Under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Ricardo will provide strategic advice and technical assistance to Weifang Shengrui Power Machinery Technology Co Ltd—one of China’s leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers. Th MoU builds on a successful collaboration that has already seen the two companies working together to engineer and develop the award-winning Shengrui 8AT 8-speed automatic transmission.
The new MoU will see the collaboration between Ricardo and Shengrui enter a new phase, as the two companies seek commercial opportunities for future product development projects. These will cover further engineering developments of the Shengrui 8AT transmission, such as 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.
Weifang Shengrui Power Machinery Technology is an 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 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 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.