MANN+HUMMEL supplies a plastic oil filter module for the highly efficient 3- and 4-cylinder generation of modular engines of the BMW Group which meets the highest requirements.
It‘s commonly known that sometimes less ends up being more. This also applies to the component variations in the automotive industry. Around the world vehicle manufacturers have adopted a commonpart strategy to increase their efficiency and reduce costs. One result of this strategy is the BMW modular engine generation for 3‑ and 4‑cylinder diesel and gasoline engines. MANN+HUMMEL developed a plastic oil filter module especially for this series with three variations which meet the highest technical requirements and conform to the common-part strategy of the BMW Group.
The basis for the successful implementation was the close coordination of simulation, design, development, prototype construction, testing, toolmaking and production. The intensive cooperation of the individual departments reduced the number of required development loops and helped to maintain the tight schedule. Accordingly, extensive simulations led to a very high level of maturity of the component already in the early development stage. The high conformity of the simulation and testing results also helped to reduce the number of technical changes and therefore to considerably reduce the number of repeat tests. This in turn resulted in less readjustments on the test bench and with tools. As a result, just a few weeks after awarding the contract the BMW Group received first B samples with full functionality. It was possible to use the programs for the component measurement and injection points in the tool of the B sample stage as a direct basis for series production.
Efficiently cooled three times
The filter specialists at MANN+HUMMEL also worked efficiently on the component design. Taking the module strategy of the BMW Group into account, they designed the oil filter module for the different engines and applications with a high number of common parts. Only the design of the oil cooler required three different versions. The basic variant is equipped with a compact oil cooler. The variant for the 4-cylinder diesel engines comes with a high performance cooler to provide a greater cooling capacity. The oil filter module for gasoline-powered vehicles with automatic transmission are equipped with the compact cooler version, including an additional quick connector to link the coolant circuit to the transmission oil/water heat exchanger. The MANN+HUMMEL engineers designed the housing of the different variants as a standard component. The engine and cooler flanges are identical, and the same seals can also be used with all the variants.
Excellent oil supply
In addition to the common-part strategy, the systems expertise of the engineers at MANN+HUMMEL was in demand. This is because the higher temperature and increased pressure in the engine oil circuit also increases the requirements with regard to tightness and endurance strength of the oil filter modules. Therefore, the housing is made of hydrolysis stabilized PA66-GF50 plastic with increased fiberglass content. This enables the material to withstand high temperatures and pressures in the areas with contact to the coolant. The engineers designed the oil and coolant channels to minimize pressure drop. The bypass valves integrated in the oil filter module also secure the oil supply during a cold start with highly viscous engine oil. When the differential pressure is too high, the valves open to reduce the pressure drop with the oil cooler and oil filter. The filter and cooler bypass valves are designed as compact identical parts.
We have seldom had so few changes in a development project. Our extensive simulations have paid off.
Jan-Eric Raschke, Project Manager at MANN+HUMMEL
Compact, robust and powerful
The use of engines in countries with poor oil and fuel quality is a further challenge. In those countries, it is more likely that particles, unspecified additives and water can penetrate the engine oil via the blowby gas leading to a quicker ageing of the oil and the used materials. Here the highly developed MULTIGRADE O-M 15.3 mixed fiber medium is used to improve the separation efficiency. The medium is made from cellulose and polyester fibers and is impregnated with phenolic resin. The compact element can withstand even very high specific volume flow rates. By using snap-in hooks on the glued-on plastic end caps the filter element can be easily and quickly removed. The fixed center tube of the element ensures maximum stability. Thanks to the robust design, the BMW Group is able to use the element universally for its 3- and 4-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines.
In future, the new plastic oil filter modules will also be used in the Chinese engine production of the BMW Group. The local infrastructure is already being prepared. MANN+HUMMEL is currently building a production line in China. The components produced there will then go directly to the BMW plant in China.