AUTOMOTIVE AND AEROSPACE INNOVATION AWARD

Winner: Ifield Technology

Runners-up: Parker Hannifin; MCP Equipment; HBM; TEC; Diesel Air Ltd

Inspired by the incessant braking and increasing pollution that characterise city driving, Ifield’s winning entry, the SHEP (stored hydraulic energy propulsion) regenerative transmission system has been developed over the past two decades and proven in arduous duty cycles.

At the centre of the design is a pump driven by the vehicle’s drive system. Force on the brake pedal actuates the pump which uses some of the vehicle’s kinetic energy and slows it down. The pump pushes hydraulic fluid through to high-pressure accumulators where it compresses nitrogen gas. Force on the accelerator then releases the pressure back through the system to power the vehicle forward, slashing fuel consumption and emissions.

Hydraulic power is used at lower speeds, up to a level where the engine becomes more efficient and can take over (usually at around 30mph). The system can be fitted to any vehicle, giving the benefit of increased acceleration from pollution-free hydraulic power.

Runners-up

MCP was a close runner-up with its casting system, which produces high-quality, cost-effective prototypes. It can model complex surfaces, fine detail and textures in plastic, metal or wax.

TEC worked with Vosper Thornycroft to develop a jet control system for Vospower water jets, resulting in a marine propulsion system that combines fuel efficiency with manoeuvrability.

HBM’s MCG press is a measurement and evaluation device for assembly processes, suited to the monitoring and control of press-fit applications in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

Parker Hannifin was shortlisted for its take-off selector valve for the truck industry, while Diesel Air impressed with its new lightweight diesel engine for aircraft.