Continental Earns 2010 Automotive News PACE Award for Smart NOx Sensor
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 13 /PRNewswire/ — Continental, one of the world’s top automotive suppliers, earned the 2010 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers Contribution to Excellence) Award for its Smart NOx Sensor for gas and diesel powertrains in the Product-Europe category.
“Earning the Automotive News PACE Award for Continental’s NOx Sensor is an honor as we continuously work to develop innovative automotive technologies,” said Samir Salman, CEO, Continental NAFTA Region. “We will build on this technology to advance state-of-the-art developments in fuel economy and emissions reductions in support of our goal of the protecting the environment.”
The Smart NOx Sensor is an electrochemical sensor with customized electronics and microprocessor controls that communicate with the vehicle control bus to enable optimum adjustment of key engine parameters such as exhaust gas recirculation, air/fuel ratio and urea injection for SCR systems to reduce nitric oxide (NOx) emissions.
In gasoline vehicles, the sensor is used in combination with lean-burn technology to control the regeneration cycle of the NOx storage catalyst.
In diesel passenger cars and light trucks, it is used in conjunction with the exhaust after-treatment such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and NOx Storage Catalyst (NSC). In heavy-duty trucks, it is used for SCR as well.
Continental’s engineering team in Regensburg, Germany, teamed up with NGK Insulators in Japan to develop the components. Continental provides the control electronics and NGK provides the sensor element.
“An engine optimized for fuel economy does not necessarily create the lowest emissions,” said Kregg Wiggins, senior vice president, Powertrain Division in Continental’s NAFTA region. “Continental created the Smart NOx Sensor to allow an engine to meet increasing worldwide emissions standards, such as Euro 5 and U.S. Tier 2, and still provide the optimum fuel economy. It is currently the only product of its kind in the market and provides a baseline for a new generation of ‘smart’ emissions controls.”
The Smart NOx Sensor was the first series-production exhaust gas sensor to measure a specific regulated exhaust gas, in this case NOx, in parts-per-million level concentrations. Prior to this development, exhaust gas sensors were limited only to measuring oxygen content above or below the stoichiometric level of air/fuel mixture.
Early development began in 2001 and continued with limited adoption in large diesel trucks in 2005. Mass adoption of the Smart NOx Sensor occurred in 2007 due to increased focus on reducing emissions and improving fuel economy. Today, there are approximately 1.5 million units in the field, and it is projected that by 2013 more than 7 million units will be in use.
Sponsored by Automotive News, Ernst & Young, Transportation Research Center Inc. and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, the 16th annual PACE awards program celebrates superior innovation and advancement by original-equipment suppliers in the development of new products and processes. The awards are judged independently and winners were announced at the 2010 PACE Awards banquet on April 12, 2010.
With sales of approximately EUR 20 billion in 2009, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 134,500 workers in 46 countries.
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SOURCE Continental Automotive