The national V emission standard for commercial vehicles delayed in being released many times finally came into effect this year. This means all vehicles not up to the emission standard will be kept off roads. While the country is making great efforts to control pollution at the source, what should engine manufacturers do?
In the first seven months, the market demand for clean power products of China's largest internal combustion engine manufacturer Yuchai Group soared. The output of engines of Yuchai Machinery Co., Ltd. (Yuchai Machinery) up to the national IV standard or above was up 193.67 percent year on year, and the output of national V gas engines was up over 380 percent year on year.
Such high growth shows market demand soared and has been attributable to the enterprise's efforts in technical innovation.
Value technical innovation
Develop new high-emission engines, get "green pass" to European market
This June, Tao Zemin, chief engineer of the Yuchai R & D Center in charge of leading technology research, worked several days at the laboratory of Euro VI diesel engines. The prototype of China's first diesel engine up to the Euro VI emission standard involving his development efforts is about to face the "final exam" of the EU and will gain the "green pass" to the European market if it passes the exam.
There are "green passes" for automobile launch abroad, and the domestic market is the same. In Yulin, Guangxi, vehicles not up to the national IV emission standard should not be registered any longer. Last year, Yulin Public Transport purchased 30 buses powered by Yuchai gas-electric hybrid engines. In other cities, Yuchai's environmentally-friendly engines are also favored. This June, 800 new energy buses purchased by Fushun went into operation.
According to Yan Ping, chairman of Yuchai Group, while losing no time in building the state engineering laboratory of energy conservation and environmental protection, Yuchai has invested 712 million yuan in product R & D this year. Yuchai has been recognized by customers for developing energy-conserving environmentally-friendly engines such as Euro VI engines, plug-in hybrid engines and national V gas engines. In 2012, Yuchai's engine sales doubled from 2004, but the total particulate (PM) emission of its engines decreased by 22 percent from 2004. The PM emission this year is expected to increase by 33.3 percent from 2012.
Considered as important new energy engines, plug-in hybrid engines more suit the current market environment than electric vehicles. Yuchai is the only domestic engine manufacturer that has mastered the technology. According to Dr. Liangfeng, chief technical engineer of hybrid system development at the New Energy Technology Research Institute, Yuchai R & D Center, Yuchai is superior in hybrid system R & D: first, Yuchai has profound accumulation in engine R & D; second, Yuchai has made a permanent magnet synchronous motor with good effects of energy conservation and independently developed an automated mechanical transmission (AMT), thereby building a powertrain system.
Yuchai has so far launched 2,500 hybrid engines on the market, Liang said, adding that the engine can save fuel cost alone by some 50,000 yuan annually.
Advance clean production
Use solar energy to optimize energy management contracting (EMC) and produce good effects of reuse of water reuse
Paying attention to pollution control in production is another highlight of Yuchai.
Looking around on the roof of Yuchai Power Building, you can see rows of solar panels on broad plant roofs just like an amazing blue ocean. This is a key project of Yuchai among the country's second group of Golden Sun demonstration project launched in 2012 as well as currently the country's largest solar roof power generation project.
With an installed capacity of 30,002kW, a static investment of 330 million yuan and a roof area of 380,000 square meters, the project actually generated 25.5 million kilowatts-hour of electricity in 2013, and is expected to achieve an average annual generating capacity of 27 million kilowatts-hour in 30 years. Now about 85 percent of power generated from solar energy is transmitted to Yuchai's internal production lines and the rest is directly transmitted to power grid. It can save some standard coal by 10,800 tons annually.
On the morning of August 10, Wang Qiu, an energy administrator at the Production Department of Yuchai Machinery, walked in the distribution room as usual, where the latest intelligent energy management system had gone into operation. This system can monitor indicators of every section and every shift such as electric quantity, voltage, current and power. All the plants can find the reasons for electricity waste based on these data, and save electricity bytargeting means such as rational production scheduling. These data have also provided hard evidence for the company to conduct scientific planning of the plants' energy transfer and rationally allocate energy consumption and load.
Yuchai also practices a new energy EMC mode. The most successful case is the cooperative project between Yuchai Machinery and a renowned domestic thermal technology company. The project transforms Yuchai Machinery's 65 parts cleaners through air-source heat pump heating devices, and accomplishes heat exchange through air-source equipment to heat cleaning fluid, thereby avoiding loss of mass heat in steam pipelining. In this way, dust and harmful gases from the west plant zone of Yuchai Machinery are eliminated to create a new environment.
Water reuse is Yuchai's most prominent performance in water conservation
The sewage treatment station of Yuchai Foundry Center went into operation this January to treat industrial wastewater and domestic sewage produced in this zone. According to Chen Linshi, an environmental technician at the Production Department of Yuchai Machinery, containing triethylamine neutralized waste fluid, wastewater from flue gas purification, wastewater from medium-temperature phosphating, wastewater from rust prevention of Foundry Workshop 1, wastewater from waste sand scrubbing and physico-chemical wastewater, industrial wastewater is not easy to treat. Upon treatment by the sewage treatment plant, the wastewater is finally up to national first-class standards and is recyclable. All sewage from the foundry center needs to be transported to the sewage treatment plant at the headquarters for treatment before.
Now Yuchai Machinery reuses nearly 50,000 tons of water for boiler rooms' slag flushing, rag cleaning, foundry cupola cleaning, plant road watering, etc.
Tap green potential
3D printing saves materials, remanufacturing revitalizes decommissioned engines
At Yuchai's trial-manufacturing workshop, technician Qin Maohua was looking down at the new molding equipment which uses the latest 3D printing technology. He used to manufacture new molds through procedures such as grinding, chiseling, chopping, filing, drilling and reaming which consumes a lot of time, energy and materials. Now he can easily manufacture various new molds by inputting relevant parameters into equipment only.
Qin has recently been involved in a casting weigh reduction project. Their purpose is reducing the weight of an engine by 40 kilograms. "Don't look down upon the 40 kilograms, fuel consumption and materials will reduce as the engine's dead weight decreases, 2,000 tons of gray iron can be saved if at least 5,000 engines are manufactured annually," said Qin.
There are many other such energy conservation and consumption reduction measures in Yuchai. Yuchai has practiced the green value system since the beginning of this year, adhered to the concept of green sustainable development from office paper to product R & D, and required that every unit to be responsible and produce substantial effects.
One measure taken by Yuchai Sales Company is replacing engine packages. Engine packages, previously wood-structured, were prone to damage and hard to recover. These years Yuchai has sold over 500,000 units annually with shocking wood waste. Now recyclable iron packages are widely used in Yuchai's engine warehouses.
Of course the most significant is engine recovery. In 2011, Yuchai first established an engine remanufacturing company in the industry to revitalize "decommissioned" engines.
"Based on a used engine, it was transformed with special processes and technologies, and the remanufactured product is not inferior to the original new one. Remanufacturing can not only extend products' useful lives and enhance their technical performance and added value, but also provide information for product design, transformation and maintenance, thus completing products' life cycle at the lowest cost and with least energy and resource consumption," said Zhu Jihui, vice general manager of Yuchai Remanufacturing Services (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.
At the manufacturing workshop, Zhu introduced an engine which has just rolled offline. It has a total value of 27,503 yuan. Aside from the remanufacturing parts worth 23,230 yuan, the new parts cost 4,273 yuan only; the utilization rate of old parts is 84.5 percent in terms of value. With a total weight of 481 kilograms including remanufacturing parts weighing 419 kilograms; the utilization rate of old parts is 87.2 percent in terms of weight, saving metal materials by 419 kilograms. Practices at home and abroad show that remanufactured products can be as good as or inferior to originals, costing one fourth and even one third of what new products cost, saving energy by over 60 percent and materials by over 70 percent.
With a market inventory of millions of units, Yuchai has a lot of engines which have served for a long time or scrapped engines every year. These engines used to be recovered as scrap iron, but now Yuchai maximizes their useful lives through remanufacturing to initiate a "green revolution" in the engine industry
(Pang Geping/Song Yonggeng/Chen Xiaoxiao/People's Daily)