British development offers prospect of improved engine performance and significantly reduced engine emissions
18 October 2004 - Camcon Technology, the UK inventor and developer of the Camcon binary actuation technology, today announced that it has signed a license agreement with Powertrain Ltd for inclusion of its technology in a joint programme known as 'Intelligent Valve Actuation' (IVA).
The licence will enable Powertrain Ltd, the Birmingham based engine and transmission manufacturer, to develop a camless pre-production engine prototype, based on Camcon's digital actuator, and follows an 18 month research and development programme undertaken by Camcon and Powertrain Ltd, at Camcon laboratories in Harston, near Cambridge.
The introduction of Camcon's digital actuator technology will allow each valve of the engine to be independently controlled; will support a number of lift positions; will allow for energy recovery to support low power consumption and provide low seating velocities to ensure durability and low noise. Intelligent Valve Actuation (IVA), as the product has been designated, will significantly improve the engine combustion efficiency, enhancing engine performance and fuel economy, whilst at the same time enabling reduced emissions from the engine.
Powertrain Ltd designs, manufactures and markets engine and transmission units for the automotive market. Its engines feature in a wide range of cars, 4x4's, sports cars and even hovercraft. Powertrain Ltd will develop advanced combustion systems using Camcon technology for gasoline and diesel engines.
Precise control over combustion has become a key consideration in design and development of next generation engines. In conventional valvetrains the mechanical relationship between valve and camshaft limits the flexibility of the control of combustion events.
IVA, developed specifically with Powertrain Ltd, provides a compact, low cost, low power consumption mechanism providing full control over valve actuation. As such it offers significant opportunities for developing advanced combustion systems with improved engine performance, economy and emissions.
"We are very pleased to enter a partnership with Powertrain Ltd. As a prototype development company we offer expertise and technology to our partners for subsequent manufacture, support and market distribution. Camcon technology will help Powertrain Ltd to change the way car engines are manufactured today," said Ian Anderson, Chief Operating Officer, Camcon Technology Ltd.
"IVA is a valve technology that has the potential to make camless engines a viable product. We believe that a partnership with Camcon Technology Ltd will enable our customers to reap early benefits of this innovative technology," said Alan Warburton, Powertrain Ltd Engineering Director.
The high-speed, low energy consumption and long life characteristics of the Camcon binary technology is set to have a considerable impact in a number of industries.
In addition to the specific application being developed in conjunction with Powertrain Ltd, the technology is appropriate in other areas including gas and liquid flow control, remote location and sub-sea oil services, automotive engine control and noise pollution reduction in the aviation industry.
Camcon's binary actuator fundamentally differs from the traditional valve designs. Using high power permanent magnets and a spring-loaded armature the configuration requires a very short electrical pulse to disrupt the magnetic field, causing the armature to switch from one stable position to another, thereby opening or closing the valve. No electric current needed to maintain the on or off position, creating a unique opportunity to drive even multiple valve systems from a local battery allowing precise and programmable delivery of any gas or fluid.
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Based in Cambridge, UK, Camcon Technology is a small fast growing company focused on the research and development of the Camcon binary actuator. Camcon binary actuating technology has been 15 years in development and is the invention of Camcon founder Wladyslaw Wygnanski.
The high-speed, low energy consumption, low heat dissipation and long life characteristics of the Camcon binary actuator mean that it has applications in a whole new range of areas, as well as being a replacement for existing actuator and valve technologies.
Camcon Technology licenses its technology to customers, typically on a field-of-use basis. The company develops pre-production prototypes for customers on a consultancy basis and then hands over designs either to its customers to manufacture in volume, or to a manufacturing partner.
For further information: www.camcontec.com.
Camcon is funded by ACUS Management Partners, an active management venture capitalist that specialises in funding early stage technology companies. For further information: www.acus.co.uk.
Powertrain Ltd designs, manufactures and markets the award winning K Series petrol engine family, the L Series diesel engine and the PG1 transmission to a client portfolio that includes MG, Rover, Land Rover, Lotus, Caterham and Gibbs. The business had a turnover of £212m in 2003. For further information: www.powertrainltd.com.
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