Petrol engine development strategy : executive summary
The automotive industry is becoming more global and cosmopolitan, while the markets are becoming fragmented and differentiated because of the sophistication of the customer. This requires the automotive manufacturers to have a product well suited to these factors more quickly and cheaply, which necessitates the accurate definition of the product. Two European automotive manufacturers NPI processes were studied and this showed that poor performance in the product definition phase was deemed to be a major reason for sub-optimal performance in both companies, even though the approaches were very different. It was therefore decided to develop and apply tools to assist in the development of petrol engines to overcome these deficiencies. When these shortcomings are considered in the context of petrol engine development it can be seen through examination of the literature and industry that: • There is no method for the translation of the values of the company or product into tangible engineering terms and in the context of this project, with focus on vehicle and engine performance. This can result in the poor positioning of a vehicle in the market due to inappropriate characteristics • Having defined the required vehicle performance, it is not possible to demonstrate the feel of the vehicle until the hardware is physically available. This means that often there is a long lead-time between the setting of a target and the concept ratification through driving the new vehicle. This often results in a point of no (or very costly) return very early during the programme. • Fuel economy is becoming an increasingly significant issue with the introduction of fiscal penalties for poor fuel consumption vehicles. There are currently no processes available for the calculation of steady state or drive cycle fuel economy which allow for the accurate modelling to include combustion, pumping and friction losses, and the control of the engine with the engine management system To overcome these limitations three main groups of innovative tools/techniques have been developed and applied on new engine and vehicle programmes. • Marque engineering: a proposal to translate the brand objectives into engineering terms has been developed to a level where the engine torque output can be linked to the product position • Engine and vehicle performance simulation: a vehicle has been built to demonstrate how a new vehicle/engine will feel to drive by controlling the original engine performance to allow the simulation of the concept engine performance in the concept vehicle. This means it is possible to demonstrate and ratify a given engine/vehicle performance based on experience of the simulated product and to conduct sensitivity studies to discreet aspects of the performance feel of the vehicle • Steady state and drive cycle fuel economy: simulation programs have been written that take the basic engine efficiency relationships and through manipulation it is possible to determine the exact operating point of the engine, steady state or transient, and then determine the fuel economy. In order to determine the exact operating point it is necessary to consider detailed component data and key calibration data. Therefore it is possible to understand the effects of small changes to engine geometry, components or calibration on the fuel used. These developed techniques have been compared with traditional methods to determine the benefits in the concept confirmation phase of a new programme. This investigation showed that the reductions in phase duration, resource requirements and cost could be achieved in the order of 49, 27 and 17% respectively. This is coupled with the ability to obtain a more accurate product positioning through the capacity precisely to predict the product attributes. To conclude, the ability to define the product well is paramount to the success of an automotive manufacturer, and in support of this my project has developed tools and techniques that will greatly assist the development of petrol engines.