HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Plastics Deliver Massive Weight Savings for UPS

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: Smart strategy for cost efficiencies
Jerry dycus   7/23/2012 5:59:53 PM
NO RATINGS
 

           No way a 900lb weight reduction is going to come anywhere near 40% fuel reduction.  If the aero is a lot better and on longer distance higher speed routes it might be better but even there it's unlikely.

           Few parts on this are composites, mostly snap on pieces.   If they really want fuel savings the whole body/chassis needs to be composite for a 50% weight reduction vs the 10-20% one. 

          NASA did a wind tunnel, etc study on trucks and with a few simple changes cut their aero drag by 50% to .25cd. 

          If I was a large truck usrs like UPS I'd have had composite EV drive hybrid trucks yrs ago and now they's run on NG when not on the grid.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Impressive savings
Rob Spiegel   7/23/2012 1:48:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, this is a remarkable advance. I would think this could become a wake-up call to all freight bearing vehicles. Even if this particular truck maker is committed to UPS, the concepts could be applied to any manufacturer of freight carriers.

Ocmer Gnojed
User Rank
Iron
Re: 40% per 900lb
Ocmer Gnojed   7/23/2012 1:12:45 PM
NO RATINGS
Now there's an interesting angle, since the truck weighs less, it can have a smaller engine, needs smaller brakes and frame and so on resulting in a benevolent spiral of reduced weight and lower power requirements.    I think especially for local delivery the smaller trucks make sense, I typically see them lightly loaded when they stop at my place.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: 40% per 900lb
Dave Palmer   7/23/2012 12:42:36 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ocmer Gnojed: Your sarcasm was obvious, but it's a serious point.  UPS and Utilimaster seem to be pushing the idea that the composite body panels are responsible for the fuel savings, but, as you point out, it's unlikely that the weight reductions are responsible for more than a very small part of this.

The New York Times article indicates that the new trucks use a (2.5L?) 150 HP Isuzu I4, compared to their current trucks, which apparently use a 6.7L 215 HP Cummins I6.  The lion's share of the fuel efficiency increase is almost certainly due to this.

Why does the publicity focus on the composite body panels? In my opinion, there are two likely reasons: first of all, the use of advanced materials sounds much more innovative than simply using a smaller engine.  Second, I'm sure they don't want to burn any bridges with Cummins.

Interestingly enough, it looks like you can get a huge increase in fuel efficiency per ton of freight simply by using a larger truck.  Of course, UPS might have trouble getting a tractor-trailer to your door.  But they could potentially save quite a bit of fuel by maximizing their usage of larger trucks.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: good for International
Ann R. Thryft   7/23/2012 12:11:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Nadine, about narrower roads in other countries. I've been in old European cities that can't accommodate 2-way automobile traffic, even with small European cars.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Smart strategy for cost efficiencies
Ann R. Thryft   7/23/2012 12:09:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, good question. Unfortunately, no cost info was given. And Jim, Fed Ex is already using this truck builder's services and lighter weight trucks, as are other delivery companies.

Ocmer Gnojed
User Rank
Iron
Re: 40% per 900lb
Ocmer Gnojed   7/23/2012 10:52:59 AM
NO RATINGS
I tried to drip enough sarcasm on it to make it obvious, sorry.  Next time I'll be clearer.    To be very clear:  40% fuel savings are huge, the entire industry would be on this like syrup on waffles, to save 900 lb by replacing "materials" with plastics is phenomenal, together with the 40% savings you have a premise that couldn't be supported by rational thought.  Shucks.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: 40% per 900lb
Dave Palmer   7/23/2012 10:47:23 AM
NO RATINGS
@Ocmer Gnojed: I'd expect the empty weight of a standard delivery van to be about 4½ tons, or 9000 pounds.  So a 900 pound reduction represents about a 10% reduction in weight.  I'm surprised that they were able to get a 40% increase in fuel efficiency from a 10% weight reduction, especially since previous studies I've read suggest that a 10% weight reduction yields an increase in fuel efficiency of less than 10%.  On the other hand, the last paragraph of the article indicates that Utilimaster made some significant architectural changes as well.

Ocmer Gnojed
User Rank
Iron
40% per 900lb
Ocmer Gnojed   7/23/2012 9:15:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Wow, 40% by shaving 900lb, let me see, shave a little more than a ton and I'd save 100%...  Pretty impressive.  And striking that this is initiated by a single customer, rather than the company trying to sell trucks...  Truly amazing.

Scott Orlosky
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cutting Edge Cost Savings
Scott Orlosky   7/22/2012 7:16:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for highlighting this development.  It's little things like this improvement over time that make a big difference to our energy needs.  Hats off to UPS for taking steps to innovate, even if it isn't "sexy" new technology.

<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Purdue researchers have used a commercial sewing machine to quickly create stretchable electronics from conventional thin wire and a silicone elastomer used for making special-effect movie masks.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 21 - 25, Design Products With Bluetooth Low Energy
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service