The art of noise

Quieter, more refined engines are becoming a top priority for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Perkins is supporting this quest for quietness with the new Perkins® Syncro 2.8L and 3.6L, engines that are 50 percent quieter than any previous platform.

The human ear is a sensitive organ. Every sound it hears – from a child’s cry to the noise of a tractor engine – is quickly transformed into an emotional reaction.

When it comes to firing up an agricultural machine, the sound an engine makes gives us our first perception of quality. If it’s loud and crude, we expect the machine to perform poorly. If it’s quiet and refined, we have greater confidence in what it can do.

Aside from being an important symbol of quality, there are more reasons why reduced engine noise matters to OEMs. For example, it supports their efforts to meet local NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) regulations. It reduces the amount they need to spend on their own noise-reduction features and provides a competitive advantage by allowing them to market a lower-noise machine. From an operator’s perspective it also means a more comfortable experience and improved health and safety.

The art of noise

Setting new noise standards

All of these factors were front of mind when our engineers developed the new Perkins® Syncro 2.8L and 3.6L. From the earliest planning stage, we set out to cut 3 dB from previous models, which is a radical reduction of 50 percent in engine noise.

“Our philosophy of ‘quiet by design’ has been at the heart of the Perkins Syncro engine range. We focused on both mechanical and combustion noise to achieve our targets,” said noise and vibration engineering specialist Vicki Lovell. “Mechanical noise is everything you hear as individual components get to work powering your engine, including its gears, pistons and teeth. Combustion noise originates from the pressure and forces in the cylinder when combustion events occur.”

Hitting this ambitious target required fundamental changes to the engine. The most significant of these was shifting the engine’s gear train to the rear of the unit.

“We’ve taken one of the noisier engine components and embedded it in a cast-iron flywheel housing at the rear of the engine,” said Vicki. “By optimising its design in the new location, we’ve achieved a large reduction in mechanical noise.”

Components across the engine, including the cylinder block, crank, pistons and more, have all been designed with low noise in mind, as the Perkins team left no stone unturned.

Reducing engine noise required collaboration across the business involving our NVH team, simulation team, designers, architects and performance engineers. They worked closely at every step to identify opportunities to keep the power up, but the volume down.

Benefits to shout about

Results from extensive testing show that the new engines successfully meet our class-leading noise-reduction targets.

“Customers can choose to bank this extra noise reduction and market their application as lower-noise, giving them competitive advantages,” said Vicki. “Or, they could use it to take expensive acoustic treatment out of each machine, giving them a significant profit boost.”

So, as noise becomes an increasingly important point of difference for machine manufacturers, Perkins is setting new standards to keep your business ahead of the rest.

What are customers saying about the Perkins® Syncro 2.8L and 3.6L?

“We’ve had fantastic feedback from customers running the Perkins Syncro 2.8L and 3.6L in telehandlers, excavators and wheel loaders. Reduced noise has made working in the cab less tiring and easier to work around sensitive, high-value livestock,” said Perkins business development engineer James Reed.

“The Perkins Syncro 2.8L and 3.6L meet the needs of a new generation of operator looking for a quiet working environment where they can use their phone and take care of other business while their machine is running.”