Will future off-highway emissions trends be driven by regulations or customer needs?

The US off-highway equipment market is now moving from a period of development into a period of application, as Tier 4 equipment becomes more widely used in the market. Tier 4 Final emissions standards came into effect on the 1st January 2014, and require emissions of NOx and PM to be reduced by approximately 90%. Phase-in will continue until the final implementation stage for large engines in January 2015.

There are questions surrounding the direction that regulations may take in the future. The European Commission is pushing ahead with plans for Stage V and CARB is also considering lower emissions standards but, as yet, there as has been no move towards considering the next phase of federal standards in the USA. Critically, harmonization will be a key priority for the global market as new targets are mapped out. Leaving the European and North American markets imbalanced, legislation-wise, would cause a huge inconvenience for global OEMs and technology suppliers.

Current technology would have to be dramatically improved and advanced to meet any future standards. OEMs are now more driven by customer needs rather than the importance of developing legislation. Fuel economy and GHG reduction is the priority for customers and they welcome any changes that will help keep fuel consumption down.

Another important issue for the off-highway industry is the migration and subsequent ‘detiering’ of equipment. It is important to make way for new machinery that meets Tier 4 Interim and Final standards in the US market, and a large proportion of used machinery is therefore sold into overseas markets to facilitate this. These markets have less availability of ULSD (ultra-low sulphur diesel) so machinery can easily be damaged by the high sulphur content in the fuel. Strategies to remove emissions reduction equipment is the best solution to avoid damage to the machine and many leading OEMs are now offering de-tiering kits in order for their products to be sold in countries where fuel with a higher sulphur content is more readily available.

All of these issues surrounding the off-highway sector, and more, will be addressed at the upcoming ‘7th Integer Emissions Summit USA 2014’. The conference will take place on the 28-30 October 2014 at the Westin Northwest Chicago.

The conference addresses key issues surrounding emissions reduction and fuel efficiency policies for off-highway equipment, and the optimum technology strategies to meet these requirements, in the North American market.
For more information regarding the conference, the full agenda and registration details, please visit: www.integer-research.com/conferences/ies-usa-2014/