Work has begun on Danfoss’ new manufacturing facility in Loanhead near Edinburgh, creating a potential 230 jobs and providing added capability in Scotland for the production of low-carbon digital hydraulic pumps and motors for off-highway vehicles.
The 1500 square metre plant will manufacture high-tech digital hydraulic pumps and motors for off-road vehicles – utilising Artemis’s Digital Displacement technology, supported by the APC in the £21m DDISPLACE project – led by Artemis Intelligent Power, supported by Danfoss and Robbie Fluid Engineering. The project will create more than 30 skilled jobs initially, and Danfoss predicts the export-led business will be worth £100 million annually within a decade, with up to 200 further jobs to come.
Ian Constance, CEO – Advanced Propulsion Centre, kicked off the work on the facility using an excavator fitted with a cutting edge Digital Displacement pump to break the first piece of ground.
The new facility will enable Scotland to become a world-leader in a low-carbon technology, radically reducing fuel consumption and reducing missions by more than half in off-road vehicles, trucks and trains.
“Our first goal is for Artemis technology to be a key component in the $3.5 billion off-road vehicle hydraulic machinery market,” said Eric Bretey, Director, Digital Displacement at Danfoss, who heads up the Danfoss Scotland business.
“Vehicle manufacturers are asking for reliable, cost-effective solutions to reduce environmental impact and increase productivity, and Digital Displacement technology will provide just that.
“We estimate the emissions reduction of each Digital Displacement excavator will be the equivalent to taking 18 diesel family cars off the road. It is a technology which increases efficiency, reduces cost and pays for itself very quickly,” Bretey says.
“The support of the Advanced Propulsion Centre has been an important catalyst in our collaboration in the off-road sector and underscores our decision to make this major investment in the UK. In the years ahead, these pumps will become a core component in any off-road machine which utilises hydraulic power, and there is enormous potential in other sectors too,” Bretey concludes.
In the off-road market, the impact of digital displacement could be significant. In Greater London, for example, off-road mobile machinery currently contributes ten percent of all NOx emissions and 11 percent of all PM10 emissions. Even with modest adoption rates, the technology is forecast to make CO2 savings of ten million tonnes over the first ten years of commercial operation.
Artemis Managing Director Niall Caldwell said:
“It’s not enough to invent new technologies in the UK – we also need to manufacture here and export around the world, and this is what this Danfoss investment will enable. We are also very grateful to the Advanced Propulsion Centre for their support and to Scottish Enterprise for their backing over many years.
“Our technology was first developed in the University of Edinburgh and we have successfully piloted Digital Displacement in trains, trucks, wind turbines and industry, and in each sector it offers massive potential to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
“In the coming months and years we will help Danfoss develop commercial products for each of these sectors, but today the focus is on the off-road market.
“Ultimately, the Digital Displacement off-road vehicles of the future will have smaller engines, be cheaper to run and use less than half the energy – whether that energy comes from fossil fuel, hydrogen, biogas or batteries. It is a technology that pays for itself, requires no sales subsidy and will make a very positive impact on the environment,” Caldwell concludes.