Tag Archive | "BM Catalysts"

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EURO STANDARDS IN A CHANGING EUROPE


PROMOTED: BM Catalysts’ Commercial Director, Mark Blinston writes on the subject of changing standards

 

Mark Blinston

Improving air quality by reducing harmful emissions has been a priority for most for as long as many of us can remember. For the UK automotive sector, the drive for emissions reduction has been primarily powered by EU legislation since 1970. Euro emissions standards, or Euro levels, were introduced in 1992 to limit the acceptable levels of tailpipe emissions of cars and light commercial vehicles in order to reduce their adverse impact on both health and the environment. With the possibility of leaving the EU in just a matter of weeks, it remains uncertain whether there would be significant changes with the emissions standards set for the country.

Euro emissions standards have been vital in reducing the permissible levels of harmful pollutants emitted within exhaust gases, with each tightening standard prompting huge strides forward in the development of new emissions control technology. Euro emissions standards are now at their most restrictive iteration, Euro 6, with all passenger vehicles both diesel and petrol required to meet the lowest pollutant levels set by the legislation to date. Whilst the NOx limit for petrol cars was retained at 60 mg/km, the allowable NOx level amongst diesel cars dropped tremendously to a maximum of 80 mg/km, in comparison to the Euro 5 requirement of 180 mg/km.

UNDERSTANDING

It is important that people have a sound understanding of Euro levels as more and more cities across Europe have already introduced, or are beginning to adopt, ‘Low Emission Zones’ (LEZ) in an effort to eliminate badly polluting vehicles. LEZs are ‘clean air’ zones that restrict the type of vehicle that can enter defined areas at certain times of the day, with hefty penalties and fines in place for non-compliant motors. Although this initiative is becoming more common in major European cities, motorists need to be aware that different Euro levels and requirements are set for each zone. In London for example, the LEZ operates mostly across Greater London, whilst the ’Ultra Low Emission Zone’ (ULEZ) covers the same congestion charge areas of Central London. It is a common misconception that the two are interchangeable, so drivers are advised to always double check before driving through zones they are unfamiliar with to avoid heavy charges. London’s ULEZ require that cars meet a minimum of Euro 4 emissions standards for petrol and Euro 6 for diesel.

Vehicle owners should also be aware that it is a legal requirement to only fit replacement emissions control devices that are correctly approved for the vehicle and to the vehicle’s corresponding Euro level. A replacement part cannot be approved to a lower Euro level than that of the original vehicle. For example, if the vehicle is Euro 6, then the replacement catalyst or DPF must also be approved to Euro 6.   Fitting a Euro 5 part to a Euro 6 vehicle would be illegal.

CATALOGUING

The cataloguing of aftermarket parts can be complex and many consumers remain unaware of the Euro level of their vehicle. Some catalytic converters and DPFs may look physically identical to one another but be very different in terms of what they are legally approved for sale to fit. It is the responsibility of everyone from the manufacturer, to the distributor and even the garage to ensure that the part in question is of the correct Euro level for the vehicle.

However, should the UK leave the EU as intended, it is possible that emissions targets and vehicle requirements may change. According to the UK Home Office, the Department for Transport (DfT) will take over the application and implementation of CO2 standards for cars and vans registered in the UK. UK-specific targets will be implemented, but they are expected to be at least as ambitious as the current EU standards. UK registrations and level of compliance, on the other hand, will be monitored and imposed by the Secretary of State for Transport.

For BM Catalysts as aftermarket manufacturers, we remain responsible for developing products that conform to the legislative requirements and that will not change. As Europe’s leading manufacturer of high-quality aftermarket catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes, BM Catalysts is committed to ensuring that standards are met, with our homologated catalysts and DPFs being compliant with the appropriate European legislative requirements. We also invest heavily in our online catalogue with the aim of providing as much information as possible when seeking out the correct parts for a vehicle and we have a technical helpline available should further advice be required. Whether the UK leaves the EU or not, it is important to understand that the quality of our products will remain unchanged and will continue to exceed expectations.

For more information, visit: www.bmcatalysts.com

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PROMO: BM CATALYSTS, PARIS-BOUND FOR EQUIP AUTO 2019

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PROMO: BM CATALYSTS, PARIS-BOUND FOR EQUIP AUTO 2019


PROMOTIONAL CONTENT ON BEHALF OF BM CATALYSTS

BM Catalysts will be making its way to Paris, France for the 25th Equip Auto trade show this October to showcase its world-class manufacturing and partner-first approach to business. Following its recent successful attendance at Automechanika Birmingham earlier this year, the company aims to sustain the same positivity and engagement across the channel through the much-anticipated event.

BM Catalyst’s 2019 stand

With the expected presence of big industry names and visitors from over 50 countries, the renowned trade event is the perfect avenue for BM Catalysts to also exhibit its expanding market-leading product range. Since Equip Auto 2017, BM Catalysts has released a total of 307 new high-quality aftermarket parts into the European market, which includes a number of Euro 6 references. This range expansion has increased French car parc coverage by over 14 million since the last show in 2017, and accounts for 31% of the staggering 44 million more European vehicles covered by BM Catalysts’ range additions over the past two years alone.

In line with Equip Auto’s “repairing today, preparing tomorrow” theme for this year, BM Catalysts will be available throughout the duration of the show to discuss the future of emissions and technology, and offer insight into how the company can help prepare businesses for these changes by having access to Europe’s widest range of high-quality aftermarket catalysts and DPFs and long-term partnership solutions.

New strapline will appear on promotional material.

Commenting on the manufacturer’s participation in the event, Mark Blinston, Commercial Director at BM Catalysts stated: “This year’s event will be our seventh Equip Auto attendance and we’ve witnessed some tremendous growth over the years. We’re delighted with the increased interest and positive feedback we continue to receive from the French market, so we’re excited to be attending Equip Auto again in October. With emissions and Euro level compliance remaining a big talking point across Europe, Equip Auto is a great platform for us to demonstrate our expertise and the level of commitment we put into ensuring we always exceed the aftermarket’s expectations on quality, whether that be by investing in the latest state-of-the-art machinery, to ensuring our products are fully compliant with necessary legislation, and everything else in between.”

 

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THE RIGHT PART GOES BEHIND WHAT FITS

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THE RIGHT PART GOES BEHIND WHAT FITS


The rules around replacement parts are complex, but worth getting your head around, writes BM Catalysts Commercial Director Mark Blinston.

While there might be more hot air than hard facts about emissions across the mainstream press about vehicle emissions, there can be no doubt that reducing toxic gas and restoring trust in the motor industry is the greatest problem faced by the trade at the moment.

Everything is geared towards reducing emissions and much of the emphasis seems to be pointed towards vehicles and how we can reduce the impact that they are having on air quality. You may be wondering what we can do about it in the aftermarket; but one thing we can do is making sure the right part is fitted to the right vehicle based on the emissions standard of the vehicle in question – the Euro level.

Vehicles and replacement emission control devices must meet specific standards for exhaust emissions before they can be offered for sale in the European Union. Emissions limits are commonly referred to as Euro standards or levels.

Emissions are measured using a standardised test cycle called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The NEDC was last updated in 1997 and is gradually
being replaced by the World Light Test Procedure (WLTP), which is designed to better replicate real driving conditions. WLTP is now being applied to new vehicles (types) but does not yet apply to replacement parts.

In order to test the durability of each part emission test results are most frequently multiplied by a deterioration factor; with the adjusted result then compared to the legislative limit. Deterioration factors are designed to simulate the likely change in performance of the part after it has aged with use over time. These deterioration factors have become more stringent over time, and so when coupled with the gradual lowering of limits it becomes considerably harder to achieve a pass when testing newer parts and newer vehicles. The largest increase in deterioration factors occurred between Euro four and Euro five.

In order to meet higher emission standards, it is frequently found that the OEM part is made to a higher specification than the lower EU level part it has superseded. Legislation requires a comparison of performance between a replacement part and its OE equivalent and so it naturally follows that tougher standards + higher deterioration factors + higher performing OE parts = a real need for a higher specification replacement part.

RIGHT LEVEL

The Euro level of each vehicle prescribed at the point at which that vehicle is Type Approved. A replacement part cannot be approved to a lower Euro level than that of the original vehicle; so if the vehicle is Euro five then the replacement must be approved to Euro five levels/limits. Testing and approving this part to Euro four would mean that it cannot be proven that it meets the relevant emissions standards and therefore cannot legally be fitted to any Euro five vehicle.

There are many catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter (DPF) references that appear to be physically identical but are, in fact, designed and approved for vehicles that carry different Euro levels. This is made possible as the internal specification of the part is largely the key to the emissions performance of the vehicle. For example, the Euro five version of the close-coupled cat for the Citroen C1 requires a specification that is more than 3 times that of the Euro four version of the part. A similar story is true of the Euro four/five Fiat five00 and Ford KA. Quite apart from it being illegal to fit the Euro four version to a Euro five vehicle, it will cause poor emissions performance with a much higher chance of related vehicle issues and potential part warranty returns. It can be easy to source the cheapest product which isn’t necessarily approved to the correct Euro level – the consequence of which is then a part that will actually not perform to the standards required.

CATALOGUE
The correct cataloguing of aftermarket parts is complex and challenging and many consumers will not be aware of the Euro level of their vehicle. It is therefore down to the garage and parts distributor to ensure that the part that is being sourced is approved for sale to the correct Euro level of the vehicle in question. This is something that has recently been identified as a “problem” in the aftermarket whereby parts can be physically the same, catalogued with the same start and close dates yet be very different both in terms of the internals and what they are legally approved for sale to fit.

In an effort to reduce the number of occasions that the incorrect part is being supplied and fitted to the vehicle, MAM (Autocat) will shortly be introducing the Euro level as a search criteria when identifying the correct part for a particular vehicle. Manufacturers of catalysts and DPFs will be asked to submit the Euro level for which their part has been homologated to enable an accurate match upon lookup. This is a positive step that the aftermarket is taking to reduce vehicle emissions.

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MAINTAINING EMISSION STANDARDS

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MAINTAINING EMISSION STANDARDS


Launch DPF Gun

With CO2 emissions on the rise, how are suppliers preparing workshops accordingly?

unless you have your head in the sand, you’ll notice that the tide has turned for emissions and for light diesels in particular. Last month, almost anything registered before 2005 was effectively banned from central London, thanks to the so-called Toxicity Charge. What’s more, these standards are only likely to get tougher, with a diesel emissions check at MOT among many options being mooted by those in power. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: Everyone wants fresh air and there are a number of products to help clean up diesel engines.

One technology that has kept VMs in line with their objective is Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensors (EGTS), designed to protect components exposed to hot exhaust gases from overheating. Julian Goulding, UK Marketing Manager at Delphi elaborates, “Exhaust gas temperature sensors play a crucial part in modern vehicles. From Euro 5b, all diesel vehicles had to have EGTS, with each car having up to six sensors, they’ll become an increasingly important service item.” He adds that these parts can and do fail, which is hardly surprising given the hellish temperatures that they endure. However, an EGTS problem is often misdiagnosed.

TRAINING AND WEB PLATFORMS
To counter this, Goulding suggests workshops can enrol onto a number of training courses in order to repair these systems confidently. Based at its Warwick Centre, the parts maker hosts various programmes, with training that can also be accessed via its’ digital channels; which provides information on fitting sensors and diagnosing faults successfully. Helen Goldingay, UK Marketing and Communications Manager at Hella, concurs, stating that although most garages are up-to-speed with EGTS, attention on newer technology must be brought to the forefront. She expands, “Due to the growth in use of the micro hybrid (start-stop) systems, intelligent battery sensors, which play a crucial in the battery management function that are part and parcel of the system, are clearly a growth area, as are those directly connected with emission controls, like exhaust gas pressure and air quality sensors.

‘Technicians are aware of the growth in the number of sensors that modern vehicles require, but what is more important than actually knowing every sensor itself, is the ability to identify where a fault lies and have the equipment to reinstate the management system once the component has been changed.” To facilitate this, various web platforms have been launched by the company in recent years. This includes Tech World for technicians as well as Partner World for factors and others in the supply chain.

CLEANING AND TESTING

It’s all well and good being able to diagnose faults with these parts, however, carbon build-up on EGR valves, DPF’s and injectors can restrict sensors from detecting problems within the fuel and exhaust system. Carbon build- up or post combustion carbon as it’s otherwise known, is a result of vehicles running in conditions where they can’t reach their full temperature; resulting in heavy quantities of carbon being burnt.

Fortunately, the aftermarket isn’t starved of chemical products to help with this. Various potions that are poured in the fuel or in the crankcase, as well as several machines have come onto the market in recent years. One of the most recent entrants in this sector comes from diagnostic equipment supplier Launch UK. The company has recently launched a device called a DPF Gun as well as various pour-in chemical cleaning products. Richard Collyer, Product and Equipment Specialist at the firm, expands, “Once vehicles are full of carbon, the EGR valve can’t operate properly and can blow electronically. Once this occurs, it will need changing.”

Euro5 BM

FACING FEARS
Akin to this, Mark Blinston Commercial Director at UK manufacturer BM Catalysts, encourages independents to get involved in servicing DPFs themselves, instead of dismantling and sending them off to dealers, which he says can be a ‘costly move’ for the garage. However, there is still a ‘fear’ around this technology that he brings to light, “The general perception is that garages are worried that if they get it wrong, it will be expensive”, he continued, “There’s been a lot of noise about this in the news where the BBC recently done a report revealing a shocking number of vehicles being driven on roads that are not fitted with them. This is one reason why some garages aren’t getting involved.”

To face this fear head on, Blinston explains that the firm has produced some point- of-sale material, training sessions and technical information for technicians. This also goes along with a number of new offerings for its’ core lines of catalytic converters, pressure pipes and DPFs. He concluded, “We have invested in many resources and developments over the last year by adding 245 new part numbers in 2017 covering 30 million vehicles across Europe.”

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