Resolve to evolve
Following a management buy out in 2007, the engineering service provider, Revolve, successfully rode out the economic storm, evolving with an expertise that would benefit the entire transport industry
Our primary activity is designing various transport related solutions, working with key customers such as Ford, Jaguar, Landrover, the MoD and London Underground,” says Paul Turner, technical director. Maintaining a comprehensive portfolio of services, over the past year projects have ranged from an enhanced seating (ES) system for military vehicles, developed to protect personnel in transit, to a whole raft of reverse engineering tasks for London Undergrounds’ maintenance trains, as well as the design and development of the ‘cross-track projector’ system, seen on the tube.
With roots that go back to an ownership by the Roush family of companies, it is of little surprise that the firm has also maintained a domineering influence on the world of motor sport. Through its performance division, Mountune, it continues to build highly competitive comrace engines, playing a fundamentally vital role in the ongoing development and build of Ford’s ‘Eco Boost Engines’, used heavily in touring car championships. Furthermore, ongoing success in the design, development and build of an engine for use in the World & FIA Rally Cross Championships has seen the company establish an increasing level of respect in the performance sector of the automotive industry. The Mountune brand has also been promoted through the development and supply of powertrain upgrades for Ford’s ST and RS vehicles. Mountune are rhe only approved tuner for Ford and the upgrades are fully supported by the Ford Warranty.
“Our success has been heavily reliant on R&D, ultimately ensuring that we are able to stay ahead of the game. Our customers come to us when they have problems that they can’t solve, either due to time, resource or knowledge. Through having a raft of R&D projects constantly on-going our engineers are fully in tune with the direction of the industry,” explains Paul, adding: “Reflecting that importance, we invest a lot of money each year in running R&D projects, many of which are supported by Innovate UK, the governments’ technology strategy board.”
Improving efficiency, lowering consumption and lowering carbon emissions are three factors that are synonymous with Revolve. Paul discusses the importance of maintaining that reputation: “Many developments that originated in the automotive sector have been transferrable into truck, rail, and off-highway applications. By carrying that status of competency in developing and integrating technologies into vehicle platforms, it has allowed us to pick up business outside of the traditional car and van applications and into the other industries.”
Revolve is currently working closely on a project with Vivarail on the production of a drive system, incorporating existing electric motors, which have proven to be amongst the most reliable on the Underground. The business is responsible for the design of new underfloor-mounted low-emission diesel engines, equipped with the latest automotive ‘stop-start’ technology, which will power the motors. “One of our core strengths comes from not being tied to any one technology, calling upon the adaptability of our engineers to be able to pick up new products, understand how they work and interact with existing products, and to be able to develop systems that meet customers requirements,” says Paul. The contract with Vivarail is a classic example of the businesses capability to apply products together in novel applications.
Since the company first entered the UK market in 1995, it has worked closely with a number of clients developing hybrid and electric drive vehicles, including Intelligent Energy, Emerald Automotive, Smith Electric Vehicles, Teva Motors, and most recently Geely. Following the acquisition of the electric car start-up firm Emerald Automotive, Geely is under a period of expansion of its electric car production that includes the development of the ‘next generation’ taxi vehicles. “In the contract with Geely, we are providing our expertise and facilities as we work together to develop a new London taxi. Our portfolio is testament to the flexibility and ingenuity of our engineers.
“To ensure the right calibre of specialism remains in the business, we have an ongoing apprenticeship drive, as well as a graduate programme, with which we are able to train individuals into the way we work,” points out Paul. Moving forward, the business is focused on its planned expansion into the rail industry, looking to further develop applications upon conclusion of the Vivarail contract. “If we can secure engagement in the ‘FutureRailway’ scheme, we expect to be able to expand these technologies into a full hybrid application, using engines, energy storage systems and electric motors,” he adds.
Whilst technology under the Vivarail contract is purely diesel-electric, with multiple diesel units it effectively has a large capacity but with variable displacement, only providing the power needed, with no wasted energy. “Through the use of these low-cost high performance diesel engines we can keep the costs down and provide a very good and efficient power source, which importantly is clean. We look to be the leading company in the de-carbonisation of transport, so being heavily engaged in both electric vehicles and hybrids, as well as hydrogen is a key part of our business strategy,” concludes Paul.
Revolve Technologies Ltd
Products: Engineering service provider