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Lucid Air prototype testing

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Audi Q8 concept

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Engine Expo: Exhibitor Q&As

Ahead of Engine Expo North America, Engine Technology International chats with Glen Eichhorn, VP OE/ OES business unit, Wells Vehicle Electronics

 

What are the biggest challenge in engine management electronics at the moment?
Efficiency continues to be the biggest challenge. Customers are looking for ways to reduce power consumption in all aspects of the powertrain. One of our product lines is voltage regulators for alternators. The efficiency of the alternator and voltage regulator can have a measurable impact on fuel consumption and operating cost on a medium or heavy duty truck. Even in recreational vehicles consumers are expecting more efficiency. Using brushless DC motors and closed loop control we run the pump only as needed rather than recirculating fuel. This translates to less electrical demand on the alternator and fuel savings.

What are the biggest trends in engine management technology at the moment?
Electric motor driven accessories. For example, the water pump on an IC engine used to be mechanically driven by belts and pulleys. Now the pump can be driven by a high efficiency electric motors which communicates to ECU. When certain events occur such as high acceleration, the water pump can be turned off, reducing electrical demand on the alternator, resulting in more power to the wheels.

How are you developing your technology to meet these challenges?
We are taking a comprehensive approach to solving the customer’s problem. Instead of just selling a component we are looking at the entire system – working with the customer’s engineering team to provide an integrated solution that provides more value and lower overall cost. This includes integrating controls and sensors.

What technology will you be displaying at the show?
Wells is a manufacturer of sensors - camshaft, throttle, pressure, temp, etc.), voltage regulators, motor controls, and ignition systems. We have a wide range of engine management offerings and since this is our first time at this show so we will be prepared to talk about all of our engine management electronics technologies.

Wells Vehicle Electronics can be found at the 2016 Engine Expo North America, in booth E198

 

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