A solid plan for China Nonroad Stage IV

The next level of emission standards are now being planned by Chinese Authorities. These standards, known as China Nonroad Stage IV, are similar to the U.S. EPA Tier 4 Interim standards and the EU Stage IIIB standards. The emissions standards will impact agricultural and construction machines including excavators, wheeled loaders, forklift trucks and agricultural tractors among others.

The levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have been fixed, but the introduction dates and some of the technical details are yet to been finalised. Perkins already has technology solutions to successfully meet these very low levels of exhaust gas emissions and can deliver engines that are not only clean but which deliver low fuel consumption, high productivity and are very reliable.

“Our original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are asking us many questions about China Nonroad Stage IV,” said Jaz Gill, Perkins Vice President, Sales, Marketing, Service and Parts. “While it is too early for OEMs to be building prototype machines, we expect OEMs to be working on their strategy, and machine concepts. This will mean thinking about which suppliers have the right technology experience, what their future product range will look like, how much investment will be required and what new skills will they need in their teams. 

The Perkins® Syncro 3.6 litre engine
The Perkins® Syncro 3.6 litre engine on show at Bices 2017 has been designed to meet the next level of emission standards in China.

“As an engine supplier with more than 85 years’ experience to draw on, we’ve been through many emissions changes in the past around the world. China Nonroad Stage IV will be a big change for OEMs, but with the right planning and by partnering with an experienced company like Perkins, it will be a smooth process.”

Different technologies

Working closely with equipment manufacturers in China, and through our own experienced teams located in Shanghai and Wuxi, we understand both the market and the customer requirements.

At China Nonroad Stage IV, the level of emission standards will require manufacturers to implement different technologies across the power ranges. There is no one single ‘perfect solution’ as the right technology at 50 kW, for example, will be different from the technology required at 150 kW, and different again from the right solution at 250 kW.

The technologies that Perkins will use for different engines in the range includes electronic control, common rail fuel systems, advanced turbocharging, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOC). Our technology choices will be confirmed when the emissions standards are finalised.

For many machines in China, this will be the first level of emission standards for which aftertreatment will be required. “It is important not to think of this as simply adding technology, like aftertreatment, to an existing China Nonroad Stage III engine,” explained George Zhang, North Asia Regional Marketing Manager. “The different technologies need to be designed and integrated to work together, to deliver the best solution. Only by taking this approach is it possible to deliver the reliability that our customers need.”

Perkins is experienced in developing low emission engines

Over the years we have worked through emissions reductions in regions like North America, Europe, and Japan, utilising a range of technologies including common rail, SCR, DOCs and diesel particulate filters (DPFs). As an experienced engine manufacturer, Perkins has produced over 200,000 off-highway engines that meet or surpass the emissions requirements of China Nonroad Stage IV. These engines have run over 500,000,000 hours and power more than 2,000 different machine models.

While Perkins has met these emissions standards before, the solutions that we will introduce for China Nonroad Stage IV, will be different from those that were implemented for Europe and America. Perkins will offer customers a full range of engines from 6 to 470 kW.

“China is a very interesting market, and has some specific requirements,” explained David Nicoll, Global Marketing Director at Perkins. “Our products need to deliver a lifetime of low cost and also be extremely reliable. Our development activities are focused in our research and development centre in Wuxi, so our team really understand what is required by Chinese customers. We also have many experienced team members from our offices in the UK and USA who have years of direct experience of low emissions engines.”

Off-highway experts

A specialist in off-highway diesel engines, Perkins is used to designing and integrating engines for challenging machines such as excavators which have high duty cycles, high tilt angles and which operate in dirty conditions. For such applications the engine also needs to withstand the shocks and bumps caused by operating on rough ground.

“When you select a Perkins engine to power an off-highway machine, you know that it has been designed for that purpose and that it has been tested to work, time and time again, in really tough conditions,” stated George.

China Nonroad Stage IV – A time of change for the China machine industry

Perkins believes that Stage IV will impact many aspects of the China machine industry. In other countries that have gone through a similar transition to low emissions engines, there has been a move towards downsizing, for example, machines that were previously powered by a 6 litre engine, moved to a 4 litre engine. One of the main reasons for this change is that OEMs need to free up space for aftertreatment without completely redesigning the whole machine. Another consideration is that the technology which enables reduced emissions, can also be used to obtain more torque and power from the engine.

“OEMs quickly see the benefit of a smaller, lighter engine” said George. “They can make machines that are very productive and yet which are smaller and lighter. Fuel consumption is also improved with smaller engines.”

Over the last few years Chinese customers have continued to demand a higher level of quality and Perkins expects this demand to continue at Stage IV. More complicated than Stage III engines, Stage IV engines will feature more components and new technologies including electronic controls and aftertreatment. To ensure OEMs have a reliable machine, they will need to select an engine supplier which is used to building engines to a high quality standard in China. Perkins is proud that it has continued to improve engine reliability at the same time as reducing emissions standards in China.