Future Powertrain Conference (FPC2020) is a two-day UK event which brings together industry and academic experts in the field of powertrain development. Presentations and discussions are held on the solutions to challenges faced by the engineering industry in the UK and internationally over the next ten years. With over 50 presenters and more than 200 companies attending, this event is seen as key to helping strengthen the UK engineering community and to meeting future challenges. This year the conference took place on 4th and 5th March, at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.
Project Perseus was showcased at this year’s event by project partner HSSMI. Whilst the project is in a nascent phase, it’s important that its scope and ambition is highlighted at events such as FPC. Perseus was represented alongside two other ongoing HSSMI projects – Valuable and E:PriME.
Through the lens of simulation, Perseus looks at optimal process and layout design for repurposed manufacturing lines for EDU manufacture. The project explores scenarios linked to changes in volume, layout, cycle times, component design and operations. Simulation provides analysis and enables pragmatic, data driven considerations before sizeable real-world investments are made.
A secondary objective of attending FPC was to gain knowledge of the latest technology and trends in future powertrain development. Project Perseus supports engineers in developing their career in this quickly evolving field. In attending some of the conference sessions, we learned that:
- UK manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce the reliance on raw materials and rare earths from unstable global regions. Various manufacturers are already developing magnet-free electric motors.
- Hydrogen technologies will become increasingly more important in the coming years, but more attention needs to be paid to how hydrogen is being produced and how clean that process is. Renewable energies will be key for this.
- Electric vehicle charging will significantly affect the electrical grid. A lot of research is underway to avoid overloading the electric network. The national grid in the UK is focusing on the development of a smart and flexible future grid capacity, to accommodate the changing landscape.