A letter of intent on the development and production of customized aluminium pistons has been signed with a well-known carmaker; together with the piston ring and piston pin, it forms a true system solution. The system is destined for the four- cylinder petrol engine of a new line of passenger cars made by the automaker for the North American market. The agreement, which is scheduled to run for seven years, represents lifetime sales volume of around €22 million.
Development of the customer-optimized components for the new product generation is slated to begin in Neckarsulm in 2021. In line with the “local for local” principle, the next development phase will take place in Mexico, where the piston system will be adapted to regional fuel characteristics and undergo final optimization with regard to thermodynamics. Production and installation of the components, both of which will take place at the customer’s facilities in Mexico, begins in 2024.
The pistons selected by the customer are from the LiteKS product line made by Rheinmetall subsidiary KS Kolbenschmidt GmbH, the company in charge of the Group’s pistons business. Fully optimized in terms of friction performance and weight, the high-performance LiteKS pistons feature superb thermal and mechanical resilience, enabling reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
With an eye to achieving global climate goals and meeting modern emission standards, Rheinmetall has been systematically expanding its system expertise for years. In 2015, for instance, the Group entered a cooperation agreement with Riken Corporation of Japan in order to offer optimized solutions to customers around the globe. In pursuit of this order, the alliance partners worked together to optimize an integrated total system consisting of the piston, piston ring and piston pin.