Category Archives for "Fleet Maintenance News"

New Innovations In Heavy Duty Diesel Engines Guaranteed To Transform The Industry

Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine over 100 years ago, which was instrumental to the replacement of the steam engine. The diesel engine underwent various changes after the death of its inventor. Today, the diesel engine still has potential for modifications to increase its efficiency with regards to power output, fuel economy, and cleaner exhaust fumes.

The gasoline engine might have surpassed the diesel engine in terms of popularity, but recent advances in diesel engine fuel systems and engine technology are likely to make the diesel engine highly desirable for heavy transport, agriculture, and other systems in the coming years. Caterpillar, Cummins, and other leading diesel engine manufacturers are making advances in terms of refining the traditional diesel engine.

Numerous aspects of the diesel engine have been subject to treatments and modifications over the years in an attempt to increase its efficiency. Engine produce power through the ignition of a mixture of fuel and air to produce energy. In a gasoline engine, the initial ignition is performed by a spark plug. However, the ignition happens directly in a diesel engine without the use of a spark plug.

The air is initially introduced into the combustion chamber where it is subsequently compressed highly and it is heated to as high as 1000°F. Fuel is then injected directly via the pre-chamber into the combustion chamber. The fuel is vaporized due to the extreme heat and it ignites. As ignition heats the air further, it expands and drives the pistons that move the crankshaft.

The efficiency of diesel engines depends on how efficiently the fuel droplets are injected into the pre-chamber. The more widely distributed and the smaller the droplets are, the higher the efficiency of the diesel engine.

The most recent diesel engines have modified pre-chambers and combustion chambers for maximum combustion acoustical attenuation. The engines are turbocharged to ensure maximum power output and performance. The nitrous oxide fumes are then subjected to treatments such as Selective Catalytic reduction and Exhaust Gas Recirculation to minimize emissions in different ways.

The following is a detailed look at the treatments and modifications starting with those already implemented and those still under review.

Innovations in Heavy Duty Engines That Have Already Been Implemented

1. Engine Modifications

I. Combustion Chamber Modifications

Today’s heavy-duty diesel engines have combustion chambers configured and sized to ensure maximum rates of combustion. The greater the rate of combustion, the higher the fuel efficiency and power output and the lower the exhaust emissions.

II. Sound Attenuation

People often associate heavy-duty diesel engines with high noise levels. The noise usually occurs when starting the engine when the fuel is injected into the pre-chamber than vaporized at high temperatures. Advancements in sound attenuation strategies and materials have made it possible to reduce noise levels in these engines significantly.

This is achieved by installing sound attenuation pockets in the pre-chamber. The pockets are designed such that they nullify the detonation waves that combustion causes. The pockets may alternatively be filled with metallic ceramic or porous pellets coated with rhodium or platinum. Rhodium and platinum act as catalysts for ensuring complete combustions while the pellets attenuate the noise levels.

Other modifications for sound attenuation involve the placement of attenuating materials such as sintered or porous ceramic metal close to the mouth of the passage the connects the pre-chamber to the combustion chamber.

2. Advanced Fuel Treatments and Fuel Systems

I. Common Rail Fuel Injection

The Common Rail Fuel injection system is a type of direct fuel injection system that injects fuel from the fuel tank into separate piezoelectric or solenoid valves. Fuel is stored in the fuel tank at high pressures. The CRF is an injection system monitored electronically that allows for more control over the quantity and time of the fuel injection.

The Common Rail Fuel injection system is designed to maintain high-pressure levels to homogenize the mixture of air and fuel by facilitating finer fuel vaporization. This ensures complete combustion and leads to higher power output and lower emissions. Advances in the system include modifications that allow for up to 5 fuel injections for every combustion cycle, which improves fuel economy.

II. Fuel Composition

Diesel fuel usually contains high levels of sulfur. During combustion, diesel fuel produces high particulate matter emissions that tend to clog emission devices and affect the performance of engines. However, a newer version of diesel fuel has been formulated with a lower sulfur content thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that went into effect in 2006.

3. Emission Treatments

1. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)

The Selective Catalytic Reduction method utilizes a reducing catalyst such as aqueous or anhydrous ammonia to convert NOx into water and diatomic nitrogen. While the method was patented back in 1957 and has been used for a long time in commercial boilers and waste management systems, it has only been recently integrated with diesel engines. It can reduce NOx emissions by as much as 95 percent.

2. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)

Combustion in a diesel engine occurs at very high temperatures with NOx formed as a byproduct. NOx emissions at particular levels can be harmful to the environment and should thus be regulated. Exhaust Gas Recirculation is a treatment used by manufacturers of diesel engines to lower NOx emissions.

In the treatment, part of the exhaust gas is recirculated back into the engine and then mixed with air in the combustion chamber. The process lowers the temperature of the adiabatic flame and increases the heat capacity of the mix and allows for combustion at lower temperatures and reduces the formation of NOx formation, which is usually maximized in the presence of ample oxygen and high temperatures.

Innovations in Heavy Duty Diesel Engines Currently Under Review and Being Slowly Implemented

1. Variable Valve Actuation (VVA)

Variable valve actuation for heavy-duty diesel engines is basically the same concept used on light-duty automotive engines. However, the heavy-duty engines operate at a lower engine speed compared to automotive engines, which means that valve activation and timing have to be optimized differently. It should also meet the engine’s useful life, which is usually over 5 times longer than a regular automobile engine.

Variable valve actuation is also a technology that enables other technologies including cylinder activation, bottoming cycle and/or Atkinson cycle operation when higher low-speed torque is more important than high peak power.

If VVA is optimized for the operating cycle of the engine, it is possible to reduce parasitic losses, which allows the engine to operate in a higher range of efficiency. It is possible to achieve an increase in efficiency of between 2 and 3 percent. However, due to cylinder deactivation, reliability and durability concerns should be understood and addressed.

2. Waste Heat Recovery

The conversion of waste heat into energy is an issue that has been getting a lot of attention in the heavy-duty diesel engine industry, and for good reason. Waste heat accounts for about 50 percent of the energy produced in an engine. Recovering the energy from wasted heat is an area where waste heat recovery systems are used for recapturing energy.

The two main methods used in the recovery of the energy are direct and indirect.

The direct methods use the waste heat to generate electricity by use of a thermoelectric generator. The Thermoelectric generator uses dissimilar materials to generate electricity when exposed to a temperature delta. The electricity produced can be used for supplementary accessory loads through the reduction of power needed from the mechanical power transfer of the engine via the crankshaft and instead produce and store energy.

The indirect methods use the waste heat from the coolant or waste exhaust heat to generate electrical or mechanical power. The Rankine cycle is the most common approach that uses the heat for generating heat and turning a steam expander.

Goals have been set to develop waste heat recovery solutions that can improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty diesel engines by more than 7.5 percent by 2020.

The greatest challenges for waste heat recovery solutions to reach commercialization is the cost reduction and how to increase efficiency. Thermoelectric generators currently are about $3,000 per kW, but the target is below $1,000 per kW.

Waste heat recovery operates on the principle of extracting energy from the temperature differential present between 2 heat sources. The efficiency pf the system thus depends on the exhaust temperature or duty cycle of the engine.

Research is underway to find cheaper materials that can operate at lower temperatures. The developers of technology are also working with exhaust system integrators to reduce the packaging space as well as manufacturing costs.

3. Closed Loop Combustion Control

Closed loop combustion control refers to the ability to have real-time control and monitoring of the process of combustion. It makes it possible to optimize the peak cylinder pressure and optimize the fuel injection strategy for a wide variety of environments and operating conditions. Closed loop combustion control is expected to provide an increase in efficiency of between 2 and 4 percent over the standard open loop control.

However, adding complexity to the system results in additional cost and potential reliability risks. Sensors have to be added to the cylinders for monitoring temperature and pressure, along with the NOx sensor as well as a controller capable of processing data quickly. It can add between $30 and $50 for every cylinder. However, the base technology has been shown to be effective in automotive engines and it is thus an issue of scaling and adapting it to heavy-duty engines.

4. Engine Downsizing

Downsizing refers to an engine with a smaller engine displacement, but capable of matching the performance of the original engine. The aim is to reduce engine displacement by over 10 percent that translates to an improvement in fuel efficiency by between 1 and 4 percent.

Downsizing might be more prominent on smaller off-highway equipment than in heavy-duty applications. In some instances, down speeding can be used to provide efficiency improvements. For instance, reducing the engine speed by 200 rpm can lead to an improvement in fuel economy by 1 to 3 percent.

Increasing the cylinder pressure is correlated to the effective compression ration as well as complete fuel ignition. It is not possible to do either of these without thinking about the additional stresses that will be placed on the cylinder heads, engine block, etc.

Design and material selection is critical when it comes to engine downsizing. The trend is towards high strength iron allows that show a 75 percent increase in tensile strength when compared to cast iron. A newer material providing increased strength as well as the potential for smaller package size is compacted graphite iron.

Another area targeted for improvement is in-cylinder fuel/air mixing and fuel injection. Fuel pressure is likely to continue to increase for improved fuel combustion and delivery that results in reduced emissions and enhanced performance.

Improving the injection strategy and spray atomization are other advancements to the fuel delivery system where work is underway to improve mixing and avoid spraying the cylinder walls that results in an increased amount of soot as well as cylinder wall washing.

The designs of pistons and heads are also getting attention in an attempt at increasing combustion efficiency. It builds upon existing technologies such as the Twin Vortex Combustion System from Ricardo that’s currently used to reduce the amount of soot.

The Bottom Line

The technologies discussed here are just some of the few likely to become more common in the next wave of deployment of technology as drivers such as laws governing emissions and the continued economic incentive to lower the operating costs remain.

The market forces are constantly applying pressure for stricter engine requirements and the trends towards improvements in fuel system efficiencies, engine modifications, and emissions treatments are likely to continue in the coming years.

Expectations are likely to be met with innovative technologies that result in improved efficiency, lower emissions, and improved productivity for heavy-duty diesel engines. All these will help heavy-duty diesel engines become even more powerful and efficient as diesel innovators work to complete with the hard-charging competition faced from electric motor and battery makers.

Video [16 min] How to import TATEMS Work Orders Into Quickbooks

In the video below I show you how to use the custom spreadsheet I created called:

120. TATEMSWorkOrdersShortDescPartsAndLaborDescriptionInSingleColumnForQuickbooksImport

You can find it here:

TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software Custom Spreadsheets 

You can use it to import Work Orders you created in TATEMS into Quickbooks using a 3rd party tool called Zed Axis .   (They have a free 3o day trial and the cost is under $200 for Zed Axis)

Here are the steps to Import from TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software To Quickbooks.

  1. Create or Edit Lists in Quickbooks so that you have these 3: Work Order, Parts and Labor (you only need to do this one time)
  2. Open the custom spreadsheet and link if to your TATEMS data file (you only need to do this one time as long as you save the spreadsheet)
  3. Filter the list of work orders in Excel using the Date Completed Field
  4. Copy and paste the invoices including the row with the header names from the list on sheet 1 to Sheet 2 in Excel
  5. Save the spreadsheet but leave it open.
  6. Make sure Quickbooks is open using the Quickbooks  Company file you want to use.
  7. Create a Custom Invoice Layout that adds the “Other” Field In Quickbooks. (This is to display the Equipment Number on the Invoice) and set it as default.  (you only do this once but may need to set it as default each time if you use a different default )
  8. Open Zed Axis and choose Quickbooks Desktop and click the Connect button to connect to the currently open Quickbooks company file
  9. Click the Import Tab in Zed Axis and link to the Excel File
  10. Choose Sheet 2
  11. Create or choose a Mapping Template of the Fields to Map from the Excel Spreadsheet to Quickbooks (You can import the template I already created into Zex Axis.  Right click and Save  http:///pchelpltd.com/tatemsdl/download/TATEMSImportMappingForZedAxis.xml  Then click on the Choose Mapping Dropdown->Import Mapping.  The template only needs to be created or imported once and then can be reused in future imports )
  12. On Import Options Choose your preference “If Already exists” you can choose for example “Skip” to skip importing invoices that have already exist with the same invoice number inside Quickbooks .
  13. If all your invoices that you want imported are selected in the list then click the import button and the process will show you the status until it’s completed.

As noted above many of these steps only have to be completed one time. 

If you are current on your TATEMS support and version upgrades and you need any further customization on this spreadsheet that pulls data from TATEMS and I can get it created for you.

 

All The Best!

Marc Ready

Video Registration-Taxes Screen and Reminders,Reports and Custom Spreadsheet

In this video below I go over the TATEMS Registration/Taxes (in the Equipment Summary Tab)

It covers:

  1. Registration and Tax Details Screen
  2. Taxes/Registrations Reminders
  3. Registration Renewal on Unit Information Reports
  4. Registration Renewal All Equipment Summary
  5. Registration Renewal – All Equipment Last And Next Maintenance
  6. Registration Renewal – Equipment List
  7. Equipment State or Province Registration Renewals and Costs – Spreadsheet

 

To show you one of the tips in the TATEMS Tips..

The video below shows you how to use a Crockpot to clean old paint off door hinges.

Thanks for visiting! Please like or share this post!

Video -Total Gallons Used – Per Fuel Type – Per Day – Custom Spreadsheet

In the video below I go over the “TATEMSReportTotalGallonsUsedPerFuelTypePerDay” custom spreadsheet,  and how to link it to your live TATEMS data file.

I show you how to:

 

  • Use the filters in Excel to show all gallons used for a specific fuel type for a specific day
  • Create this spreadsheet from scratch if you have troubling linking it to your data the first way.

The spreadsheet above is number 118 on the Spreadsheets page

Over 100 TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software Program Spreadsheets can be found at

https://tatems.com/fleetmaintenancesoftware/spreadsheets.cfm

As mentioned in TATEMS Tips: Video below shows you how to make a Mini Metal Foundry.

 

Video – Tires Installed Entire Fleet With Odometer and Amount Travelled – Custom Spreadsheet

In the video below I go over the “TATEMS Report Equipment Tires With Current Odometer” custom spreadsheet,  and how to link it to your live TATEMS  data file.

I show you how to:

 

  • Find specific spreadsheets on the spreadsheets page based on a keyword
  • Create this spreadsheet from scratch if you have troubling linking it to your data the first way.

The spreadsheet above is number 26 on the Spreadsheets page

Over 100 TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software Program Spreadsheets can be found at

https://tatems.com/fleetmaintenancesoftware/spreadsheets.cfm

As mentioned in TATEMS Tips: Video below shows you how to hold your camera steady.

 

Please contact us if you would like a custom animated logo like the ones you see below for your videos:

Video – Driver History On Equipment

The video below shows you how to Add Drivers to Equipment and a common pitfall that people run into.

This video shows you:

  1. How to add a Driver to a piece of equipment when they have already been added to personnel.
  2. How to add a driver to a piece of equipment when they have not yet been added to personnel.
  3. Shows you the 3 reports in TATEMS that display driver history on equipment
  4. Shows you the 4 spreadsheets that you can link to your live TATEMS data to see driver history in other ways like repairs costs and miles per gallon for a driver on specific equipment.

 

Video – Tires Installed Entire Fleet Custom Spreadsheet

In the video below I go over the “Tires Installed Entire Fleet” custom spreadsheet,  and how to link it to your live TATEMS  data file.

I show you how to:

 

  • Find specific spreadsheets on the spreadsheets page based on a keyword
  • Create this spreadsheet from scratch if you have troubling linking it to your data the first way.

 

Over 100 TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software Program Spreadsheets can be found at

https://tatems.com/fleetmaintenancesoftware/spreadsheets.cfm

As mentioned in TATEMS Tips: Video below shows you Vinegar and Backing Soda in Action to clean a drain.

 

Please contact us if you would like a custom animated logo like the ones you see below for your videos:

Video of New Spreadsheet Quantity Of Work Order Parts Installed Over A Time Period

In this short video below I go over a very basic spreadsheet that you can link to your TATEMS data

The spreadsheet only displays one field and shows you the Total Parts Quantity Installed via Work Orders for the entire fleet for a date range

I show you how to link it to your TATEMS data and also how to update the date range.

You can find the spreadsheet here:

https://tatems.com/spreadsheets

It is number

117. TATEMS-QuantityOfWorkOrderPartsInstalledOverATImePeriod

Enjoy!

TATEMS Video DMV Registration Reminders

The video below shows you how to enter the DMV registrations

You will also discover how to set dates, intervals and reminders for:

  • DMV registrations
  • Motor Vehicle Tax
  • Highway Use Tax

For each piece of equipment.

You'll also discover one setting that could prevent them from showing in reminders and which report the License Fees amount is used on.

Updates for TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software 4.6.20-4.6.21

Thanks for checking out this post…

In the video below I go over 7 updates plus a couple of bonus updates out of the 24 updates for these versions.

Here is what is covered in the video

Updates in TATEMS Version 4.6.20 & 4.6.21

  1. Improved speed of navigation 4.6.20 and then improved even more in 4.6.21
  2. Fixed Backup location issue of it not saving to the non-default location 4.6.20
  3. Fixed Work Order templates issue where the non-template text in the Detailed Description box was not printing on the Work Order/Invoice 4.6.20
  4. Fixed issue in the personnel screen that would not allow you to delete an employee 4.6.20
  5. Added ability to delete all unused Fuel Vendors to make deletion faster for large lists 4.6.20
  6. Fixed issue with the delete button on the Fuel Log Vendors screen. 4.6.20
  7. Changed the 90 day inspection so they are created as needed for each equipment and only for the current year instead of all years for all equipment 4.6.21

Plus at the end of the video I cover 2 bonus items that will keep your database smaller, faster and save you time if you use the 90 Day Inspections Tab.

The complete list of updates listed so far can be found over at the updates list page

Please like or share or plus +1 this post!

Thanks again for checking it out.

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