Firms Deepen a Long-Term Customer-Supplier Relationship
Westport Innovations is talking up a joint development agreement with Delphi Automotive to “help entrench” Westport’s HPDI (high pressure direct injection) as the “leading natural gas technology platform” for heavy-duty engines.
The companies are to combine their intellectual property and engineering strengths to co-develop and manufacture high-pressure natural gas fuel injectors for multiple OEM engines, including the injectors for Westport’s HPDI 2.0 (F&F, December 10).
Delphi has for some years supplied injectors Westport’s first-generation HPDI system (F&F, April 26, 2010).
‘A True Joint Development Agreement’
The difference? “This is now a collaboration between Westport and Delphi to design a new series of injectors,” says Jim Arthurs, Westport executive VP for heavy duty engine systems.
“For the first time,” he told F&F, “this is actually a true joint development agreement.”
Under the agreement, Westport says,
- Westport is combining more than twenty years of natural gas high-pressure direct injection research with Delphi’s “deep, comprehensive and innovative powertrain technology portfolio to create and manufacture a mass-market-ready natural gas injector to power multiple engine platforms;”
- Westport invest in tooling, manufacturing, assembly, and end-of-line test equipment “within Delphi’s state-of-the-art, global production footprint;” and
- Delphi will provide injector designers and engineering resources to work with Westport’s experts to optimize design, development, manufacturing, and assembly of the injectors.
Based on current OEM projections, Westport says, the firms plan to develop annual production capacity in excess of 100,000 injectors within the next four years.
Targeted injector features include
- a simplified design and smaller footprint with a single actuator “for simplified adaptability to multiple engine OEMs;”
- superior actuator performance derived from Delphi’s twin-valve technology for increased flow capacity and compatibility with high power and high power density;
- improved reliability and longer life; and
- costs significantly lower than the cost of current HPDI injectors, “meeting both the commercial and performance demands of diverse markets globally from Europe to North America to China.”
Intellectual property rights arising from the development program will be jointly owned, Westport says.
‘A Great Opportunity to Help Change the Trucking World’
“Delphi’s support for natural gas fuel systems and Westport HPDI means having an integrated and dedicated manufacturing partner to develop and produce components that will help create a landmark product with industry defining pricing, quality and performance characteristics for global engine OEMs,” Westport (Toronto:WPT; NASDAQ:WPRT) CEO David Demers said in a release.
“Delphi sees natural gas as an important part of mainstream transportation and believes that Westport HPDI will be the industry standard technology for natural gas-powered heavy-duty applications,” Delphi CTO Jeff Owens says in the Westport announcement. “Working with Westport to create a highly scalable, quality production partnership and reduce system pricing for HPDI is a great opportunity to help change the trucking world.”
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Source: Westport with Fleets & Fuels follow-up