New test centre for Volvo Penta

Engines put to the test on busy port

Engine builder Volvo Penta has opened its first dedicated industrial engine testing facility, located in the Port of Gothenburg. It is designed to allow more in-depth analysis of engine testing, in addition to testing on a real-life job site.

The company has operated a marine engine test center near Gothenburg for many years, but the new facility will focus specifically on material handling applications. It will fully operational by December.

The facility is operated in conjunction with the Gothenburg Roro Terminal (roll-on/roll-off) ), a company specialising in roll-on/roll-off cargo in trailers and railroad cars, as well as automobile handling, which works around the clock to move freight on and off ships or into temporary storage.

Volvo Penta has been closely connected to the Gothenburg Roro Terminal for many years, with the company’s engines installed in around half of the roro terminal’s machines. Since 2010 Volvo Penta has tested Stage IV/Tier 4 Final engines in three of Gothenburg Roro Terminal’s terminal tractors.

Gothenburg Roro Terminal is a convenient venue for testing because of its close proximity to Volvo Penta’s headquarters, as well as its high-volume production; the terminal handles over 10 million tons of cargo each year, primarily paper but also steel and specialized goods.

Two engine field tests – in a MAFI MT 32 and MAFI MT 45 – are still ongoing. The MT 32 is installed with a Volvo Penta 8-liter engine and can haul up to 35 tonnes in its trailer, while the MT 45, equipped with a D11, can carry up to 95 tonnes of SECU (Stora Enso cargo unit) boxes.

“Volvo Penta can do a test on the road, but it’s not the same as in here – our machines are always going at full throttle, moving up and down boat ramps, and carrying heavy loads,” says Göran Dittmer, technical engineer at the Gothenburg Roro Terminal. “Volvo Penta gets good data from us.”

With the designation of the Gothenburg Roro Terminal as an official test center, however, Volvo Penta can take testing a step further. Later in the year, the company will put several of its own Volvo Penta-equipped machines into the hands of Gothenburg Roro Terminal. The arrangement benefits the port with the use of several new terminal tractors while allowing Volvo Penta to conduct even more detailed testing – and better pinpoint and adapt its engines to the needs and demands of a busy roro terminal. Volvo Penta is also aiming to have its engines in a straddle carrier and reach stacker at the port, allowing it to test engine behavior in a variety of machines.

The new Volvo-owned machines will work in the port as usual, but they will also be available for application testing in Gothenburg Roro Terminal’s shop. “We can access our own machines more freely,” says Mario Celegin, one of Volvo Penta’s engine development testing managers. “It’s hard for us to do application testing on their machines when they work as many as 200 hours a month. This new arrangement also allows us to test our machines in real conditions without having to invest in a site of our own.”

Besides testing fuel consumption, Volvo Penta can also look closely at emissions, engine quality, fault codes, serviceability and driver experience. It can also test upcoming features, software updates and accessories and make any necessary modifications during the testing process. The company will also use the facility for marketing activities, training and seminars.


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