HEADS ABOVE THE REST
We visit AMC at its extensive facility in Spain, for a first-hand review of its capability as a leading worldwide manufacturer of cylinder heads for petrol and diesel engines…
Engine rebuilders will be well aware of the opportunity to recondition the cylinder head of a worn or damaged engine. However, after the numerous recovery processes required – degreasing and blast cleaning, checking for distortion, carefully inspecting and repairing any cracks, skimming the sealing surface, replacing a re-facing valve seats, replacing valve guides, valves and seals and checking alignments – can on occasions be judged as a less than a time-efficient process.
It sometimes takes up real-time resource which could otherwise be dedicated elsewhere to other remanufacturing activity in order to achieve a more productive flow of the workshop business workload.
Furthermore, the head is, of course, a critical part – subject to high load and fluctuating temperature operation. When remanufactured, the often high-mileage used head that has already been subjected to a multitude of heat cycles and long-term stresses cannot, in re-deployment, always be expected to achieve the same life cycle, stability and efficiency as a brand-new part.
A major attraction for anyone involved in the automotive trade, this year’s Automechanika event at the NEC provided plenty of interest…
One of many national spin-offs from the major international Automechanika event that has been staged at Frankfurt since 1971, the three-day Automechanika trade fair at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in early June is a major event for anyone engaged in the automotive trade here in the UK.
The perfect platform for leading service suppliers to meet a wide range of buyers from the automotive industry, it brings together thousands of automotive professionals, for a one-stop shop for innovation, future automotive technology and networking opportunities.
Occupying four halls, the event is split into product categories for the Aftermarket, The Big UK Garage Event and Vehicle Production, featuring a combined total of over 500 individual suppliers. Including over 150 new exhibitors this year, from all over the UK and Europe and many more from further afield, this year’s event saw no less than 234 international exhibitors from 21 countries, with many from the Far East in evidence.
Based near Membury Berks, Stanton Motorsports provides a highly comprehensive engine building, testing and restoration service for classic motorsport enthusiasts
With just a couple of modest signs on display, you could easily pass by the premises of Stanton Motorsports on the Aerial Business Park at Membury, not far from the M4 services of that name. The building itself is fairly nondescript, originally an egg packing factory of all things, but within its walls is a two-storey Aladdin’s cave of workshops and technical facilities that enables Stanton Motorsports to provide a highly comprehensive engineering and restoration service for classic car and motorsport enthusiasts. The business is the brainchild of Steve Stanton, a man with a long history of engineering and motorsport experience. After completing a BSc Engineering degree at Bath University, Steve spent two years working as aDesign Engineer for Frazer-Nash Defence systems and then eight years working for Bill Roberts Motorsport, mostly on classic cars from the Thirties, Forties and Fifties. Then came the stage that all accomplished engineers reach, and with the decision to strike out and establish his own business Steve set up as Stanton Motorsports in 1997, soon carrying out an increasingly wide range of services from engine rebuilding, tuning and testing to motorsport preparation and restoration.
ONE MAN, ONE ENGINE
The new Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre M139 engine, the world’s most powerful four-cylinder unit in series production, is single-handedly assembled on an innovative production line in Affalterbach.
In the modern world where automotive assembly is dominated by automation, the new high-performance M139 engine is entirely assembled by hand, at the Mercedes-AMG engine manufactory in Affalterbach, where a completely new production line was installed in order to bring the ‘One Man, One Engine’ principle to a new level. Together with Industry 4.0 methods, incorporating the latest ergonomics, materials handling, quality assurance, sustainability and efficiency, AMG’s hand assembly operation follows the vision of ‘smart production’. Providing maximum flexibility, it is transparent and highly efficient, safeguarding and improving the quality of the engines and production processes using innovative and digital technologies. ‘We have completely revised the principle of ‘One Man, One Engine’ for assembly of the M139. The result is an ultra-modern production process that places the focus on people, creating the ideal working conditions in a bright, precisely organised and clean environment.
LESS IS MORE!
Many manufacturers are downsizing engines in the interests of lighter weight and higher efficiency, but few examples are quite as dramatic as the 2.9 V6 now used by Audi for the RS4 and RS5, providing greater torque and efficiency compared with its 4.2 V8 predecessor.
Audi has quite long tradition of vee-cylinder engines, dating back nearly 30 years to the 3.6-litre eight-cylinder unit that made its debut in the Audi V8 in 1988. A 2.8-litre V6 followed two years later, in the Audi 100, and then the world’s first V6 TDI diesel appeared with the 2.5 TDI in 1997, followed in 1998 by the 3.3-litre V8 TDI. In 2000 came the 2.7-litre V6 bi-turbo engine that was developed to 380 PS (279 kW) and 440 Nm (325 lb.ft) of torque for the first Audi RS 4 Avant (B5).
Today, Audi has V6 and V8 engines in all models based on the modular longitudinal (MLB) platform for the A4, A5, A6, A8, Q5 and Q7 series, both TFSI petrol as well as TDI diesel units – mostly with a displacement of 3.0 litres, or 4.0 litres in the case of the V8 units, with power outputs ranging from 218 PS (160 kW) to 605 PS (445 kW).
HYBRID TECH FOR
Rebuilders of conventional combustion engines who may be concerned about the all-pervading move towards electrification will be reassured by a recent report…
Leading independent real-world emissions experts Emissions Analytics has advised that going hybrid, retaining the use of a combustion engine, rather than battery electric (BEV) will make the biggest immediate drop in CO2.
Because the deployment of currently limited global battery capacity is critical to CO2 reduction, Emissions Analytics says that mass hybrid adoption, rather than low-volume full BEV take-up, is the most effective solution to cutting CO2 now and also meeting 2030 emission targets. Not only is automotive battery capacity currently scarce, expensive and suffering supply problems, but full BEVs are the least effective in terms of CO2 reduction per kWh of battery size.
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