The new emission limits call for state-of-the-art engine design and, on large engines from about ten liters displacement, require the ultramodern steel pistons that have been in use in Europe for some time now. As a leading manufacturer of steel pistons for commercial vehicles, KS Kolbenschmidt concluded a license agreement with the Chinese auto-industry supplier ZNKS Corporation in 2017. This agreement covers the production and marketing of steel pistons for commercial vehicles, with the customer-specific development of the respective piston designs being handled exclusively by KS Kolbenschmidt. As a consequence, China's expanding market will be benefiting from the newest piston technology designed to fulfill the NS6 standards.
Production facilities starting up
With a view to establishing a Chinese production base for the steel components, ZNKS has now built an all-new production plant in Mengzhou (Henan Province, China). KS Kolbenschmidt is supplying the sophisticated equipment along with ultramodern technologies for the areas of pre-machining, friction welding, and finishing. The first two production lines have already been ordered and will shortly be shipped to Mengzhou. They are engineered for maximum capacity utilization.
However, demand by Chinese engine makers for steel pistons to comply with EU 5 emission standards is so enormous that, to assist supplies, as early as the second half of 2018, steel pistons manufactured in Europe by KS Kolbenschmidt, will be exported to China.
The new ZNKS production facilities are scheduled to take up series production in December 2018, with a further start-up planned for the first quarter of 2019. The steel piston to be built will allow the engines to comply with China's NS 5 emission standards and even higher requirements. Chinese engine and commercial vehicle manufacturers have already placed orders for more piston projects. Within this circle of customers, successful development results have also been achieved in Europe and the USA in conjunction with Kolbenschmidt pistons and ZYNP cylinder liners.
ZYNP produces exclusively in China and, with a cylinder liner world market share of 16 percent, ranks among the most significant international suppliers to manufacturers of car, commercial vehicle, marine, and industrial engines. In this segment, the annual production volume of the Chinese market leader exceeds 60 million units. The company has sales locations in the USA, Europe, and Russia. Founded in 1958, the group employs a workforce of around 11,000 that generated annual sales in the region of €920 million in 2017.