APRIL 3, 2014 — Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG reports that a total of 50,000 common rail injection pumps have now come off the conveyor belt at its L'Orange GmbH subsidiary in Glatten, Germany.
Back in 1997, L'Orange became the first supplier worldwide to develop a series-production common rail pump for diesel and heavy-oil engines. Since then, the production and ongoing development of injection pumps has been one of the mainstays of business at L'Orange, a company with a rich engineering tradition.
"Strategically speaking, the decision to develop common rail technology has been one of the most important in our corporate history," said CEO Dr. Ralph-Michael Schmidt at a celebration to mark the 50,000 pump milestone.
It was in 1994 that diesel engine manufacturer MTU Friedrichshafen, now, like L'Orange, a member of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, requested the company to develop an injection pump for its new Series 4000 unit that would demand very little installation space. The work that followed demanded totally new approaches, culminating in the common rail pump.
"L'Orange again stood out as pioneer of a technology that many of its competitors didn't even know about at the time," said Dr. Schmidt.
The development laid the foundations for the progress that followed in the field of diesel engine injection systems. During this period, the company's plant underwent considerable expansion. At the same time, the L'Orange work force demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment and flexibility in response to business development on the market for large engines, which at times required short, sharp rises in output.
Hans-Ralf Kortus, director production in Glatten, emphasized the exceptional team spirit shown by his staff: "We started out with just 20 square meters of space. Now we turn out our common rail pumps over some 1,700 square meters. The whole factory workforce – from divisional manager to machine operator – is a team in which everyone is ready to give a helping hand," he said.
Martin Merz, senior manager production pumps who has been with L'Orange for 33 years, praised his colleagues for their determination to constantly improve. "Which only works if everyone pulls together and supports new processes," he said. "For me, that is what makes L'Orange and its staff so special and it's something I'm very proud of."