The joint-venture Komatsu-Cummins Engine Co. (KCEC) recently reported that its Oyama, Japan, engine plant surpassed the half-million-unit production milestone, with diesel engine number 500,000 coming off the production line in December 2009. The company also announced that the Oyama plant will move forward to produce the next generation of EPA Tier 4 low-emissions engines for parent companies Komatsu Ltd. and Cummins Inc. A flexible manufacturing system enables the KCEC facility to build engines to specific Komatsu and Cummins configurations derived from common base engine platforms.

KCEC said the 3.3-, 4.5- and 6.7-liter displacement engines currently produced at the Oyama plant will meet Tier 4 Interim regulations as they are phased in by power band and effect date in Japan, North America and Europe. The current 8.3-liter engine produced at Oyama will be available for Tier 4 applications as a 9-liter version, offering a higher power output.

During the same time frame as the KCEC announcement, Robert Bosch GmbH, Deutz AG and Eberspaecher GmbH & Co. KG reported they will establish a joint venture to advance diesel exhaust aftertreatment technology. The JV, to be called Bosch Emission Systems GmbH & Co. KG, will be headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

The objective, according to the JV partners, is to use their core exhaust-aftertreatment competencies to develop complete, modular system solutions that will include electronic control and optimized technology for regeneration of diesel particulate filters. The new company was scheduled to start operations in January 2010, with production likely to commence in the third quarter of the year.

According to a press statement issued by the JV partners, an approach calls for almost exclusive use of standardized parts will offer a competitive advantage when it comes to cost as well as the time required for development and validation of their products. It also ensures necessary flexibility: individually designed tubing solutions, for example, allow the restricted installation space in mobile machinery to be used most efficiently.

“With this modular portfolio, Bosch Emission Systems fills a serious gap in the market,” said Dr. Thomas Wünsche, CEO of Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology. “It will provide effective solutions wherever the expense of an individually engineered solution of the kind seen in large-scale series production for on-road vehicles is too high.”

Initially, roughly 100 employees from the companies involved will participate in the JV operation, Engineering, sales, and administration will be based at the Stuttgart headquarters.

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