SEEKING TRANSIENT ANSWERS Perkins’ new engine test facility supports Tier 4 development with a focus on meeting transient response requirements T he global mandate to reduce diesel emissions has put engine builders between the proverbial rock and hard place. Governments are demanding ever cleaner engines, while equipment manufacturers and end users of off- highway equipment expect more power, improved reliability, lower fuel consumption and reduced noise lev- els, all while holding the line on cost. While meeting regulatory require- ments is critical, meeting customer demands for improved power and torque, fuel economy and packaging simplicity are just as vital. Yet though all of those measurements are legiti- mate indicators of overall engine per- formance, they fail to take into ac- count what some feel is one of the most important characteristics of an engine to the end user — “transient response” or the ability of the engine to perform as it is expected to perform in powering a machine. Rightly or wrongly, transient re- sponse can be a factor in deciding how good an engine is perceived to be. Engine manufacturers can (and do) make all sorts of performance claims, but the litmus test is often how a par- ticular lift truck, telehandler or other machine reacts to a number of differ- ent situations when at work. Though it’s an almost entirely subjective criteri- on, it is still imperative for engine man- ufacturers to continue to improve tran- sient response, even while scrambling to meet ever-tighter emissions regula- tions, according to Robin Woodward, general manager, global engine devel- opment center for Perkins Engines. “OEM and end-user performance expectations are not going to disap-
Perkins has opened a new test facility that supports both the development of Tier 4-com- pliant engines and its efforts to tailor those engines to specific applications by providing the desired transient response. The facility, located on the Perkins engineering, manufac- turing and headquarters campus in Peterborough, England, houses two new dynamic test cells capable of running comprehensive development and certification cycles.