Diesel engines are evolving from just a source of power to a system that offers fuel efficiency and productivity to the machine. The diesel engine market is looking forward to a steady growth in the coming days.
Diesel engines are the major source of power for various machines which are utilised in construction, agricultural, automobile and industrial verticals. Major demand for diesel engines is generated from automotive industry, followed by commercial vehicles, agri equipment, construction equipment. Market research analyses indicate that Indian diesel engine market revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9 per cent during 2018-23. According to industry sources, the market size of diesel engines is approximately 825,000 units.
With the country getting into developing more and more infrastructure projects, the requirement for machinery with improved efficiency and productivity is on the rise. Says Miron Thoms, Vice President and Head, Volvo Penta India. 'The Indian economy continues to grow; therefore a need for an increased production is present. We can definitely see that in our order books and have a fantastic start in 2018. Both industrial engine segments of Volvo Penta do see an increase in demand: power generation, fixed speed engines as well as all-speed engines for off-road application. We see a great opportunity for highly reliable and fuel-efficient engines to support the infrastructure development in India 'in time and at cost'. Fuel consumption and reliability comprises TCO, hence it is gaining more and more importance for Indian operators.'
According to Greaves Cotton, the agriculture trends show a movement of diesel run water pump sets to electrical run, which will impact the small diesels. There is a rise in demand for small diesels in farm mechanisation and that should help small diesels. The automotive trends are towards cleaner fuel, that will certainly impact the growth trends of mid-size diesels. The current diesels engines will be able to handle the cleaner fuel with some modifications before the industry moves to CNG and/or electric. The diesel-based power industry is getting ready for next emission norms and likely to have small to nominal growth as the power position in the country improves.
For Greaves Cotton, the construction industry in the near future looks positive helping the mid to big size diesels to grow. The industrial machines have a chance to start moving towards electric but this would need large investments to fulfill onsite energy demand. As export segment is opening up in the country, the diesel engine production would get a boost for large export opportunities. Overall, the company anticipates that the diesel engine market would be stagnant to slight decline, based on shift in fuel/energy source and availability of electricity.
Products and solutions
Leading manufacturers offer engines with distinct features. Volvo Penta is delivering engines to Indian manufacturers of mining and construction equipment. Even though the full range of engines from 5 l to 16 l displacement are powering Indian made machinery, the D5 and D8, made in India, are the most important engine models from the company.
The Volvo group has a common engine platform strategy. Also, Volvo Penta is utilising the same platform with its five base engines from 5 l, 8 l, 11 l, 13 l to 16 l displacement. Except the D5 four-cylinder engine, all engines have an inline-6 configuration. The 5-litre and 8-litre engine ranging from 105 kW to 235 kW are made in India. 11-litre, 13-litre, and 16-litre are available from 235 kW to a maximum rating of 565 kW. These engine models are utilised in segments like construction, power generation, mining, material handling, agriculture as well as special applications wherein the drivetrain and engine installations can be optimised.
Main product features for the construction equipment segment are low cost of operation paired with low fuel consumption, long service intervals and high reliability.
Vepul Kaisar, Managing Director, DEUTZ Engines (India), explains, 'DEUTZ is one of the world's leading manufacturers of innovative drive systems. The company offers a broad spectrum of diesel and gas engines in the power range of 19 kW to 620 kW. DEUTZ engines are fuel efficient, reliable, durable and convince by their low total cost of ownership (TCO). DEUTZ offers engines up to emission level Stage V and can therefore serve requirements from various markets globally.'
The Greaves Cotton official says, 'We are constantly developing light weight diesel engines that help our customers to use technology at affordable price in the
Customer service support or aftermarket service is important for any business to sustain. Engine manufacturers support their OEM customers to provide necessary expertise. Says Thoms, 'We support OEMs to meet installation through our application engineering support and educate customers on benefits of following regular maintenance activities that will ensure emission standards throughout the lifetime of the application. The positive side effect for the operator is an increased uptime and better fuel economy even when the machine is aged.'
To further support its ambitious growth strategy, Volvo Penta is establishing a new exclusive training centre that is coming up in Bengaluru soon.
Engine manufacturers have designed their products with the latest emission requirements and demanding operational conditions. Says Thoms, 'With our vast experience in industrial applications, our engines are designed and customised to suit rigorous and heavy-duty operations. We collaborate with OEMs on extensive testing of engine in the most abusive field conditions and support the OEMs during design phase itself with skilled and trained Volvo Penta application engineers. This helps us develop robust heavy-duty engines and significantly reduces requirement for any major design changes in future stages. We may make few changes with respect to customisation for specific customer requirement and customary improvement activities.'
According to Kaisar, engine design evolved drastically due to change in emission standards, fuel efficiency demand, heavy load cycles and more compact design requirements of application from customers. 'We incorporate electronic governors, common rail technology, and various emissions aftertreatment technologies depending on market requirements like DOC, DPF, SCR etc,' he adds.
Thoms elaborates on the design features of Volvo Penta, 'Our engine range ensures installation commonality between different emission levels. The engine program will be consistent, from Stage II to Stage V, which is hugely beneficial for OEMs. A common-rail injection system reduces noise levels and delivers reduced fuel consumption. These engines have been equipped with a fixed geometry turbo, which contributes to reduce complexity, improved fuel consumption and increased efficiency.
Volvo Penta sales engineering team offers full installations support and
On the features of DEUTZ engines, Kaisar comments, 'Common rail technology and internal engine geometry of components make our engine fuel-efficient.'
According to Greaves Cotton, the need is to constantly improve the emission levels, efficiency and power-to-weight ratio to maximise the output. This will change the engine control system from mechanical to be more electronic where one can effectively control the engine performance.
Meeting emission requirements
Meeting the set emission norms is one of the most important thing for diesel engines. According to Thoms, the engine from Volvo group is used in trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and all industrial applications. The base engine is designed and developed with automotive application as base to meet highly demanding fuel-efficient truck industry. Further, the engine is customised for off-road application to meet Volvo Penta customer requirements. 'Continuous innovation in automotive industry and synergy within Volvo group helps us achieve best possible fuel efficiency on all our engines.'
Regarding emission compliance, Thoms elaborates, 'Our engines achieve emission levels up to Tier 4 final, stage V is already in the field for testing to be launched in 2019. For India, today Volvo Penta is compliant to with BS CEV III (Tier 3 levels) without any exhaust after treatment. The emission levels are reached within the engine only. Due to Volvo's global footprint, engine after treatment technology is already available to fulfill the future Indian emission regulations. In Pithampur, we are producing Euro VI and Stage IV engines for the European market. We are prepared for the Indian market and more stringent future demands for a cleaner India.'
He further adds, 'Our engines are designed with sufficient margins to meet emission compliance. The Volvo Quality System has placed stringent quality guidelines and checks on all the components manufactured in house or sourced from outside.'
Volvo Penta has revealed its Stage V concept already in 2017, the environmental law will be implemented in 2019. As with previous emission steps, the Stage V line-up includes all five engines - D5, D8, D11, D13, and D16 - offering the same power range from 105 to 565 kW (143-770 hp) as Volvo Penta's existing offer for industrial, off-road applications. Volvo Penta's new Stage V platform has been optimised to meet the upcoming emission standards, as well as future customer needs.
According to Kaisar, common rail system in combination with exhaust after treatment in various combinations depending on the market requirements like exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), DOC, DPF and SCR, provides 100 per cent emission compliance in engines. He adds, 'We have now more than 10 years of experience already with DPF and SCR systems. A combination of these systems will be required to meet with the most stringent emission level Stage V, which is to be implemented in Europe in 2019. We are developing full electric drives and hybrid solutions for our customers and will have first prototypes available in 2018.'
Greaves Cotton is constantly improving the technology to suit the emission norms set by the government. The company is bringing in more electronic control and improved oxidation for better fuel efficiency and engine emissions.
Whenever advanced norms are announced, it is challenging for the players to comply with the conditions within the stipulated time frame. However, multinational companies such as Volvo Penta is prepared to meet any such challenge. Says Thoms, 'As a global company, we already have engines and products for the most stringent emissions levels in the world today. We will be able to introduce technologies for the Indian market whenever the Indian government introduces new standards. The commonality of our engine range platforms means that our offer is scalable for future use. Customers can be confident that we can deliver whatever they need, and that they can progress towards prospective requirements with ease; without any major changes to their machine design.'
Volvo Penta engines are electronically controlled and can automatically adjust to different fuel qualities and types. But in order to fulfill stringent emission regulations fuel type and quality needs to be secured, so that engine emissions can be guaranteed. Today, the most stringent emission regulations in the world require an ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) with a PPM level below 15.
Kaisar sees some challenges in the availability of clean fuel, as he says, 'Availability of low sulphur fuel and clean fuel (without adulteration) are the real challenges. However, we strive constantly to improve our pre-filtration used to ensure our engines can operate in various markets. Some of our Tier V-based engines can operate with fuel up to 2,000 PPM sulphur.'
According to Greaves Cotton, the challenges are a bit on the development on the component side from vendors. Another challenge is the availability of the improved fuel at the stations, which is under focus of the government agencies.
On a positive note
The overall market outlook for diesel engines looks positive considering the kind of developments going on in the country from across the sectors. Infrastructure and construction activities will keep construction equipment busy in the short to medium term, where the demand for mid size to big size engines is expected to grow.
- Sudheer Vathiyath