Birth of a whole new generation
For a long time, Minsk engine builders have harboured ambitious plans to raise horsepower from 20 to 1,000, aiming to satisfy all the needs of the engineering sector. At present, Minsk Motor Plant produces engines of 50 to 450HP but recently took a large step forward, creating a three-cylinder diesel engine, now being prepared for mass production.
By Vladimir Kharitonov
Despite being small, the engine is a major domestic breakthrough, being the first in a new generation of small-displacement engines. The central model boasts 36HP, with displacement of 1.6 litres. However, by the end of the year, it should be joined by two, three and four-cylinder engines (20 to 90HP).
Notably, the development has been brought to life in a very short period of time. About a year ago, Minsk Tractor Works complained to the Ministry of Industry that the range of engines produced domestically was inadequate for its mini-tractors, which have recently become very popular with small farms.
Annoyingly, the domestic tractor producer was obliged to import expensive Lamborghini engines. Minsk Motor Plant then received an order to mass produce a new generation of engines. They not only met their deadline but set a personal record, taking just one year from design to implementation of a prototype. In fact, the engine’s main characteristics can rival those of Western models, while being a little cheaper.
In future, the new ‘fiery hearts’ will be installed not only in tractors, but in other small machines produced in Belarus. Potential customers include Gomselmash Production Association, Minsk Automobile Works, Amkodor (road construction and municipal equipment) and other enterprises producing mini-power units and diesel generator sets.
Minsk Motor Plant has recently presented its other new developments, meeting EURO-4, EURO-5 and Tier 3B environmental standards. Over the last year, it has launched mass production of engines meeting EURO-4 environmental standards and is almost ready to launch EURO-5. Its range of engines includes those with 600 horsepower — being tested with MAZ, BelAZ and Gomselmash machinery. New engines have also been created for Minsk Tractor Works, with 300HP (and meeting Stage 3B international standards). According to the Director General of the Minsk Motor Plant, Nikolay Lobach, mass-production of EURO-5 engines is around the corner. Annual production has already reached over 100,000 units, all meeting European standards.
“Until now, on reaching these volumes, most European manufacturers have paid us little attention, as we seemed insignificant; now, they’re treating Minsk Motor Plant as an equal,” emphasises Mr. Lobach.