Volvo Group this week announced that four Korean engineers received the 2011 Volvo Technology Award for their work in refining the hydraulic system used in Volvo Construction Equipment’s excavators. The resultant improvement in system efficiency is yielding fuel savings of up to 15 percent.
The award was presented by Volvo Group CEO Leif Johansson at the Group’s annual general meeting on April 6.
“As an engineer by profession, I always find it satisfying to see how skilled ‘everyday’ engineering can yield such fantastic results,” Johansson said. “In this case, intelligent ideas were used to refine the conventional hydraulic system and achieve a fuel saving of almost 15 percent. Not only does this benefit the customer’s pocket; it also helps to reduce environmental impact.”
The 2011 Volvo Technology Award recognizes what is often termed ‘frugal engineering.’ Applying intelligent solutions, the award-winning team of engineers at the Volvo CE production plant in Changwon, Korea, made refinements to the excavator hydraulics that yielded an improvement of 11 to 15 percent in fuel efficiency, depending on the application. As a result, Volvo CE’s excavators are now so efficient that they use about 10-percent less fuel than the best comparable machines of their competitors, according to the company. The team adapted the electronic system used to control the machine’s on-board hydraulic pump to make its improvements.
Compared with new fuel-saving technologies, such as hybrid solutions, the award-winning design has much less impact on product cost, Volvo said.
To date, the design has been awarded one patent, while a further five patent applications have been filed in Korea, the U.S. and the EU.
The four award-winners are: Heagyoon Joung and Sanghee Lee, both of Volvo CE Technology Platform, Hydraulic Systems, and Dongsoo Kim and Hungju Shin, both of Volvo CE Technology Platform, Electric & Electronic Systems.
Instituted in 1988, the Volvo Technology Award was presented this year for the 24th time. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding technological achievements by Volvo Group personnel, which help to raise the Group’s technological image and promote initiatives that will advance its technological expertise in the years ahead.
Headquartered in Göteborg, Sweden, The Volvo Group is a leading manufacturer of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications and aerospace components.