Paccar engine plant nears readiness; MX introduced

BELLEVUE, Wash. — PACCAR’s 12.9-litre MX diesel will be on sale by this summer in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, and production will gradually move from the company’s engine plant in Eindhoven, Netherlands to a new US$400-million factory just finished in Columbus, Mississippi.

At a press conference last week at the company’s Technical Center in Mount Vernon, Wash., PACCAR chairman and CEO Mark Pigott said the American plant is presently being fitted with production machinery and employee training has begun.

The MX is a European engine modified for North America, designed and built by PACCAR-owned DAF, and about 125,000 of them are already in successful use around the world. The inline-six motor was first introduced in DAF trucks three years ago but the North American version has nonetheless seen 50 million miles of real-world and track testing as well as 125,000 hours of extreme testing in 42 engine test cells here and in the Netherlands, the company says.

Paccar’s new Mississippi plant
invites a new era of truck and engine making

DAF has been building engines for 50 years, and to date has delivered some 900,000 motors worldwide. It has racked up a couple of firsts along the way, including the first use of a turbocharger on a heavy diesel way back in 1959. It was also the first to use compacted graphite iron (CGI) in an engine block. The MX employs CGI in both block and head, said to result in more strength with less weight.

The first MX motors available on this side of the Atlantic will be built in Eindhoven with final assembly done in Columbus until the latter is up and running later this year. The Dutch plant has a capacity of 240 engines a day while the Mississippi facility will start at 100 a day, with room to grow to 300 as market conditions demand. Foundry work will not move to North America, but block and head machining will be done here.

Emissions control is by a combination of selective catalytic reduction and exhaust gas recirculation. DAF trucks have used SCR to meet Euro 4 and Euro 5 rules for several years, so the company is quite experienced with the technology. The MX will be offered with a horsepower range of 380 to 485 hp and torque outputs up to 1750 lb ft. A 510-hp/1850-lb-ft rating is available in Europe and will be offered here at some point in the future, according to Mark Pigott.

The company has been working closely with Cummins in the motor’s development, said PACCAR president Jim Cardillo, and the MX will use the Indiana engine-maker’s variable-geometry turbocharger among other components. 

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