Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) announced today will see Ricardo provide strategic advice and technical assistance to one of China’s leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers – building on the successful collaboration that has already seen the two companies working together to engineer and develop the award winning Shengrui 8AT 8-speed automatic transmission.
Weifang Shengrui Power Machinery Technology Co Ltd is a successful independently held supplier of engine components to the automakers and engine builders in the domestic Chinese market as well as to the leading international manufacturers. The company’s strategy of developing advanced technology transmissions and driveline systems was assisted significantly in mid-2009 when it commenced its collaboration with Ricardo on the advanced 8AT transmission.
With extensive collaborative working by Ricardo engineers visiting Shengrui as well as an on-site team from the Chinese manufacturer based at Ricardo UK, the first prototype of this ‘industry first’ product was produced at the Ricardo Midlands Technical centre in February 2010. Following two phases of successful prototype design, control system development, manufacture, and testing by Ricardo, the 8AT has achieved good performance in environmental, durability and functional performance, and is now approaching mass production for a range of passenger car applications. In 2011 Shengrui won one of the highly coveted China Patent Gold Awards for the 8AT, one of just 15 of a total of almost 700 innovations, submitted by agencies including government ministries, local IP offices and trade associations, to be so recognized.
The new MoU announced today will see the collaboration between Ricardo and Shengrui enter a new phase, as the two companies seek commercial opportunities for future product development projects. It is intended that these will cover further engineering developments of the Shengrui 8AT transmission, for example, including hybrid applications as well as possible lower torque and stop-start variants. More generally it is also envisaged that Ricardo will provide broad-ranging support to Shengrui in the establishment of a virtual Shengrui-UK Engineering Centre.
“Our long-standing collaboration with Shengrui provides an excellent demonstration of the manner in which Ricardo is able to provide highly effective support tailored to the precise requirements of clients and drawing upon our unique mix of skills and resources on a global basis,” said Ricardo plc executive director Mark Garrett. “Shengrui has strong ambitions to grow through the development of advanced technology products and we are ideally placed to assist them in this endeavour. The benefits of our collaboration to date can be seen in the form of the award winning 8AT transmission, and we look forward to helping Shengrui on the next phase of this leading Chinese company’s rapid and very successful development.”
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