BURR RIDGE, Ill., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Ricardo Inc. -- one of the world's foremost independent automotive engineering consulting companies -- today announced its Chicago Technical Center (CTC) Test Cell Expansion Project, which represents an investment of $4.8 million for the company in heavy-duty engine emissions testing. The project -- which will add two new heavy-duty emissions test cells specifically designed for developing engines to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2007 emission requirements -- will be completed in August 2004. "This significant investment represents a strong commitment for Ricardo in the area of heavy-duty engine emissions testing," said Jeremy W. Holt, president of Ricardo Inc. and executive director of Ricardo plc. "It allows the company to serve an active heavy-duty engine marketplace with two more high-specification performance and emissions test cells, which are conveniently located near many of our heavy-duty engine customers." The first phase of the project, which was completed in September 2001, added heavy-duty engine transient testing to the company's existing CTC Test Cell 2. This first phase included a new full dilution constant volume sampling tunnel, dilute exhaust analytical instrumentation and upgraded engine and dyno control software meeting the requirements of the U.S. On-highway Federal Test Procedure and other transient emissions cycles. Since completing the phase one expansion, CTC has been performing certification-quality emissions testing of heavy-duty engines up to 500 horsepower. Phase two of the expansion, now underway, will add two new test cells at the facility. CTC Test Cell 3 is specified as a 750hp heavy-duty transient cell sharing the phase one emissions equipment. Test Cell 4 is a 600hp heavy- duty engine development test cell with transient drive-cycle capability and dual-line raw gas emissions. Test Cell 3 will be operational in July 2004 and Test Cell 4 will be available one month later. With its North American headquarters in Van Buren Twp., Mich., Ricardo has been a world-leading vehicle system and powertrain technology provider for automotive manufacturers, heavy-duty manufacturers and tier one suppliers since 1917. The company provides expertise ranging from designing and developing engines, transmissions and drivelines, to integrating vehicle systems and creating software solutions, to developing gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell technology. Ricardo employs approximately 1,750 people at its technical centers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Czech Republic. The company recently increased its North American presence by expanding its Detroit Technology Campus in Van Buren Twp. A public company based in the U.K., Ricardo plc posts $220 million in sales and is a part of the FTSE techMark 100 index -- a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
SOURCE Ricardo Inc.