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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Engineering change to embrace BS VI
Engineering change to embrace BS VI
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While Europe took 10 years to migrate from Euro IV (equivalent to BS IV) emission norms to Euro VI, India has to do it in three years. Though it was an uphill task, many utilised this transformation challenge as a means to propel their growth and achieve significant gains.
As the deadline for implementation of BS VI emission norms comes closer, automakers are gearing up to launch their upgraded version of vehicles into the market. For example, in October 2019, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) rolled out its first BS VI heavy-duty powertrain from the Oragadam plant. DICV has achieved this milestone much before its internal deadline. In 2017, DICV joined a global partnership with Daimler entities in Brazil, Germany and the US with the goal of upgrading key components to BS VI standards by January 2020.
Three months ahead of schedule, DICV has begun production of its BS VI compliant OM 926 engines and MD 2 Box After Treatment Systems in India. The engine, which is offered with two power options (230 HP and 280 HP), allows customers to benefit from the combination of robustness, parts localisation and fuel efficiency provided by the six-cylinder classic series engines used in the BS VI range.
Similarly, India’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland became the first Indian OEM to meet the BS VI emission norms across the full range of heavy duty trucks (GVW of 16.2T and above) when it received the certificate from Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The company plans to introduce BS VI compliant vehicles with the new modular vehicle platform which will provide customised solutions to customers.
India became the first country to skip an emission standard (BS V). While Europe took 10 years to migrate from Euro IV (equivalent to BS IV) emission norms to Euro VI, India has to do it in three years. Last few years have been the most challenging for automakers in India with respect to product development and identifying right sourcing partners. For MNCs like Daimler, the transition was easier because of their global experience. But for homegrown companies, the change was tedious and full of challenges.
For example, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) had to put to work nearly 700 people to make BS VI happen within 3.5 years. The company reportedly spent Rs 1,000 crore for this changeover.
Transition to BS VI comes at a cost. Migration from BS IV to BS VI needs changes at engine and exhaust level incurring high investments. This has forced automakers to rationalise their product line by discontinuing unviable models and introducing new models. For example, as it makes a shift to new emission standards, Tata Motors is reportedly looking to shed 120-140 models and invest in 400 new products. The company has spent about Rs 2,500 crore on BS VI technology, considered to the largest investment in vehicle development. Tata Motors has already received type approvals for more than 80 per cent of their engines from the certification agencies. More than 90 vehicles combination have been certified.
With the executive sedan segment shrinking the volumes and the cost economics do not merit upgrading the small diesel engine to higher emission norms. Post the transition to BS VI emissions standards, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) – a JV between Japanese automaker Toyota and the Kirloskar Group - is planning to discontinue the 1.3 litre diesel engine, which is currently used by Etios, Etios Cross, Liva and Corolla Altis, in the country. TKM will continue to offer diesel fuel options in larger utility vehicles Innova and Fortuner, which account for more than 60 per cent of the sales.
Post implementation of BS VI norms, prices of diesel vehicles are likely to go up by 20-25 per cent in the hatchback segment. This will increase the break-even period for purchasing a diesel vehicle by 2.5-3 years, negating the benefits of increased mileage that the fuel currently offers.
Hence, many automakers like Maruti Suzuki, Renault, etc have announced plans to discontinue sale of small diesel vehicles.
Role of component players
Just like OEMs, auto part suppliers also had to realign their technology priority after the Government, in January 2016, asked the industry to prepare for BS VI adoption by 2020.
Producers of fuel injection systems, engine components, exhaust systems, emissions monitoring electronics, gas sensors, ignition controls, electronic control unit and other enhanced components faced a business challenge as they attempt to comply with reforms and ensure growth.
From the point of view of auto components makers, the shift to BS VI opened up new opportunities. To understand the opportunities, let us look at what an auto company had to do to achieve a reduction in particulate matter by 82 per cent and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 68 per cent (as required under BS VI).
In exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR), the engine re-circulates a portion of the exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders depriving it of certain amount of oxygen thereby leading to lower temperature burn. This reduces NOx emissions, but produces more PM, which is reduced using diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and particulate filter. While some auto part makers struggled, many utilised this transformation challenge as a means to propel their growth and achieve significant gains.
Recently, Cummins successfully completed BS VI emission standard compliance certification tests with the ARAI. “Cummins has certified its engine platforms for BS VI regulations ahead of the deadline, which highlights our commitment towards a cleaner environment. Cummins BS VI engines have upgraded architecture, efficient technology and capable software along with an advanced exhaust after-treatment system. These architectural upgrades help achieve better performance, fuel economy and strict adherence to BS VI emissions, OBD (On-Board Diagnostic Systems) and DWS (Driver Warning Systems) with robust margins,” says a company’s spokesperson.
Cummins has launched a newly derived platform in the form of B5.6 series transitioning from its predecessor the B5.9, and a refreshed B6.7 engine to cover a wide range of duty cycles, in medium and heavy-duty applications. These engine platforms are designed for optimum power to weight ratio, lower noise and reduced vibrations. Cummins engine platforms use our worldwide proven technologies, fuel efficient architecture that also relies on proven and less complex component technologies, bringing in robustness for durability and serviceability. Engines are complemented with matched advance after treatment system solutions by Cummins Emission Solutions.
Success of any powertrain depends ultimately on cost, environment friendliness and sustainability. As the industry embraces the new emission norms on April 1, 2020, the industry also hopes for sales of auto to pick up in the New Year.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles
Automotive Research Association Of India
Mahindra And Mahindra
Toyota Kirloskar Motor
Fuel Injection Systems
Board Diagnostic Systems
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