Engine set to go

The foundations of German engine manufacturer BU Bücker & Essing can be traced back to 1963 when an automobile engine reconditioning company by the name of Motoren Bücker & Essing was established in Lingen. Led by Josef Bücker and Herrmann Essing, the company gradually established a nationwide service network throughout Germany both by setting up local subsidiaries as well as acquiring existing businesses. In concert with its geographic spread the company graduated into the manufacture of turbochargers and other engine components, paving the way for its first international branch in 2002, BU Austria, which focused on turbochargers and remanufacture. Accelerated growth led to a restructure of the company, spinning off the turbocharger business and leaving Motoren Bücker & Essing to become BU Bücker & Essing in 2007 with a sharp focus on the engines for land and marine vehicles.

Today the company is a leading light in engine and machining technology, sought after by clients that understand its knowledge and skill in the business are second to none. One of the Bücker & Essing’s foremost capabilities is the remanufacturing of components, in which it has achieved worldwide recognition with clients of its centre round grinding as widely spread as Lithuania, China, Sri Lanka and beyond. Also on offer is a flexible 24-hour mobile machining workshop, tool and gear truck that services well-known OE customers on-site and worldwide. It is able to drill bearing channels, replace top and bottom counter bores, remanufacture water overflows and tappet borings, arrange bushing seats and even carry out mobile erosion work.

Bücker & Essing also undertakes re-engineering projects too, which for example offer clients components for engines no longer supported by the OEM. Last year the company began an even more grand research project to re-engineer entire units, transforming truck and stationary engines into low cost and environmentally friendly engines for use by inland waterway vessels. Using 520,000 euros of funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the 18-month R&D project began in May 2010 with the goal of creating main and secondary ship engines running on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a fuel otherwise currently unavailable to marine vessels. Tests have shown that LPG engines have much lower emissions than similar diesel counterparts.

The 11,000 inland navigators throughout Europe today are powered primarily by diesel but both the rising cost and environmental footprint of this fuel has encouraged ship operators to look at other solutions. However, due to the relatively small stature of the sector, investment into developing special engines is difficult to justify so in conjunction with the University of Bayreuth and its close ties to the Fraunhofer Institute, Bücker & Essing took it upon itself to create this financially viable alternative. With a vast supply of second hand truck and stationary engines available throughout Germany and Europe, there are plenty of opportunities for the thousands of river and lake vessels on the continent.

Another conversion service available from the company is to convert natural gas engines to run on biogases, created through the breakdown of organic vegetable matter. The most important advantage the user gains out of a biogas engine is that the fuel is far less flammable than natural gas as well as better for compression, thereby allowing greater densities of gas within the same area.

The LPG marine engine and natural-to-biogas conversions are just two examples of Bücker & Essing’s innovation and technical prowess. It has far ranging capabilities which enable it to work on and remanufacture both diesel and gas engine rated up to and including 5000 kilowatts as well as on huge assembling such as crankshafts, camshafts and conrods up to 8.5 metres in length. It works according to a principle of repair rather than scrapping, thereby offering its clients excellent value for money alongside keen technical knowhow.

The company holds it equipment to a promise: “Quality means that the customer comes back and not the product.” To ensure this statement is met as consistently as possible, Bücker & Essing runs a stringent quality control scheme as part of its infrastructure that is qualified by ISO 9001:2000 as well as independently monitored by several certification organisations. Furthermore, all work is audited according to product quality guidelines as regulated by RAL RG 797. The success of these quality control efforts is reflected by frequent customer surveys that show Bücker & Essing as offering consistently top quality products and services that are as good as, if not exceeding, those of the OEM itself.

Bücker & Essing is part of the wider BU Drive group, which includes: BU Turbo Systems, Schmitz & Krieger, Erasmus & Willms, BU Drive USA and BU Drive Austria. All these subsidiaries support one another through sharing of knowledge and ideas, integrating the knowledge of engines through multiple industries including automobiles, commercial automobiles and industrial to gain the best of each: the LPG engine conversion is of course a perfect example of this. Groupwide, customers include major manufacturers of cars, commercial vehicles, auto parts wholesalers as well as operators of vehicle fleets, stationary units and industrial engines.

Looking forward, the company has a huge amount going for it. Business over the last two years has been better than ever in an economic climate where companies are looking to extend the life of old units rather than invest in new ones, combined with increasing awareness about the environmental impact of engine emissions. With the LPG engine research project currently in its final phases, Bücker & Essing is the ideal engine machining and remanufacture partner for the sector.

Researching its first maritime LPG engine
Respected for its technical knowledge and engineering skill
Offers far-reaching remanufacturing services