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MP visits state-of-the-art test rig for multi-million pound project

Member of Parliament Lorraine Fullbrook visited the two large-scale, bespoke test rigs which have been built by mi Technology Group and Romax to help test the efficiency of heavy duty vehicle (HDV) axles.

Romax Technology is the consortium lead for the project and joined forces with mi Technology Group to construct the full-scale test-rigs that are capable of measuring very small changes in axle efficiency and also allow engineers to observe oil flow within the axle over a range of speeds, temperatures and axle tilt angles.

Providing their engineering expertise to the lower drivetrain design and analysis Romax is responsible for the overall technical delivery of the project working in collaboration with Castrol Ltd and ANSYS Inc. Castrol Ltd is working on oil development and ANSYS is modelling the lubrication system using engineering simulation technology.

The £2.5m project is designed to cut the amount of parasitic losses in HDV lower drivetrain systems by 50%. The project is commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) as part of its HDV Efficiency technology programme.

Chris Thorne, Programme & Strategy Manager for Heavy Duty Vehicles, at the ETI said: "The work that Romax Technology and mi Technology are carrying out is critical to this project, ensuring that we accurately assess the benefit of the various design improvements that we plan to make.  Vehicle fuel efficiency could be increased by 2 to 5% if lower drivetrain losses could be effectively halved which means this project has the potential to make a marked improvement in HDV efficiency."

Technologies advanced and developed through this project will be available to be utilised across a portfolio of HDVs including heavy goods vehicles, coaches, buses, tractors, back-hoe loaders, wheeled loaders and articulated quarry trucks.

Launched last year by Business Secretary Vince Cable, the ETI's HDV efficiency programme is focused on improving systems integration and technology development across the HDV sector, with an aim to increase efficiency in land and marine vehicles by up to 30%.