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Engine control system shifts from mechanical to electronic

Posted: 17 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:engine control system  mechanical electronic control  product efficiency 

Small engine manufacturers are starting to feel pressure from government regulatory agencies around the world to increase the efficiency and reduce the emissions from their products. To accomplish this, the engine control system must undergo a fundamental change from mechanical to electronic control. Some lessons learned from the conversion of the automotive engine from mechanical to electronic control can be applied to the small engine. Recent circuit integration efforts have been undertaken to enable small engine manufacturers to develop electronic controls that make their products "greener." This article outlines some of the changes that are necessary and what Freescale is doing to help make this transition simple, easy and cost-effective.

Two recent events have caused small engine manufacturers to consider replacing their traditional mechanical engine controls with newer, more effective electronic controls.

The high levels of pollution in urban areas and the growing significance of greenhouse gases from two-wheel vehicles and other small engine driven products are forcing many governments to enact stricter emission regulations. These new regulations are starting to specifically target small internal combustion engines. To satisfy the new exhaust emission levels contained in these regulations, the manufacturers will need to replace traditional mechanical engine controls with electronic controls. But the strict target costs and size requirements for small engine control systems will require manufacturers to seek innovative design solutions to implement these electronic controls.

Instability in the crude oil-producing regions of the world is being blamed for the price volatility of this essential commodity. The supply of crude oil, once thought to be limitless, is predicted by the oil companies to be running out. To extend the life of this fuel supply and to reduce engine operating costs means that all engines, large or small, will need to be designed to become more fuel-efficient.

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