Isuzu Opens New Engine Prototype Center

Isuzu's new technical engineering facility to more easily design and validate engine designs, as well as conduct training.

Technical activity occurring at the Isuzu Wixom Prototype Center.
Technical activity occurring at the Isuzu Wixom Prototype Center.
Isuzu Motors America, LLC
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Isuzu Motors America, LLC has recently opened a new (8,000 sq. ft.) technical engineering facility to better serve its engine and power unit customers and distributors in power generation, agricultural, construction and off-highway equipment manufacturing.

“The new facility allows us to design, source prototypes and perform all validation tests in one building,” says Cody Garcelon, Director of Applications, Design and Sales Engineering for Isuzu Motors America. “This capacity helps us deliver validated engine system designs in a shorter time frame, while delivering superior quality control and reducing customer specific testing and engineering costs.”

With design, applications and test engineers on site, this new facility can design and prototype customized accessory kits, which adapt the base engine types to specific customer applications. These kits typically include exhaust systems, wiring harnesses, urea lines, cooling packages, air cleaner systems and engine/component mountings. Once the design and prototype are complete, they are manufactured according to specification. Each customized kit is validated as a turnkey, open power unit so that customers can meet current U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations if used in the same complete configuration.

The ability to perform this highly complex work under the same roof as the design, sourcing and quality staff cuts the number of cycles needed and improves customer time to market. “Being able to perform all the design, prototype and validation steps in the same location saves hundreds of hours of engineering, travel and personnel time, as well as material costs,” says Garcelon.

A recent benefit of this facility is that Isuzu designed, validated/tested and released the Isuzu Alternative Fuel 4HV1 model dual-fuel version, which capitalizes on the ability to switch fuel from natural gas to liquid propane, lending itself to a multi-faceted environment. Because all of the Isuzu natural gas/propane engines and power units are based on a robust diesel engine block design, each application provides exceptional durability over a typical alternative fuel base engine. 

Many components within the Isuzu engines, such as the crankshaft, rods and bearings, are 50% larger than a typical gasoline-powered V8 base engine. In one recent natural gas test performed in Edmonton, Alberta, an Isuzu Alternative Fuel 4HV1 model power unit ran for 3,000 hours through winter cold and hot summer temperatures. “It still has perfect compression,” says Garcelon. The Isuzu 4HV1 Alternate Fuel Power Unit also offers a multi-speed option.

Enhanced training is another reason for this new facility. It is an extremely important feature to support our distributors and customers in this very demanding marketplace. “We’ll be training our distributors in applications testing as well as providing training for engineers from original equipment manufacturers to help improve design and testing methods,” says Garcelon. The first on-site training programs are being planned for third quarter 2020.