The Advantages of Jacobs Modular Technologies
Although Jacobs’ product portfolio contains different valve actuation technologies to serve various purposes, many of these are modular and compatible with each other. This gives OEMs the flexibility to specify one Jacobs technology individually or multiple technologies together. This provides the OEMs the flexibility they are looking for within their engine platform, which are very much global platforms nowadays: tailor the valvetrain technology towards regional emission regulations, applications (e.g. On- or Off-Highway use), or performance demands.
A good example is Jacobs’ High Power Density technology (HPD). If the engine’s valvetrain already includes the HPD rocker brake, it’s possible to also incorporate Cylinder Deactivation (CDA) technology for lower NOx emissions and improved fuel economy. It’s also an option to add Active Decompression Technology (ADT) to HPD so that the engine benefits from smoother start-ups, faster starting times, and shutdown without cabin vibration. HPD in itself is modular to a standard Compression Release rocker brake as well; one can choose between the two while making use of the same base hardware.
Modularity also gives OEMs the freedom to specify engines according to regional market demands and emissions regulations. A clear example of this is seen in the differing requirements in the United States and Europe. In the U.S., CDA can help OEMs comply with the tightening rules on engine emissions at low loads and idling, with a focus on NOx reduction. And in Europe, where regulations place more emphasis on emissions at medium and higher engine loads through a focus on CO2 reduction, those same OEMs can instead choose to equip their engine with LIVC (late intake valve closing).
Another advantage of modularity is that it helps OEMs “futureproof” engine platforms. If the engine’s valvetrain already incorporates one Jacobs technology, there’s the potential to add another later in the engine’s manufacturing life. This can be done without having to make large hardware alterations besides the valve bridges.
To integrate the valve bridge system (fixed or collapsible), Jacobs typically works closely with OEMs right from the start of their engine design and re-design programs. This is the best time to consider whether other advanced valve actuation technologies could be needed in the future and whether valve bridge packaging should allow for the possible future addition of more solenoids and solenoid drivers. Designing in the most complex system from the start then allows the OEM to populate the desired features as a build option. As necessary.
Modularity has two other benefits. One is the common componentry shared by Jacobs’ various products, which optimizes the validation process and contains costs. Another is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that Jacobs’ valve actuation technologies are making use of the same hardware as the well-known engine brakes from Jacobs, which are well-proven over many millions of miles. Jacobs’ modular designs have opened the door to flexible choices and technological progress without risk.