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New skilled jobs to be created

Artemis launches £22m low carbon project

Excavator, Artemis

The new technology could significantly transform the efficiency of off-road vehicles such as excavators


Edinburgh technology firm Artemis Intelligent Power has launched a groundbreaking £22 million project to develop low carbon off-road vehicles of the future.

A consortium led by the Loanhead-based inventors has secured £11m. from the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK to help develop a new generation of ‘Digital Displacement’ hydraulic pumps and motors to be used in off-road vehicles such as excavators, wheel loaders and material handling equipment.

It’s anticipated the 42-month project will bring skilled jobs and investment in its wake.

Artemis will collaborate with global manufacturer Danfoss – one of the world’s largest suppliers of hydraulic equipment to the off-road market – and Bathgate firm Robbie Fluid Engineering.

The consortium believes the Digital Displacement technology they are developing will radically improve performance and reduce fuel consumption in off-road machines – and even with modest adoption rates, is forecast to make CO2 savings of 10 million tonnes over the first ten years of commercial operation.

Once fully-developed, the emissions reduction of each Digital Displacement excavator will be equivalent to taking 18 diesel family cars off the road.

Artemis managing director Niall Caldwell said: “This UK funding will enable our world-class engineering team to develop Digital Displacement technology as a major component in the $3.5 billion off-road vehicle hydraulic machinery market.

“With Digital Displacement we are leading hydraulic power into the digital age by embedding digital control into the very heart of the machine.

“Now hydraulics can compete with electrical drives on efficiency and control, offering a new roadmap towards the low-carbon future for this industry.

“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.

Dr Niall Caldwell – Managing Director, Artemis Intelligent Power
Dr Niall Caldwell: digital age

“It is a technology that pays for itself, requires no sales subsidy and will make a very positive impact on the environment.”

Mr Caldwell added: “It’s not enough to invent these technologies in the UK – we also need to manufacture here and export round the world. This announcement paves the way for the UK to take the lead in a low-carbon technology with global potential.”

Welcoming the news, Eric Bretey, director, Digital Displacement at Danfoss, said: “Customers are asking for reliable, cost-effective solutions to reduce environmental impact and increase productivity, and Digital Displacement technology will provide just that.

“The confidence that Innovate UK has shown in our project underpins Danfoss’ belief that the UK is the right place to make this investment and will enable us to work with Artemis to develop a ground-breaking technology with significant global potential,” Bretey concludes.

Mark Robbie at Robbie Fluid Engineering added: “The hydraulic industry has made fantastic progress on reliability and robustness but there is a clear need to improve efficiency.  Digital Displacement moves hydraulics from being part of the problem to being the solution and Robbie Fluid Engineering wants to be part of that revolution.”

Artemis Digital Displacement technology has already been tested in a 16-tonne excavator as a ‘straight swap’ with the existing hydraulic pump. This initial trial showed fuel savings of over 20 percent and significant improvements in productivity.

This new project will enable the consortium to make a ‘fully digital’ hydraulic hybrid system. This would completely replace analogue pumps and valves with Digital Displacement technology, including hydraulic accumulator energy storage, to achieve even greater fuel savings.

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