ABB Turbo Systems Ltd of Switzerland and gearing specialist INA Schaeffler KG (INA) of Germany have signed an agreement to co-operate in the development of variable valve train technology for diesel and gas engines in the power range above 400 kW. The agreement reflects a wish by the two companies to develop a VVT system which can be easily installed on engines and integrated into engine control units.

ABB sees such a variable valve train system as being essential for modern engines with the high pressure or 2-stage turbocharging systems it currently has under development.

‘VVT is a perfect fit for our two-stage turbocharging systems’ says Oliver Riemenschneider, head of sales and marketing at ABB Turbo. The advantages of the combination lie in the areas of emissions reduction and/or fuel efficiency as well as improved starting, part-load and transient behaviour. The VVT system will be based on INA’s UniAir VVT system for automotive applications and allows controlled variation of the valve timing as well as variation of the valve lift.

The fit is good in other ways. INA brings its expertise in VVT technology for cars and its production know-how, and ABB Turbo its market access through early involvement in new engine development plus a strong global sales and service organisation.

The new VVT system will target 4-stroke engines used in the marine and stationary power plant sectors. The agreement foresees production of the VVT system by INA and marketing, consulting and application engineering being carried out by ABB.

A prototype of the new VVT system is scheduled to be ready for testing on an engine in the first quarter of 2010.