JCB makes £45m investment in six cylinder engine

Posted on 6 Jun 2013

Digger manufacturer JCB is gearing up to manufacture a new, six cylinder engine – the JCB Dieselmax 672 – to add to its diesel engine portfolio.

The Staffs-headquartered maker of construction equipment has invested about £45 million in developing the new engine, which will be built in Foston, Derbyshire.

Fifty new jobs are expected to have come from the engine programme development.

JCB has gone from new entrant in making diesel engines to global producer, specialising in fuel efficiency and innovation, in just over eight years. The first engine was built in the UK in November 2004 and since then production has extended to JCB India’s HQ at Ballabgarh, where the first engine was manufactured in 2011.

To date more than 250,000 JCB engines have been produced globally.

JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said today (Thursday): “In a relatively short space of time we have become a major producer of engines and today more than 70% of JCB’s machines are powered by the engines we manufacture.

“The move into six cylinder engine production is a historic moment for our business and a natural step to take and we look forward to setting new standards in performance and fuel efficiency.”

Fitter working on new JCB Dieselmax 672
Fitter working on the new JCB Dieselmax 672

The JCB Dieselmax 672 is based on the company’s four-cylinder 4.8-litre Dieselmax engine, with a high degree of parts commonality across the two engine platforms. This engine has been in production for over eight years, and the company says they run reliably after 20,000 miles on the clock. These engines feature electronic control, Delphi common rail fuel injection and fixed geometry turbocharging.

Initially the Dieselmax 672 will be made to meet Stage II emissions standards, for growing markets including Russia, Brazil and China. The engine will be seen first in JCB’s JS360 crawler excavator for those territories, but will be used in additional machines as time progresses.

The six-cylinder engine will be offered with ratings of 140kW (188hp), 165kW (221hp), 190kW (255hp) and with a maximum output of 225kW (302hp). Maximum torque is an impressive 1,200Nm.

The new engine is also very efficient, the company claiming it will deliver an up to 8% increase in fuel efficiency compared to previous engines in the JS excavator line. In testing, the 7.2-litre engine has recorded a specific fuel consumption of just 189g/kWh, while delivering excellent performance and rapid response.

The new engines will be built on a dedicated line at JCB Power Systems’ purpose-built facility in Foston, Derbyshire. In development for more than two years, the engines have already completed more than 50,000 hours of testing, 30,000 of which have been in machines working in the field.

“The six-cylinder Dieselmax 672 is the ultimate expression of our Dieselmax engine design philosophy,” said Alan Tolley, Director of Engine Programmes at JCB Power Systems.