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Friday
Jan292016

The Butterfly Effect

Jenvey Dynamics has introduced a new line of custom lightweight butterfly intake systems that, it claims, are 43% lighter than its existing range of intakes. Solid under the “Ultra-Light” name, these intakes are aimed at racers in competitive race series that are looking to get every ounce and lb.-ft. of torque possible out of their vehicles. Jenvey also introduced a custom profiled butterfly intake system that is port-matched to the customer’s specific engine.

According to Jenvey Dynamics Ltd. managing director, Mike Jenvey, “[Our] TB45s have been enormously successful, but we identified a number of areas where further improvements could be made, the most eye-catching being a 43% weight reduction without compromising durability or performance.” The weight reduction was achieved through the use of Finite Element Analysis of the throttle body. While removing unnecessary weight, the engineers also added extra bracing to improve strength and durability.

Jenvey’s Ultra-Light TU45s will be sold alongside the existing TB45 kits, and include a lightweight throttle linkage with a smoother, graduated operation. All Jenvey throttle bodies are designed, tested and manufactured in-house, and are available in a crackle black paint finish.

Competitors running high-end race motors can take advantage of Jenvey’s new bespoke design service. It creates a complete matched intake system by taking a port-matched throttle body, and altering the profile of the butterfly to match to it. This creates a more consistent air flow path profile from inlet trumpet to cylinder head, reduces induction system restrictions, and helps to optimize flow to the engine. — CAS

Thursday
Nov262015

Dan Gurney’s Magical “Moment”

By Christopher A. Sawyer

Dan Gurney not only has a reputation as one of America’s greatest racing drivers and team owners, but as an intellectually curious man. Now 84 years old, Gurney is not sitting on the sidelines waiting for the inevitable, he’s hard at work on a new project, the Moment Cancelling 4 Stroke (MC4S) engine. Only he’s not willing to talk in any detail about the project, waiting for the first test engine to be built and tested before he gores beyond what little he’s already said. The patent application for the engine is up on the All American Racers website, but little else is known about the project.

After speaking with those familiar with the situation, it’s apparent his silence means only one thing: He’s on to something. After reading the patent, slogging through its legalese, and ignoring the straight-cut gears shown in the patent drawings, it’s pretty obvious they’re right. The MC4S is not only a perfect fit for motorcycles and light aircraft, but for an increasing number of cars and light truck applications as well. Its natural balance and impressive estimated power figures point to a design that is as at home under the hood of a sports or luxury car as it is next to the battery pack of a range-extended EV. However, Gurney isn’t about to get caught up in speculation.

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Thursday
Nov262015

3D Smart Glasses at VW

After a three-mont pilot program, 3D smart glasses are now standard equipment for logistics personnel at VW’s Wolfsburg assembly plant. The glasses place all necessary information, like storage location or part number, in the user’s field of view, and can be activated either by touch or voice. The camera mounted in the glasses frame also acts as a barcode reader, and correct barcodes on parts removed from the storage location are shown in green while parts incorrectly removed are shown in red. Currently, 30 employees in various areas are working with the smart glasses, and other departments, plants and brands within the VW Group plan to use the glasses. — CAS

Thursday
Nov262015

Printing Circuit Boards

The folks at DuPont are in the midst of launching a new family of in-mold electronic inks that will reduce the need for rigid circuit boards in many products. These inks make it possible to print circuits directly onto plastic substrates, and can withstand the rigors of both thermoforming and injection molding. This means they can be used for items like electronic buttons, switches and slides, and integrated into their design. This will reduce both the weight and cost of these parts (by up to 20% and 50%, respectively), as well as providing design and manufacturing advantages. Assembly is made easier as there is only a single connection point, and no wires behind the console. — CAS


Thursday
Nov262015

Grading Papers Land Rover Style

Land Rover suggests this is an amazing feat for its Range Rover SUV, but it is more an example of the the brilliance of the architectural arch and of the ancient Romans for recognizing its importance in making strong, lightweight bridges.

Like theses ancient bridges, the span Land Rover created in Suzhou, China, was constructed over a temporary falsework frame called a centring. Over this was laid 54,390 sheets of high quality paper supplied by Britain’s James Cropper PLC. It took three days to complete the bridge.

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