Green blood after visiting Volvo Penta in Sweden
The people at MoNo Marine work on Volvo Penta units for a range of clients and applications on a daily basis. We have in recent years experienced a constantly growing demand for servicing larger, electronically controlled Volvo Penta diesel engines, whether or not in combination with Volvo Penta IPS. This prompted the MoNo Marine team to visit Sweden in October to find out for themselves just what makes Volvo Penta products so unique.
Experiencing the Ease of Use of Volvo Penta IPS
We took a trip across the Göteborg archipelago on board of the MV Penta 80. The archipelago is a group of picturesque islands scattered along the coastline of the Göteborg Archipelago. The Penta 80 is fitted with a Volvo Penta IPS900 TWIN unit. We notice the ease of navigation with an IPS installation when negotiating the archipelago with its narrow straights between the many small islands. Sitting in a comfortable chair the skipper operates the engine throttle with one hand and the joystick with the other, steering the ship with obvious ease between the countless lobster traps. Before mooring along the quayside on one of the countless islands, the skipper switches over to full joystick control. The ship can now be maneuvered in any desired direction using the joystick and can also rotate around its axis.
After lunch we sailed at full speed towards Göteborg and noticed that the sound of the engines is hardly noticeable in the cockpit. Then everyone took the chance to take the helm and experience the user-friendly quality of the Volvo Penta IPS unit for themselves.
Innovation and the Power of the Combination
In the Volvo Museum we learn about the origins of Volvo and Volvo Penta. We learn about the changes that Volvo has made in the past, from fire trucks to jet fighters and cars to heavy trucks. We note that the engines we are working on are also used in trucks, buses and heavy machinery. Durability, pioneering technological development and safety have always been important values for the company, right from the outset.
Volvo Engine Factory in Skövde
There is no Volvo engine factory in the Swedish city of Skövde, but there is a complete Volvo engine industrial estate. Different factory buildings each facilitate their own part of the production process for engines for trucks, buses and ships. The guided tour for the MoNo Marine team starts with the creation of the moulds for the cast engine blocks and cylinder heads. Although the process is highly robotised and automated, it is notable that the Volvo Penta staff monitor all critical steps in the process. We then viewed the foundry, where, using a casting process patented by Volvo, raw iron together with scrap from machining processes is heated to almost 1500 °C. The moulds are filled with the molten steel alloy using an automated process. The moulds are further treated in processes that result in a stronger, more durable product. The residues (raw and ancillary materials) are recovered as much as possible (approx. 85%) and the residual heat from the foundry is used to heat the surrounding buildings. The emission of contaminated air is minimalized by filters. We already knew that Volvo has an environmentally conscious image, but we now know what they actually invest in that. The next phase we experience live is the machining of the cast cylinder heads with computer-controlled CNC machines. This is followed by the complete assembly of the engines, partly by robots, partly by manual work. For every manual action the work instruction, including quality control, is shown to the Volvo staff member. Finally each engine is inspected and given a test run. You can see what we saw in the Volvo factory in the video.
Green is in our blood
We’ve learned a lot about Volvo and Volvo Penta in these days. Sustainable products are created in factories with a minimal impact on the environment. Delivering and monitoring quality is a standard operating procedure at Volvo. Innovation is applied to make the use and operation of vessels and vehicles simpler and safer. We, at MoNo Marine stand squarely behind the processes and products of this brand. Green is in our blood!
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