Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, installing a diesel engine into a piece of equipment was a relatively straightforward exercise. One simply needed to find a location with an adequate air supply for the radiator, plumb the exhaust, connect the fuel lines, and connect the transmission or pumps or generator or whatever the engine was expected to power.
That, of course, was before the days of U.S. EPA Tier 1 through Tier 4 Final, EU Stage I through Stage IV, emissions standards and the aftertreatment hardware, diesel exhaust fluid tanks and plumbing, and maintenance requirements that came with them. Suddenly that straightforward exercise became a major engineering effort that, as often as not, resulted in a significant re-design of the engine compartment to accommodate all the extra hardware.
It needs to be pointed out that the reward for all that extra work was a diesel engine that delivered better fuel economy, improved performance, and enhanced reliability in addition to reduced emissions. Nevertheless, the challenges the new technologies present to both OEMs and end user customers demand solutions from engine builders every bit as innovative as those created to meet emissions standards.
Operational requirements, however, are only half the challenge. The other half is finding a way to package and integrate the new engine technologies to minimize the customer engineering effort required to apply them.
Most engine manufacturers hand the task of packaging the final engine system off to a distributor or integrator, but Perkins chose to take a different approach.
What customers wanted was an engine that was delivered complete with radiators, cooling packs, filtration, control systems, aftertreatment hardware, and everything else installed. In short, an engine ready to go straight into their application with a minimum of engineering.
The solution to that need is the Industrial Open Power Unit (IOPU), a complete power package that’s ready to install right out of the box. All of the engineering, configuration, testing, and validation are completed by Perkins at the factory using the same simulation capabilities and environmental, acoustic, and performance testing facilities employed in new engine development.
Perkins designs it, builds it, and ships it from facilities around the world and services it within the company’s global network. It's not handed off to a distributor or dealer who doesn't have the depth of resources the factory has.
In the recent years Perkins has produced a whole family of engineered, pre-packaged diesel powerpacks built around 400, 850, 1100 and 1200 Series engines to meet the needs of a full range of applications from 18 to 225 kW (24 to 301 hp). Today, a Perkins IOPU represents a suitable choice for builders of compact, and not so compact, equipment who want to buy a finished product, without the need to separately install radiators, exhaust elements, aftertreatment hardware and controls.
We may never go back to the way things were once upon a time in the not too distant past, but there is much to be said for combining the best aspects of those days with the real, bottom line benefits of today’s technology. That’s exactly what the IOPU concept does, and why it may well be an important part of your future.
Jaz Gill, Global Marketing Director, Perkins, wrote this article for SAE Off-Highway Engineering.