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JCB Increases Engine Investment to Prepare for Tier 4

Earthmoving manufacturer JCB has made one of the biggest investments in its history to develop its engines to conform to Tier 4 interim/Stage 3B legislation without the use of a diesel particulate filter.

JCB invested about £80 million (about U.S. $120 million) in researching and developing a new combustion system for its new JCB Ecomax T4 4.4-liter engine, the latest generation of the Dieselmax engine. The result eliminates the need for exhaust after-treatment. The engine is currently undergoing full in-field testing before going into production in 2012.

“Meeting Tier-4 emissions legislation is a massive challenge but also a huge opportunity for innovation; an opportunity to come up with a solution that has real advantages for our customers,” said Alan Tolley, JCB’s director of engine programs. “We believe the result is not only the off-highway sector’s cleanest engine, but a first for our industry. The expectation for the first part of Tier 4 Interim/Stage 3B legislation was that to achieve these really low particulate levels you needed to fit a diesel particulate filter. But when you look at that technology for our particular part of the market, namely mid-range construction equipment, we see there are some real disadvantages with that solution, in particular increased fuel consumption through increased back pressure to the engine. Also, in many applications load cycles are light and the DPF doesn’t self regenerate so you have to force it to do so and it needs fuel to do it.

“Our strategy has been to meet Tier 4 interim emission standards without a DPF but also to achieve this without any exhaust after-treatment. We have focused our research and development efforts on a high-efficiency combustion system; in other words we have made sure we don’t create the pollutants to start with rather than try to deal with them later.”

JCB has increased its research and development team by 40 percent.

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