Next year will mark ACTIVE Exhaust Corporation’s 55th anniversary. Throughout its history, the organization has provided customers with industry-leading exhaust solutions including tubular products and thermal management technologies. “We specialize in the design, testing and manufacture of complete and complex exhaust systems and components, including emission solutions,” describes Vice President of Sales and Marketing Stefan Jennewein.
ACTIVE Exhaust has a massive library of in-production exhaust solutions that are engine manufacturer approved and certified. The company also produces custom-engineered exhaust and emission solutions that meet the latest environmental standards and demands.
In January 2011, Tier IV regulations began taking effect on selected off-road equipment applications throughout North America and other regulated countries in Europe. Many engine and equipment manufacturers were challenged and made significant R&D investments to deal with elevated exhaust temperatures and emission compliance. By that time, ACTIVE Exhaust had already begun addressing some of these engineering challenges by developing and introducing leading edge thermal management solutions. These technologies where specifically designed to effectively reduce exhaust gas exit temperatures, exhaust surface temperatures and to protect sensitive electronics as well as adjacent components found on modern equipment.
ACTIVE Exhaust is designing solutions for both diesel and spark-ignited engines ranging from 20 to 700 hundred horsepower. “Our research and development facility and dedicated staff are located in a real hotbed of knowledge and progressive thinkers. This has definitely catapulted us to the forefront in the industry,” says John Plessas, a senior application engineer and a key customer contact. “Our personnel have been pioneering the design and manufacturing of high output 2 stroke exhaust systems for many years. To watch them go toe-to-toe with the university graduate that is using the latest CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics] tools and challenging all the existing processes and procedures is quite exciting.”
“The Tier IV regulation is a pivotal shift in our industry,” adds Jennewein. “Everything from industrial equipment applications such power generators, lawn mowers, bulldozers, tractors to forklifts will need to comply – essentially anything that is powered by an internal combustion engine. There are specific regulations for both mobile and stationary applications.”
ENABLING CUSTOMER COMPLIANCE
Managing exhaust gas temperature is critical to the industry. ACTIVE Exhaust caters its technologies to markets that include consumer and commercial lawn care equipment, construction, farming machinery, welders, generators, as well as all-terrain, recreation and utility vehicles.
“Our customers consist of large OEMs and we supply leading equipment manufacturers in North America, Europe and the Far East including China,” informs Jennewein. “They choose to work with us because we specialize in Tier IV system integration, and our products are on the leading edge of technology. During the past five years, the business has changed considerably. Traditional exhaust systems are no longer sufficient. This is a direct result of the increased heat generated by the after-treatment and extended warranty terms for emission compliance. We’re talking about warranty terms of a minimum of five years or 3,000 hours – whatever comes first. Modern exhaust systems also need to be leak-free and comply with engine manufacturer cleanliness specifications, which add further complexity to manufacturing processes.”
CAPABILITIES AND CAN DO CULTURE
ACTIVE Exhaust is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The 180,000-square-foot facility is supported by two third-party warehouse locations in the United States and a 45,000-squarefoot joint venture manufacturing facility in China.
“The vital reason global OEM’s come to us is due to our design capabilities and excellent application knowledge,” says Jennewein. “In addition, we have a strong foundation in the offroad industry; and we have excellent testing capabilities related to temperature performance, leakage and cleanliness among other critical elements. That has not only increased our business; it has provided a tremendous amount of new opportunities for our company and our dedicated team. Our strengths have allowed us to attain a leadership position in the Tier IV system integration landscape.”
THE TRUE LEADING EDGE
ACTIVE Exhaust has taken the initiative and has become involved with industry leading international committees’ and sub-committees, as it is sometimes difficult to keep track of industry changes,” says Jennewein.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations are daily discussion points and on the forefront of the decision making at ACTIVE Exhaust. “It is our job to make sure the OEM has a complete solution that is in compliance with all current and applicable laws,” says Jennewein. “We provide that solution as a service to our clients and take pride in providing useful data to help the regulators establish the rules and write the laws.”
ACTIVE Exhaust’s test facilities and standard test practice include:
- Backpressure at any given engine operating condition;
- Sound level, frequency analysis (1/3 octave band or FFT) and recording;
- Back fire and after-bang verification tests under extreme and normal operation conditions;
- Horsepower and torque mapping of the engine;
- Hot soak thermal testing;
- Hexane light off thermal testing for heat retention;
- Emissions test (ISO8187, EPA, CARB);
- Durability testing on any given test cycle with data acquisition;
- Internal and external spark arrestor testing (USDA standard);
- Flame arrestor testing (UL 558);
- Vibration testing;
- Paint adhesion testing; and
- Venturi performance and exhaust gas temperature testing.
Since inception, ACTIVE Exhaust has provided OEMs with innovative solutions in the design and manufacture of best-in-class exhaust systems, tubular products and fabricated metal components. Its comprehensiveness underscores why the company lives up to its name. It’s ACTIVE.