Paccar’s power play

The 12.9-liter Paccar MX, which powers DAF trucks in Europe, features a compact graphite iron cylinder block and head that integrates as many pipes as possible to minimize the number of engine components and improve reliability.

In a couple of years, the truck manufacturing industry in North America will achieve a significant milestone. For the first time, all Class 8 brands will offer a proprietary engine. Customers of Kenworth and Peterbilt still will be able to spec Cummins and Caterpillar engines. But with the opening of a new $400 million, 420,000-square-foot engine plant in Columbus, Miss., Paccar – the parent company of those two truck makers – will offer a third choice.

What Paccar isn’t doing, however, is rushing into the engine market. The company’s DAF unit, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has built engines for half a century. After opening its engine plant in 1957, DAF became one of the early commercial vehicle manufacturers to introduce turbochargers for diesels just the next year. And the company beat its competition by years when it introduced charge cooling in 1973 to meet the demand for higher engine output and lower fuel consumption.

In North America, Paccar will offer 12.9-liter and 9.2-liter diesel engines modified from platforms – the MX and PR, respectively – currently built at DAF’s engine facility in Eindhoven, where Paccar also operates a major engine test facility (See “Testing in progress,” page 64.) The Paccar PX-6 and PX-8 medium-duty engines for Kenworth and Peterbilt will continue to be built for Paccar by Cummins.

All eyes on 2010
To date, Paccar hasn’t settled on the exact heavy-duty engine approach it will take in North America in 2010. Paccar isn’t supplying and supporting engines today, so it has a certain degree of freedom to focus on an optimized solution in the coming months, whether it’s based solely on exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or it employs selective catalytic eduction. “We’re testing [SCR], but we’re also testing every other technology,” says Alan Treasure, Paccar director of marketing.

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To meet what’s known as Euro 4 and Euro 5 emissions requirements, Paccar’s European engines use SCR. Injection of a urea solution called AdBlue into a catalytic converter helps break nitrogen oxides (NOx) down into nitrogen and water vapor. The technology for Euro 5, which takes effect in 2009, is the same as Euro 4, although the catalytic converter for Euro 5 has a higher capacity.

Paccar’s Euro 5 engine solution isn’t just theoretical; DAF is installing numerous Euro 5 engines today. Several European governments offer fleet owners incentives for early adoption of Euro 5. For example, in the United Kingdom, Euro 5 trucks acquired ahead of the deadline qualify for an annual tax credit. In Germany, freight haulers have for several years had to pay a toll known as the Maut based on the distance traveled, number of axles and emissions profile of the vehicle. By adopting Euro 5 early, fleet owners earn a 2 eurocent per kilometer discount on the Maut. In addition to the incentives, early adoption is helped by the fact that the upcharge between Euro 4 and 5 for fleet owners already using SCR for Euro 4 is smaller than what U.S. fleet owners saw with the 2002 and 2007 emissions changes.

According to Ron Boorsboom, DAF director of product development, SCR is the most fuel-efficient route to meeting the Euro 5 requirements and is less maintenance-intensive than the combination of exhaust gas recirculation and diesel particulate filters. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions rules are ahead of Europe, so further reduction of particulate matter will be essential when Paccar introduces the engine in North America, Boorsboom says. “One way or the other, there will be a soot filter.”

But even though DAF is using SCR in Europe, it is helping its North American colleagues explore all the options. “Even though they are using SCR in Europe, they are happy to work with us on an EGR solution,” says Jeff Sass, Kenworth’s director of marketing, planning and research. “[Paccar] is truly a global company.”

Getting technical
Regardless of the emissions considerations, the North American specs for the 12.9-liter and 9.2-liter engines likely will be in the same range as their European counterparts, although the upper end of horsepower on the 12.9-liter engine probably will be a bit lower here, Craig Brewster, Paccar assistant vice president and leader of the engineering team for the new engines, told CCJ on July 17 following the groundbreaking for the new engine plant. Paccar’s 9.2-liter PR engine in Europe offers 250 to 360 horsepower and peak torque of 775 to 1,060 lb-ft and weighs 1,860 lbs. The 12.9-liter MX offers 360 to 510 horsepower and 1,310 to 1,850 lb-ft of peak torque. It weighs 2,510 lbs.

In the inline 6-cylinder MX, Paccar has integrated as much piping as possible directly into the compact graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block and head, thereby reducing the number of components and improving reliability. Using CGI saves weight and contributes to the engine’s durability and low noise levels, Paccar says. The one-piece cross-flow cylinder head features an integrated inlet manifold and four valves per cylinder fitted in a 30-degree diamond position.

A camshaft in the block, which operates both the valves and the fuel pump’s pump units, allows for a low engine height and fewer components. The engine’s high-pressure fuel injection system, known as Smart and developed in cooperation with Delphi, is fully integrated into the cylinder block. And the MX is the first DAF engine to use wet cylinder liners to give more direct cylinder cooling than dry liners can provide.

Depending on the emissions requirements, pre-injection or post-injection cycles or a combination can be used. The MX also features a Wabco air compressor and an integrated oil module with cartridge filter, oil cooler, spinner bypass filter and thermostat.

For the truck makers who will be promoting the Paccar engines, the 50-year track record and innovation in engines offer considerable comfort. Paccar’s European engines “have established a powerful reputation in the field in terms of fuel efficiency, reliability, durability and high performance,” says David Giroux, Peterbilt’s director of marketing communications.
– Linda Longton contributed to this article.

Testing in progress
Research and testing for Paccar’s introduction of heavy-duty engines in North America is a multi-continent effort. The company is testing various solutions both at its technical center in Mount Vernon, Wash., and its new engine testing facility in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The expanded Eindhoven facility, which employs about 70, adds 20 test cells to the previous lab’s capacity, for a total of 34 cells. The additional capacity allows Paccar to more easily test multiple engine technologies simultaneously – a capability that will help as Paccar narrows its options for North America. The test cells also provide the opportunity for durability testing, where engines can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week at ambient temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The lab also can perform cold calibration tests down to -4