It has been announced today that Ricardo is among six companies – including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Ashwoods Automotive – nominated in the ‘Innovation & Design’ category.
Ricardo’s citation for the award focuses on the new Ricardo High Performance Assembly Facility, opened at the company’s Shoreham Technology Centre in July of this year. This state-of-the-art facility is where the highly advanced engines – designed in collaboration between Ricardo and McLaren Automotive – of the new McLaren MP4-12C high performance sports car are assembled. The McLaren M838T engine delivers 600 horsepower and yet is sub 200kg and boasts vehicle emissions of just 279g/km CO2, further justifying its claim as the ‘world’s greenest supercar engine’. Fuel consumption is also class-leading, reflecting an unrelenting focus in the design process on the reduction of internal friction. The resulting highly downsized power unit thus represents a new benchmark for high performance turbo-charged engine design.
The new assembly facility provides a near clean-room production environment in which each and every process is carried out according to strict, best-in-class quality principles and within a comprehensive ‘no faults forward’ culture. In this way, Ricardo is taking the very latest thinking in quality-focused manufacture and applying it in a highly innovative manner in a low to medium volume, design for manufacture context. Lean manufacturing principles were incorporated from the outset of the design and perhaps most impressively of all, both product and facility programmes were carried out within an unprecedentedly short 18 month timescale from concept to pilot production.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Ricardo director of manufacturing operations Mark Barge said: “Ricardo is extremely pleased to have been nominated for this prestigious award based on our new High Performance Assembly Facility and the development of the advanced McLaren M838T V8 twin-turbo engine that it is producing. As with the advanced Ricardo dual clutch transmission of the Bugatti Veyron and the transaxle of the iconic Ford GT, Ricardo has once again demonstrated that it is capable of both designing and developing class-leading and highly innovative performance products, and producing them according to the very highest standards of production quality and efficiency. This new facility and the highly innovative design for manufacture and performance processes that it embodies, represents an attractive new business model for Ricardo in which high performance ‘halo’ products can be produced efficiently at low to medium volume while applying best in class quality principles.”
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