the north.
In the past, VW has imported most of the engines used in its North American built models. The first-generation variant of the Triple Eight powers American versions of the Jetta GLI and Golf GTI. The new 1.8-L TSI has been in use in the Asian and European markets since spring 2012.

1.8-L Triple-Eight

The 1.8-L TSI is rated at 168 hp (125 kW) and 184 lb·ft (250 N·m), each a moderate improvement over the previous five-cylinder (170/177), but the new engine will feature improved fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions, Tille indicated. It will be matched with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
Of particular interest to VW performance enthusiasts is the 1.8 TSI engine in the “Passat Performance Concept” displayed at last month's North American International Auto Show. The show car engine produces 250 hp (184 kW), providing ready evidence of the base engine’s potential for tuning for high output.
Tille said that the new modular-design engine is lighter than previous versions, generates less internal friction, and features an integrated exhaust manifold that keeps the coolant in the head to more rapidly warm up both the engine and passenger cabin. The liquid-cooled manifold reportedly can reduce exhaust gas temperatures by as much as 160ºC (320ºF) before the gases enter the turbocharger. The engine uses Lanchester-type balance shafts to provide smooth, vibration-free running, he said.
The minimum wall thickness in the 72-lb (33 kg) cast-iron block is 3 mm (0.1 in) in some areas, which saves 2.4 kg (5.3 lb), Tille said, claiming that competitors’ minimum iron-block wall thickness is nearly double that figure. The VW project manager cited advanced casting methods that ensure good flow of the molten iron into the molds, “resulting in zero voids, inclusions, and no segregation.”
Tille also pointed out a lightweight bracket for auxiliaries that cuts almost a half kilo and other lightweighting components such as a plastic lower oil pan, a crankshaft with four counterweights, and aluminum screws.

2.0-L Triple Eight

The Silao plant will also produce 2.0-L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines for the Jetta GLI and Beetle Turbo. Although claimed power (210 hp/155 kW) and torque will remain the same as the current engine, fuel economy will improve substantially, he reported.
Other VW models that use the 2.0-L turbo engine are built in the Győr, Hungary, facility. (Factories in Dalian and Shanghai in China produce for eastern VW markets.) Several versions of this iron-block four exist, in both transverse and longitudinal orientations, but they are all similar.

Mercedes readies new 4Matic for transverse fwd architecture

 Image: Merc12-12FWD4x4.jpg
  Image: Merc12-124MATIC   AWD for FWD.jpg
The new 4Matic for transverse-engine fwd applications features a PTO integrated into the 7G-DCT automated dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing to introduce a new version of its 4Matic all-wheel drive transmission aimed at transverse-engined front-wheel drive powertrain architectures, starting with the 2014 CLA 45 AMG. Featuring fully variable torque distribution, the new gearbox is described by the company as a “completely new development." Its innovative aspects include power take-off (PTO) to the rear axle which is integrated into the company’s established 7G-DCT automated dual-clutch transmission and a rear axle with integrated, electrohydraulically controlled multidisc clutch.
The CLA 45 AMG is a new high-performance A-segment variant based on the automaker's CC architecture that underpins A- and B-segment vehicles. It is due to enter production later this year. At 70 kg (154 lb), Mercedes claims the new 4Matic system is lighter by about 25% compared to systems used by competitors. This is particularly due to the use of a compact PTO unit integrated into the main transmission, which supplies lubricant. Rival systems branch off power via an add-on component with its own oil circuit, states Mercedes. The PTO unit uses tapered roller bearings.
Fully variable torque distribution is achieved via the multidisc clutch positioned in the rear axle gear unit. With the clutch open, the car behaves virtually identically to a front-wheel drive vehicle, with almost all torque sent to the front axle. With the clutch closed, the rear axle is also driven, with torque balance available between axles on demand according to overall conditions.
ABS application sees the rear powertrain deactivated and subsequently no torque delivery. Drive torque to front and rear is used to counter under or oversteer under load, with chassis electronic systems actioned in a secondary role.
System pressure to introduce the rear axle is supplied via a rotor-type pump in the axle’s gear unit with an ESP controlled proportioning valve looking after pressure.
Torque distribution is also dependent on the activated shift program (Eco, Sport, or Manual) of the dual clutch transmission. In Eco, the front axle gets the most torque in normal conditions, while Sport and Manual see activation times reduced and the rear axle receiving more torque, to provide the driver with required rear-biased dynamics. Mercedes states that on AMG versions, adaptation of the 4MATIC controller takes place in accordance with the three-stage ESP.
All CLA models will be available with 4MATIC. The production CLA will look very similar to the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe previously seen at international motor shows.
The high-performance CLA 45 AMG will have a 2.0-L turbocharged gasoline engine capable of producing peak torque in excess of 400 N·m (295 lb·ft).
Although Mercedes has long offered AWD on some models, its application across its entire model range has not been as comprehensive as Audi’s Quattro. The new system for fwd transverse-engine architecture will help redress that situation.
Each of Mercedes’ SUVs and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) including M-Class, GL, and G-Class, has standard all-wheel drive but use a torque converter system. The only Mercedes models at present offering dual-clutch technology are the A- and B-Classes and the high-performance SLS AMG.

Superbike 1199 Panigale - Ducati

Superbike 1199 Panigale

Technical specification


Type: Superquadro: L-twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke:112x60.8mm
Compression ratio:12.5:1
Power:143 kW (195 hp) @ 10,750 rpm
Torque:132 Nm (98.1 lb-ft) @ 9,000 rpm
Fuel injection:"Mitsubishi electronic fuel injection system. Twin injectors per cylinder. Full  ride-by-wire elliptical throttle bodies."
Exhaust:2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes. Twin stainless steel mufflers with alumimum outer sleeves


Gearbox:6 speed
Primary drive:Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.77:1
Ratio:1=37/15 2=30/16 3=27/18 4=25/20 5=24/22 6=23/24
Final drive:Chain 525; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39
Clutch:Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control


Frame:Monocoque Aluminium
Front suspension:Marzocchi 50mm pressurized and fully adjustable usd fork with hard anodized aluminum lightweight slider
Front wheel:10-spoke light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Front Tyre:120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear suspension:Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Adjustable linkage: Progressive/flat. Aluminum single-sided swingarm."
Rear wheel:10 spokes light alloy 6,00”x17”
Rear tyre:200/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Front wheel travel:120mm (4.72in)
Rear wheel travel:130mm (5.12in)
Front brake:"2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M50 4-piston callipers ABS optional +2.5kg (+5.5lb)"
Rear brake:245mm disc, 2-piston calliper
Instrumentation:Digital unit with TFT colour display: rev counter, speed, gear selected, odometer [Menù 1: trip 1, trip 2, trip fuel], coolant temp [Menù 2: average and actual fuel comsumption, average speed, trip time, air temperature], lap times, selected Riding Mode, DTC level, EBC level, DQS status, ABS level, DDA status (only if mounted), GPS status (only if mounted), SERVICE, diagnostic, clock, full status and/or management of Riding Modes, ""Parking"" mode. Display lay-out: ROAD/TRACK (integrated with Riding Modes). Display backlight colours: DAY/NIGHT (manual or auto selection). Warning lights: oil pressure, neutral, EOBD, turn signals, fuel reserve, high-beam, ABS (if oem), over rev, DTC intervention, immobilizer (in Key-off). Light control: automatic shutdown while engine start, automatic shutdown after 60s from key-on without engine ignition. All funtions integrated and managed by left and right handlebar switches

Dimensions and weight

Dry weight:164kg (361.5lb)
Wet weight(KERB):188kg(414,5lb)
Seat height:825mm (32.48in)
Wheelbase:1437mm (56.6in)
Fuel tank capacity:17l - 4.5 gallon (US)
Number of seats:Dual seat


:Standard Equipment
Riding modes,DTC,DQS,EBC, Fully RbW


Warranty:2 years unlimited mileage
Maintenance service intervals:12.000km
Valve clearance check:24.000km (15,000m)

Emissions and Consumption

Standard:Euro 3 (Europe) - USA: follows the US Federal Regulation

Exhaust System:

"The layout of the exhaust manifolds is 2 into 1 into 2 with twin tailpipe under the sump. The design of the exhaust assembly is a work of highly refined engineering: the ends have a complex exterior shape due to the size restrictions necessitated by the "deep sump" of the engine (on the interior) and the leaning angle (on the exterior). The primary manifolds have a Ø 55 mm diameter, the central manifolds a Ø 57mm; they are built in stainless steel and have a thickness of 0.8 mm, with only the two short exits from the cylinder heads having a larger thickness (1.0 mm) to better resist vibrations. Even the silencers are in stainless steel with exception of the outer sleeve (or outer jackets) in aluminium alloy with a 2 mm thickness (result of a process of pre-deep drawing, rolling and longitudinal welding). The reflection silencers have three chambers; in this application the chamber layout is especially complex with respect to the traditional design (used for the 1198) because the exhaust gas enters from the rear (with respect to the direction of travel) inside the silencer and exits again from the outside rear. From a construction perspective, this also implied a complex design, and at several stations of deep-drawing of the aesthetic rear endcap, the catalytic converters are positioned at the inlet of the silencers and have dimensions of Ø 80mm x 74.5 mm.

 Monocoque Technology:

The 1199 Panigale's chassis marks an enormous innovation: different components have been integrated to give shape to a single compact and lightweight element that enhances the rider's posture to perfect the riding position. The monocoque structure in cast aluminium for increased strength uses the Superquadro engine as a structural element and aids in reducing the bike's total weight by 5 kg. The monocoque frame is fixed directly to the cylinder head, and at front are two aluminium bushings inserted with the steering tube bearings. In addition to performing the traditional function of frame, the monocoque also acts as an air-box and significantly contributes to lowering the overall weight of the motorcycle. Housed inside, besides the air filter, are the throttle bodies and fuel circuit complete with injectors, and the bottom of the aluminium tank (lighter by 1.9% compared to the 1198) is used as a cover for the airbox.

Advanced out-of-autoclave composites process accelerates curing, enhances adhesion of fasteners

Image: P-Wave_PTIR OOA process.jpg
Kubota Research has developed a very rapid bonding process based on P-Wave/PTIR technology for curing two-part epoxy adhesive to bond fasteners onto metal and composite surfaces for the manufacture and repair of composite structures.
A new IR-assisted advanced out-of-autoclave (OOA) process from Kubota Research Associates Inc. reportedly enhances adhesion properties and “significantly” accelerates the curing speed of thermoset resin systems for installing adhesive bonded fasteners (ABFs) such as Clickbond studs and standoffs from Click Bond Inc. onto composite fuselage and metal structures.
The P-Wave/PTIR process technology invented by Kubota Research—which was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Hockessin, DE—is a core technology for the development of new continuous fiber-reinforced thermoset and thermoplastic composites that promise cost/performance benefits compared to conventionally manufactured composites, the company claims.
For the OOA manufacturing technology, PTIR prepreg films are laid up on a mold, and an IR transparent vacuum bag applies pressure on the prepreg. The P-Wave radiation system is scanned across the prepreg and emits a selected range of infrared radiation, which passes through the vacuum bagging material and is absorbed by and heats the PTIR prepreg under pressure for consolidation. The P-Wave system and PTIR method can be used in the tow and tape placement process.
Core technology of the P-Wave/PTIR out-of-autoclave process was developed through National Science Foundation grants, #0512869 in 2005 and #0711789 in 2007, according to CEO Mike Kubota, who shared the development timeline and other details with Aerospace Engineering. The company then applied this core technology to rapid-bond ABFs starting in September 2008 through the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) SBIR N08-030. Phase II of that program, which ended in September 2012, saw the TRL 7 (technology readiness level) process jointly evaluated at Bell Helicopter and the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials (UDel-CCM).
“The project had two subcontractors, Bell Helicopter and UDel-CCM, to validate performances including the cure speed of Bell and NAVAIR prequalified epoxy adhesives, the flatwise tension strength, bending strength, shear strength, and the hot and wet tests compared with baseline,” Kubota explained. Specific performance results could not be shared since the project was developed under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) NAVAIR program.
OEM-qualified room temperature cured structure-grade two-part epoxy adhesives such as Henkel Hysol EA9394 and Magnolia Plastics Magnobond 6398 are used to install Clickbond fasteners, for example, onto composite fuselages. These adhesives typically set in 24 hours and cure in 5 to 7 days at 25°C (77°F). Kubota Research claims that its P-Wave/PTIR process, used with the same qualified adhesives, can bond and cure the fasteners onto the substrate in less than 10 min. The process can be applied under a range of operating temperature conditions from -20 to +50°C (-4 to +122°F).
“The main challenges are heating the bond-line temperature higher than the first surface and not producing thermal degradation on both upper substrate (fastener) and bottom substrate (fuselage),” Kubota shared. “Another challenge was Bell and NAVAIR prequalified epoxy adhesives such as Hysol EA9394 and Magnobond 6398 had to be used without modifying the formulation.”
The process enhances wettability between the adhesive and substrates, resulting in increased fastener-to-substrate bonding strength. The P-Wave/PTIR ABF installation fixture also is reusable and replaces the disposable one-time-use pressure application fixture.
“Legacy technology is using a mechanical and disposable fixture,” Kubota noted, explaining how his company’s process is unique. “P-Wave/PTIR IR-assisted advanced OOA heats adhesive in the bond-line instead of the first surface and cured in less than 10 minutes. The rheology of the adhesive was optimized to enhance the wettability.”
Kubota Research is a member of the UDel-CCM University-Industry Consortium, a center of excellence for research and knowledge in the advanced composites industry. Kubota notes that his company and its global partner Bell Helicopter plan to continue collaborating with UDel-CCM to advance the development of P-Wave/PTIR technology “to bring a new generation of cost-effective composite parts manufacturing methods to the industry.”
The advanced OOA process is in the premarketing stage, according to Kubota, and is expected to be fully commercially available in January 2013. The rapid bonding technology can also be applied to boat and ship manufacturing.