From all of here at Capital Reman we wish you a joyous Thanksgiving to you and your family! We will be closed Thursday and Friday returning to normal business hours Monday, November 27th
From all of here at Capital Reman we wish you a joyous Thanksgiving to you and your family! We will be closed Thursday and Friday returning to normal business hours Monday, November 27th
Take a look at some of the diesel longblock and complete engines we have built for stock. These are ready to ship same day!
Leading heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturer, Cummins Inc., is pioneering the use of 3D Printing technology to produce and repair critical engine parts. Unlike many manufacturers in the diesel industry, Cummins has its sights on future technology; recently unveiling the first electric engine for semi-trucks. The company believes that in order to thrive in the 21st century it must innovate new technologies rather than adapt to them. Although, 3D Printing is still in its infancy it is becoming more common place for manufacturers due to the potential cost and time to market savings.
Cummins has partnered with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop a 3D Printing strategy for the company. The use of 3D printing in automotive parts manufacturing could be huge. Cummins sees the benefits of 3D printing to be 3 fold: making on the fly repairs to worn or damaged engine parts, producing replacement parts as needed and reducing the need for mass production / inventory storage.
Metallic 3D Printing, also known as, additive manufacturing, works by printing microscopic layers of materials one line at a time to create a desired shape. Initially, the use of 3D Printing can be used to fix existing cracks and damage within engine parts. Cummins is testing the technology to repair cylinder heads. Cracked cylinder heads usually are a death sentence for an engine. Current repair techniques by machine shops are limited to removing the crack and cold stitch welding the hole back together with the use of plugs or heating the cylinder head up to around 900 degrees in an oven, making the weld and then waiting days for the head to cool in a sand pit. Cold stitching provides a temporary patch to prolong the life of the head but does not provide a strong bond between the original casting and the weld. Heat and thaw cycles will eventually crack around the weld. Hot welding or plasma arc welding allows for the weld to be made inside of the oven so that both the weld and casting are broken down on a molecular level and cooled together as one fluid structure. However, the process is time consuming and expensive.
With 3D Printing a traditional milling machine will scoop out the damaged section of the cylinder head. Then researchers will use a CAD file to precisely map out the architecture of the damaged part. The CAD File will then be uploaded into the printer using a G-Code so that filler material can be directly deposited into the damaged area without the use of substrate layer or additional welding.
The 3D Printer Cummins uses is called a DM3D Machine from the company of the same name. The DM3D Machine is a direct energy deposition system which uses a 5-axis CNC head. The spray nozzle is laser guided to get an exact location of the damage. Once the damaged area is detected the nozzle sprays atomized metal power right in the crack and the laser melts the powder layer by layer. Sensors monitor the temperature within the repair to avoid unnecessary cracking of the surrounding cast iron. The technique is very defined and offers a more precise bonding structure with the surrounding metal cast than traditional welding. Eventually, the goal with 3D print repairing is to exactly match the existing metal composition to create a seamless or even stronger cast.
Cummins and Oak Ridge are trying to trying to perfect cast iron repair. Cast iron is prone to cracking under heat and stress. So far the researchers have tested a high-density nickel alloy to avoid metal fatigue during the repair and increase the overall thermal efficiently of the diesel engine part. The results look promising as the bonds under microscopic analysis show good adhesion, however the repaired parts have yet to be tested in real world conditions. Over the coming years Cummins plans to test different metal alloy combinations to determine which alloy creates the strongest chemical bonds to the existing cast iron. The true test will be putting the repaired part through intense heating/cooling cycles during normal engine use.
Cummins not only sees a future for 3D printing in its remanufacturing division but also with new parts production. The company predicts a future where each dealer has a 3D printer to print parts in real time as needed. Parts printing would save the company untold amounts of money in mass production of replacement parts as well as storage, shipping and inventory costs. Service departments would have the ability to print replacement parts in a matter of minutes instead of enduring lengthy lead times waiting for shipments. The late 1990s saw the advent of Just-In-Time manufacturing processes, whereas parts would be available at the exact time they are needed in production. 3D Printing would implement just-in-time inventory models from the manufacturer directly to the retail level. Manufacturer and retailer would essentially merge as one unit on some basis.
Roger England, Director of Material Science with Cummins, is optimistic yet cautious about 3D Printing. Mr. England believes the technology is still in its infancy and has a long way to go before it is adopted on larger scale. “I think the additive manufacturing industry right now is a lot like the automotive industry around the turn of the 19th century. When folks had cars back in the 1890s or 1900s, it was common that those people were fairly affluent and they could afford to hire a chauffeur who was also a mechanic that could keep the car running.” Mr. England draw parallels to the current environment surrounding 3D Printing citing it is “very labor intensive to keep it [3D Printing Machinery] running.”
Cummins has complained that 3D Printing Machinery requires a regular stream of software and hardware updates. The technology is going through rapid research and development phases as the manufacturers learn more about how to streamline additive manufacturing. The whole industry is being developed from the ground up and growing pains are commonplace in these early stages. It can be difficult for the end users to learn a new system, adapt to a new interface or upgrade old machinery to accommodate changes in the field.
One of the major hurdles the 3D Printing Industry is learning to overcome is how to develop more robust machinery to meet a continuous workflow. R&D engineers had not anticipated their machinery was going to be used 24 hours a day for months on end. Durability of the internal components currently in place are not rated for a high-output industrial use. Mr. England stated, “The units that we have here are finally getting past the 50 percent uptime availability measure, and that’s after we deduct time for scheduled maintenance. It’s been a big challenge.”
Other issues surrounding 3D Printing of new engine parts is quality control. Currently, a casting made in any number of Cummins’ facilities worldwide will be held to strict production specifications to ensure the parts are exactly the same no matter where they are forged. With 3D Printing each piece of machinery is so customized that no two are exactly alike. Cummins determined that the level of consistency between parts produced on different machinery is still too great for mass production. The company discovered that an engine part produced on one machine will not exactly match the same part produced on another machine even though the brand, make, model, serial number and user inputs were exactly the same. Mr. England stated, “Until we can get it right every time, it’s not something we’re going to engage.”
However, Cummins sees an immediate use of 3D Printing in prototype development. In the R&D division, creating real world prototypes of parts and engines in a matter of hours is a huge plus for the company. Creating new prototypes of parts requires the creation of plastic molds. With 3D Printing Cummins has produced new injection mold tooling to create complicated designs very quickly. For example the creation of complex cooling passages within various engine parts can be built into the plastic mold much quicker than with traditional methods. Mr. England stated, “A lot of times our volumes aren’t great enough to financially justify using injection-molded plastic, because of the cost of amortizing molds. Having [additive] now makes plastic injection molding a viable and cost competitive process for lower volumes.”
In addition to the potential cost savings and shorter lead times, 3D Printing of automotive parts will reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing these parts. Injection-Molded Plastic vs. sand casting aluminum parts reduces the entire carbon footprint through the entire product life-cycle. Currently, engine castings are produced with a consistent metal alloy mixture throughout the part. High-quality material like nickel and chromium are used in mass qualities by Cummins due to their ability to handle high temperatures and pressures. With 3D Printing the ability to only strengthen areas which need higher strength material will cut down on mining costs.
We are living in some exciting times where the limits of technology seem endless. It looks like 3D Printing is on the right track as far as engine parts production goes but time will tell how big an impact on the industry it will have.
There is no standard diesel engine for every application. For example there are industrial applications, truck application, electrical power generation, RV applications, heavy duty emergency, pumps and of course marine applications. Although, each engine is slightly different the core design is the same. The exhaust, cooling, electrical and fuel systems are all different in marine engines. This article will discuss the differences between industrial diesel engines and their marine counterparts.
Diesel engines are popular within the marine community for a number of reasons. Unlike, gas marine engines, for the most part there aren’t many strictly diesel marine engine manufactures on the market. The big companies like Caterpillar, Cummins and Detroit Diesel build industrial diesel engines that are then adapted for the heavy duty marine market. The marine design is based upon millions of other truck or off-road engines on the market. Consequently, Volvo, Yanmar and Perkins all build engines for smaller pleasure craft that work well as drop-in units but do not work well with larger boats.
The common misconception is that industrial engines will not work in marine applications. Industrial diesel engines can be adapted to work in marine craft. For pleasure craft most boats only get roughly 100-300 hours of usage per year. Heavy duty marine applications average usage is 10,000-15,000 hours before overhaul. All marine engines, regardless of application, simply have a shorter expected duty cycle than their industrial counterparts which can often go 500,000 – 1,000,000 miles before major overhaul. The reason for the shorter lifespan is that pleasure craft marine engines will operate at constant high speeds and lower RPMs for a short period of time. If you think about it, speed boats really only travel at high speeds when cruising waterways and open ocean.
Heavy duty marine applications have a similar usage profile as pleasure craft except they operate at full speed for much longer intervals. On the open water there are no stoplights or speed limits. Industrial and truck engines mostly operate at slower speeds and will only go up in RPMs as the transmission briefly shifts 5-6 gears. Marine engines only operate with 1 gear. A common misconception is that a marine engine with low hours is a better engine than one with higher hours. An idle marine engine is prone corrosion and lack of lubrication. Due to the constant use of truck and industrial diesel engines they will often last much longer than their marine brothers.
It is this usage profile that drives the engineering differences between industrial and marine engines. The two main reasons why marine engines are built differently than industrial engines is because of the risk of fire and the corrosion. Marine engines are subjugated to a constant barrage of humidity and exposure to water. This exposure to water (often times salt water) will deteriorate cast iron and steel pretty quickly if not mitigated. Industrial engines usually operate in dry environments, are stored out of the weather and do not have to worry about fuel leakage on ancillary components or on the road.
Starter – The starter on a marine application is coated in an epoxy instead of just regular paint or a bare casting used for an industrial diesel application. The epoxy coating is a rust preventative used instead of aluminum, industrial cast iron or steel material. A marine starter is also sealed at certain points to keep the water out. The casings on a marine starter are spot welded for extra strength to keep from breaking. An automotive or industrial engine, running gasoline and not diesel, can split and allow sparks into the engine bilge.
Alternator – With a marine rated alternator, near the screen there is an additional plate behind the fan. There is also an additional spark arrestor screen on the back. These plates keep a spark from entering the bilge. Engine fires at sea are no joke and every measure to prevent them must be taken.
Distributors – With gasoline powered marine engines the distributor and distributor cap are points of corrosion and fire hazard. The distributor’s job is to route secondary high voltage current to the spark plug so that it may fire in the correct order. This piece of equipment can pose a significant fire hazard and must be upgraded for marine applications. Automotive distributors have an automatic vacuum advance whereas marine distributors do not due to increased risk of a spark. A pressurized vacuum adds stress to the internal components and increases the likelihood of structural failure. Marine distributors contain different internal operating arrangements. The springs are heavier to sustain higher constant RPMs. The points also do not float in marine distributors vs. an automotive or industrial distributor. The spark arrestor vent and distributor caps are also different in marine applications. They are usually made of brass to prevent corrosion. In automotive applications the vent, caps and terminals are all made from aluminum. The brass terminals are actually much better conductors of electricity and stand up to the humid environment much better. Look for electrical components that are rated SAEJ1171; this international rating means the part is safe for marine applications.
Carburetor – Diesel engines do not use a carburetor. A carburetor is a device that blends air and fuel mixture. Diesel engines are all fuel injected and are designed for ignition using compression. Automotive gasoline marine engines that use a carburetor have a strengthened body to prevent fires. Firstly, in marine rated carburetors there is an overflow dam to prevent fuel spillage. Secondly, to prevent fuel flooding issues, there is a strengthened cover over the carburetor and intake manifold. If this chamber floods with fuel it will be contained and go back into the carburetor. There is also an extra bracket to keep the fuel line securely connected to the carburetor. The throttle shifts are grooved in such a way to prevent fuel from puddling. The grooved lines will always keep fuel flowing towards the blades.
Fuel Pump – In a marine application the fuel pump is a dual diaphragm design. In automotive and industrial diesel applications the fuel pump is a single diaphragm design. The reason for the dual design is to create a fail-safe if that compartment ruptures. Especially with gasoline engines if that section fails it will pour fuel all over the bilge. In an automotive application if that diaphragm fails it will spill fuel all over the ground. A high performance marine fuel pump will also contain a bleed-off line if the diaphragm ruptures. The bleed off-line will push fuel back into the carburetor instead of the engine bilge.
Water Pump – Marine water pumps vary differently from automotive or industrial water pumps. Some water pumps are open systems and use raw seawater to cool the engine. Marine water pumps come with stamped stainless steel brackets as aluminum will rust. The majority of the body is either stainless steel or epoxy. Automobile water pumps will most times come without paint and are subject to corrosion. The internal components of the water pump are all manufactured using brass or anodized aluminum. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts a metal surface to a corrosion anodic oxide finish. Automotive or industrial engines will simply use a stamped steel impeller. A marine water pump will feature a brass bi-directional impeller which requires no anti-freeze.
Camshafts – Marine camshafts versus industrial camshafts have different grinds. RV and On-Road Trucks have pretty much the same grinds but marine engines have intake/exhaust valves that overlap. The camshafts usually are ground to have a high lift and shorter duration for more lower end torque at high RPMs not horsepower like many performance camshafts.
Freeze Plugs – In marine engines all of the core plugs are made of brass to prevent corrosion. Coolant passages should also be coated in corrosion resistant material.
Gaskets and Housings – Gaskets are all made with composite plastics. Head gaskets are made with stainless steel to prevent corrosion.
Intake Manifold – The intake is manufactured with dual planes, ceramic rollers and seals.
Bearings – Bearings are typically larger in marine engines to handle constant RPMs. The larger size helps stand up to wear better. Bearings are also corrosion resistant and made of stainless steel.
Pistons – Pistons in marine engines are usually geared towards higher compression. They don’t need the dish style heads. Emissions technology on older marine engines is still subjugated to EPA Tier Ratings and must have exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR), diesel particulate filters (DPF), catalytic converters and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
Rings – The rings on marine engines must also take into account for wet environments. The rings are manufactured out of stainless steel or chrome molybdenum.
Blocks – The engine blocks in both industrial and marine applications are generally the same. On the automotive side it is speculated that General Motors sells about 15% of its engine blocks directly to Mercruiser. There really is no difference between the blocks. If the engine blocks are used in freshwater applications there really isn’t too much additional need as far as corrosion technology goes. The sumps are sometimes built with copper or brass but is not typically standard. Marine rated blocks are sometimes all coated in anti-corrosion spray to avoid moisture. When the block does break down it turns into a powder or shale that is easily expelled via the cooling system. Automotive / Industrial Engines that breakdown can block oil and water passages. For heavy duty marine applications some engine blocks are rated stronger than their industrial counterparts to handle sustained RPMs. Specific marine rated blocks are sometimes casted with more nickel to prevent corrosion.
Overall the torque curve with marine engines is different than truck engines. With marine diesel engines they are constantly at 4,500 – 5,000 RPMs for hours on end. Truck engines only sustain high RPMs for a short period before shifting to a different gear. Marine rated engine blocks will be manufactured with the additional heat and pressure of sustained RPMs.
Cylinder Head, Rods, Crankshaft – Every part of the engine can be adapted for marine rated. Aftermarket companies will sell performance cylinder heads, connecting rods and even marine rated crankshafts. However, for most drop in diesel engines you do not need to specifically install marine rated heads, connecting rods or crankshafts.
Overall, marine and industrial strength diesel engines are not much different from a design perspective. It really boils down to the various ancillary parts that are built for corrosion or fire prevention. It is always best to check with a marine mechanic to make sure an industrial diesel engine will work with the application you have. Running the engine serial number before you purchase is crucial to getting the engine that will work for your needs.
Take a look at three new engines shipping out. We take great pride in building our own pallets, wrapping them in protective shrink wrap, supplying break-in instructions and nose loading them during transit.
Technology is progressing at an ever increasing rate. The future is now! It seems you can’t go a day without reading about robots, self driving cars or even the new Hyperloop projects which will transport people hundreds of miles in mere minutes. Many of those in the automotive and transportation sectors believe diesel engines best days are behind them. A team of scientists however believe there is still use left for the diesel engines in the world of tomorrow.
A team of researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland are working on a different fuel source for the engines known as Dimethyl Ether (DME). DME is a biofuel derived from methane. Methane is commonly captured from decomposing organic material, agriculture, waste and coal and reused as a fuel source. DME is viewed as a clean diesel fuel source and will be able to be used with existing diesel engines.
The problem with electric or hydrogen based engines is that every truck, bus or agriculture vehicle would have to replace or adapt its existing engine. This wouldn’t be the first massive change to diesel engine design. Manufactures were forced to re-engineer diesel engines with emissions abatement technology in the late 1990s. Fortunately, the EPA Tier Regulations first brought forth in 1994, offered a gradual approach to reducing emissions regulations over a period of 30 years, thus allowing manufactures time to perfect the technology. Older less efficient diesel engines currently in use were allowed to be grandfathered in.
The use of DME as a fuel source could be the solution the to the emissions problem without sacrificing horsepower, torque or costly maintenance repairs. The transition to DME would be fairly simple for manufacturers who will be able to adapt current technology of existing motors rather than design a new engine from scratch.
Diesel fuel has always had a bit of an image problem due to the emissions the engines create. Just recently China vowed to ban the use of diesel engines in the coming years. Europe is also on board with the UK and France introducing a plan to phase out both new diesel and gas engine manufacturing starting in the year 2040. India, not wanting to be left behind, announced they are committing $2 billion to developing second hand biofuels. All countries are looking towards alternative fuels as demand for energy grows and supply diminish.
Mr. Ahmed Osman, a scientist, working on the DME project at Queen’s University, stated, “Diesel fuel is finite and the world will eventually run out of oil and gas, quite possibly, by the second half of this century. As a result, there is a real need for clean renewable energy sources.”
DME produces virtually no toxins, unlike fossil fuels. The new fuel source is also incredibly easy to store and transport as its natural state is a gas much like propane. However, it can also be stored as liquid for filling stations. Mr. Ahmed believe that DME has limitless possibilities including a heating and cooking oil replacement, transportation fuel or used in mass quantities for power generation.
DME is not a new product but has been around for decades, mostly in use as a propellant. During the 1990s when CFCs were banned, DME gasses were uses as a suitable replacement in aerosol containers. Some countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Japan, Korea and Japan have used it for energy as well. There is no smoke or fumes with DME and can be produced from renewable sources such as food waste in landfills.
Nobody knows what the future will hold for diesel. Prolific diesel engine manufacturer, Cummins Inc., is hedging their bets by developing electric engine technology of their own. Just a few weeks ago they were the first company to introduce the very first electric powered semi-truck. While many companies are putting their money into electric powered research others are not quite ready to abandon diesel technology. US based Obreon Fuels is one such company that is banking its future on the diesel engine and DME.
President of Obreon Fuels, Rebecca Boudreaux, believes that diesel will be here to stay. She stated, “Compression engines are extremely powerful which is why they have been used around the world for a very long time. DME behaves just like diesel in these engines.” Where diesel has an advantage over gas or electric engines is the greater potential energy stored in the fuel. The more energy available for compression means the greater torque generated for pulling heavy loads. Diesel will always be the fuel of choice for fuel efficiency and trucking.
The commitment to alternative fuel sources has grown increasingly from a back burner idea just a few years ago to a full fledged movement within the automotive industry. The Big 3 Automakers have been tinkering around with alternative fuels for roughly 10-15 years but only now have the prototypes moved into actual production. Mack Trucks is one of the companies with eye on the future.
For over 100 years Mack has been producing “tough as nails” diesel engines and heavy duty off-road industrial equipment. Over that time period they have seen their fair share of changes in the market. Mack Trucks was acquired by Volvo in 2000 but still produces trucks in conjunction with Volvo. The company is enthusiastic about DME and began testing the fuel with Obreon Fuels this year. The companies partnered up with New York City’s Department of Sanitation to test DME fuel in its fleet of Mack Pinnacle Trucks. The data gathered will help the companies develop a fuel and engine that runs optimally for both on-road and off-road applications.
Director of Product Strategy at Mack Trucks, Roy Horton, believes diesel engines will be around for a long time and are excited about the use of the DME with existing technology. Mr. Horton stated, “Our long-term outlook on diesel is that it will still be around for many years to come, and regarding the engine development, we have proven that the engine technology is capable.”
DME is certainly an exciting opportunity for the diesel engine industry and only time will tell if this fuel source could be the next big thing for the industry.
Capital Reman Exchange is proud to call Colorado our home. Based in the Mile High City, we call the Capitol City of Colorado our home, but ensure it is our client’s capital equipment and trust we strive to earn each and every day. We achieve trust through hands on ownership and an employee base that is second to none in skill and training.
Our modern facilities and equipment include our full machine shop and separate engine building departments. These facilities help keep Capital Reman Exchange a cut above the competition and allows us the flexibility to work with customers who are individual owners, fleet managers or anywhere on the spectrum.
We a certified AERA (Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association) machine shop. Our team of in-house diesel experts are qualified to assist you with:
- Remanufactured Diesel Engines
- Used Diesel Engines
- Camshafts and Followers
- Cylinder Heads
- Connecting Rods
- Rocker Assemblies
- Inframe and Overhaul Kits
We believe our consultative approach to solving diesel engine problems helps to craft the perfect solution to fit your specific application. Call us today, we would love to help you with all of your heavy duty engine needs!
All OEM manufacturer’s brand name, tradename, symbols or descriptions are for internal reference only. Any statement, website content, advertisement, literature or brochure should NOT be interpreted or implied as having any direct relationship with OEM manufacturers or their respective dealer network. Under no circumstance is any engine part or engine advertised by Capital Reman Exchange, LLC affiliated with any OEM manufacturers which includes but not limited to Caterpillar®, Cummins®, Detroit Diesel®, Mack®, John Deere®, Komatsu®, Waukesha®.