Aug 21, 2020 0min read
When essential equipment is deployed on the frontlines of the emergency services, performing first time, every time is a core requirement. At Isuzu Power Solutions (IPS), this necessary operational benchmark is achieved through a focus on engine specifications, research and development, testing and troubleshooting, aftersales support… and providing fit-for-purpose products that perform as expected when they’re most needed. The Isuzu reputation is a well-known one, founded on reliability and performance. IPS takes pride in delivering the best; from product to service, everything is handled with thought, passion and precision. For the engineering team at IPS, this means producing high-performing, reliable engines for a variety of applications from mining to agriculture to the emergency services. The nature of many IPS customer businesses means that demand hasn’t let up, even with the COVID-19 upheavals to business and daily life. “We’ve just assembled and tested another 12 engine pump-sets for the Victorian fire services,” said IPS Senior Product Engineer, Nicholas Soitaridis. With responsibility for managing IPS product life cycle and product development, Nicholas is acutely aware of the importance in helping customers get the engine that is just right for their application. A requirement that is acutely important for sectors such as the emergency services, when lives and properties are on the line.

Application specific engineering

“All of our emergency services pump-set engines are highly customised power units to suit the unique, high-pressure application,” Nicholas said. “The nature of the application places certain requirements on the equipment, as we need to ensure reliability under even the most extreme conditions. This means features such as minimal electronics and mechanical fuel systems are preferred. “These power units are engineered to order, so we can have the confidence that they will deliver the absolute performance and reliability our customers in the emergency services, and all other applications, require,” he said. “In the example of the three-cylinder 3CA1 and four-cylinder 4LE2 and 4JG1 engines we provide to emergency service customers such as GAAM Australia, who supply to the Country Fire Authority (CFA), these are fitted with additional bespoke components that ensure the engine keeps running, even if a fire starts burning the engine. “Because these engines power water pumps on emergency service vehicles, fighting fires and offering crew protection, the engines must keep running no matter what. “The same performance guarantee is built into all our engines, whether you’re relying on an IPS engine to water your crops or power your excavator, you know that it will deliver,” Nicholas said. The work after an engine has been sold and delivered can be equally as important as that before the sale, and the IPS team is sometimes called back to assist with in-field performance tuning such as modifying a cooling system. Reflecting on working with GAAM and the CFA a few years ago, Nicholas recounted how the IPS Engineering team had to assist in troubleshooting a cooling system problem, which arose from modifications made to a fire truck’s body after the pump had been installed. “We had to do some pretty extensive analysis, using precision engineering instruments and equipment like our thermal imager to identify hot zones and measure air movements,” Nicholas. “The pump set’s cooling system wasn’t getting the required air flow due to the truck body changes, causing the engine to overheat. “Our proposed solution to enhance the forced ventilation was implemented by the truck bodybuilder and it rectified the problem, solving a high-risk problem fairly quickly. “It was a credit to the teams involved—CFA, the bodybuilder and IPS collaborated to resolve an issue, and it was one of the more rewarding experiences I’ve had.”

Isuzu reputation carried with pride

The Isuzu name is synonymous with reliability and performance, something that the IPS team prides itself on. Before any engine leaves IPS, it undergoes testing and quality checks after assembly, plus hot testing to ensure everything is working at the optimum level. “We believe in providing all of our customers with the best product that we can deliver, backed up by the best aftersales support and service,” Nicholas said. “It’s something that shouldn’t be compromised or neglected.”

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