Perkins launched a new family of 4-cylinder, 2.8- and 3.6-L diesel engines that deliver 60 to 134 hp (45 to 100 kW). Citing modularity as a key element of this new engine platform, Ramin Younessi, President of Perkins, unveiled the Syncro 3.6-L engine in the company’s booth at bauma 2016.
“This year’s bauma is the biggest yet, so it’s important for us to take this opportunity to launch one of the most important product launches for us in the past 20 years,” he said. “This is a modular engine approach that offers the best solutions for global OEMs by reducing complexity, simplifying installations, enabling them to have one machine platform serving global markets.”
Mark Stratton, who serves as General Manager – Medium Engines at Perkins, sees a promising future with significant benefits to their customers and entire value chain as a result of the modular approach and strategy. “From a customer perspective, it’s critical in terms of mounting points and interfaces and those types of things, but from a design standpoint, from an engineering standpoint, obviously it lets us leverage our engineering span across a much wider portfolio of products,” he said.
Stratton continues, “Another critical piece of it that we find is in our quality control and capability side. Think about the validation we’ve got to do, so every piece that I can make common, then I’m collecting good quality data whether I’m running it for this wheel loader customer, for this electric power customer, this guy in a welder—all that gives me better data. So you can shorten the validation time and actually have a much more robust validation plan if you don’t have different configurations for every component.
“The other piece for us, because I answer for the manufacturing side of the business, clearly it’s much more efficient for the supply chain to have as much commonality as you can. It’s much more efficient for your operations, your physical facilities, your assembly groups, your documentation. Then the other half of the business, working with the dealers, the service and support side, the amount of inventory they have to carry, the specialization they have to have, the types of tools they have to use, so that commonality carries value for us from the customer all the way through the engineering, through the factory, through production, through distribution and through the life-cycle of the product. So for us it’s a fundamental tenant for how we expect to design engines and how we want to make them in the future.”
Technical specs, compliance, and manufacturing
The Perkins Syncro range of common-rail engines meets multiple global emissions standards including EU Stage V and U.S EPA Tier 4 Final. Engineered to integrate into more than 80 different machine models, the company believes these new engines deliver the performance, value, and reliability its customers expect to help them access new markets and support their business growth.
The high power and torque density provides OEMs the opportunity to move to smaller, more compact engines. The improved fuel consumption, quicker response, and electronic integration that end users need to differentiate their machines is achieved through an increase in power density of 22% when downsizing.
With up to an 8% improvement in fuel economy during machine use, the 3.6-L offers power up to 134 hp (100 kW) with up to 370 lb·ft (500 N·m) of torque, while the 2.8-L turbo after-cooled variant delivers a maximum of 74 hp (55 kW) with up to 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) of torque.
The Perkins Syncro range benefits from a suite of technologies including a common-rail fuel system, electronic control, advanced air systems, and aftertreatment configurations. A 90% commonality in the customer interfaces between the 2.8- and 3.6-L engines offers OEMs the freedom to determine machine platform strategies that suit their businesses and markets.
“The recent advances in fuel systems, control systems, predictive engineering, and aftertreatment ensures our new 2.8-L and 3.6-L engines are the right solution for off-highway machines like wheeled loaders, tractors, telehandlers, and excavators,” said New Product Manager, Allister Dennis. “We’ve now started work on this family of engines to give us and our customers plenty of development and field validation time before Stage V introduction.”
The engine’s modular design ensures ease of integration into existing—and future—generations of machines.
“Stage V is an important area of focus for Perkins and part of an increasingly complex range of emission standards across the world,” said Product Concept Marketing Manager, Oliver Lythgoe. “OEMs want to sell machines in multiple regions to support business stability and growth, but the costs of designing a different machine for each region is unsustainable. Our range of 2.8-L and 3.6-L engines have been designed as a modular product, so versions of the engine for different emissions standards and fuel specifications can be used with the same installation and, critically, the same engine performance and machine integration.”
Manufacturing will start on a proven production line in Peterborough, U.K., and Perkins is developing the capacity to manufacture the Perkins Syncro range in facilities in the Americas and Asia. The company says this multi-region production capability will provide OEMs short, consistent lead times and the business stability they value.
As many machines in this power band enter the rental sector, the need for good value, compact and reliable engines have been among the project’s primary requirements. A number of key performance features have been included, as Lythgoe explains: “High power and torque and fast response are key enablers for engine downsizing, and can help OEMs deliver machines that are easy to operate. Other features allow us to achieve significant fuel savings in the areas of the power curve where real machines spend most operating time.”
The range has flexible aftertreatment options for both displacements, with an array of engine and off-engine mounted options for optimized packaging in all machines. “Our aftertreatment system has seen a 40% reduction in package size, as it benefits from the latest technologies and design principles,” said Dennis. “We’ve leveraged the extensive diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system experience gained over the last five years and believe a compact two-stage system will provide our customers with the most flexible package solution for all emissions standards, plus common installation and manufacturing benefits.”
What’s in a name?
Chris Snodgrass, Vice President, Global Sales, Marketing, Service and Parts at Perkins, provided some insight into how the company came up with the name for this new engine family. “We wanted to come up with a name that really meant something to our customers, something that resonated with them, so as we thought about it, we thought of things like alignment, like partnership, like interactive, like connected…synchronized…synchro,” he explained.
“So as we thought through that process, we really centered around three main ideas: our value in providing deep integration, specialized ratings, and truly synchronizing our engines to maximize performance in [customers’] machines. Synchronized product support and customer service across the network of highly capable distributors around the world. And synchronized supply chain, delivering quality products on the continent where [customers] produce their machines, and in the lead time that you’d expect.”
Snodgrass concluded by sharing that the “modular design allows us to have one single engine family that has two important displacements. Modularity allows us to reduce complexity and leverage our scale and simplify OEM chassis installations. We also focused on some other key principles. Compact size and machine installation flexibility…strong performance, enabling our customers to downsize engines in their highly integrated machines, and industry-leading reliability and durability in real-world high load applications.”