MAY 6, 2013 — What must be the world's largest shovel went into action today in Germany when Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen held a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction work on a new R&D test facility at Plant 1. The company plans to invest more than €60 million in the project by 2015. In future, technicians will be able to run function tests on newly developed engines on new, cutting-edge test stands to work on developments in such areas as the development of new combustion processes, engine control systems, engine-specific exhaust gas aftertreatment plants and gas engines.
The first phase of the project foresees construction of the main building and three test stands designed for engines producing up to 2,500 kW each. In addition, there will be a storage facility for various gases used to test newly developed gas engines which are rapidly gaining popularity as alternatives to diesels.
The first phase is expected to cost around €40 million and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2014.
The second phase will see the construction of four more test stands for engines generating up to 4,500 kW, along with a swiveling test stand. This phase will be finished by the end of 2015 at a cost of about €22 million.
The seven test stands planned will facilitate tests on gas and diesel engines in the MTU 1600, 2000 and 4000 series.
"These test stands will be used to develop new series and in particular they will play an important role in the development of the gas engine as the engine of the future for ships and rail vehicles," said Dr Ulrich Dohle, CTO at Tognum AG. "They represent a vital addition which will complement our test stands in Augsburg where we develop gas engines for stationary operation," added Dohle.
Operation of the new facility will involve the creation of employment at MTU´s Friedrichshafen location where 20 additional technicians will be needed to operate the new test stands. In future, all the new test stands will be capable of accommodating units from all engine series.
The set-up area in front of the test stands will be used to prepare and retrofit engines for test runs while another engine is still running on the stand.