KS Kolbenschmidt, a group subsidiary of Rheinmetall Automotive AG, has just been awarded its first contract for pistons of the latest Liteks 4 technology. The order has a lifetime value of over €47 million. The customer is a joint venture between a major international automaker and a leading group of companies in China.
The components are destined for a new 4-cylinder gas engine with 1.5-litres displacement and an output of almost 150 kW. Production start-up is scheduled for autumn 2021. The lightweight pistons made of aluminium will be manufactured at the newly built piston plant in Chongqing which belongs to the Chinese joint venture Kolbenschmidt Huayu Piston Co. (KSHP), previously known as Kolbenschmidt Shanghai Pistons and set up in 1997. Within China, KSHP holds a leading position in the market for car engine pistons and has lifted its output by over fivefold over the past decade. The plant in the megacity of Chongqing uses most modern technologies and production equipment.
KS Kolbenschmidt first launched its Liteks lightweight pistons in 2006. These very light, high-duty pistons have since been further developed to match market requirements. More than 100 million have been installed in vehicles all over the world. On the fourth – and latest – generation of Liteks pistons, the weight has been reduced by about 10% through the use of a high-strength, high-temperature alloy and smaller wall thicknesses. This has been made possible by refinements to the basic piston structure. In terms of friction reduction, the new generation performs particularly well. Tests carried out on Kolbenschmidt’s own test bench under full-load conditions confirmed an up to 28% improvement. The latest generation of Liteks pistons thus meets today’s most exacting requirements regarding reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.