The automotive industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world. MANN+HUMMEL as a leading supplier of filtration solutions live up to this claim with the development of market-driven products . The new VarioPleat air cleaner concept is being tested under laboratory conditions as well as under real driving conditions. This helps to overcome concerns of customers prior to first use.

Let me shortly explain what the test under real driving conditions is all about and why testing this product only under laboratory conditions is not enough. Due to the defined test parameters, product tests in the laboratory are an important aspect of component development, but they do not necessarily reflect real operating conditions. For this reason, MANN+HUMMEL equipped two vehicles of an American trucking company with VarioPleat air cleaners to test the functionality of the filters under real driving conditions.

A long test drive

Two Volvo VNM trucks with an engine output of 405 PS and engine capacity of 13 liters were used as test vehicles. In current American commercial vehicles air cleaners are typically fitted under the hood. The innovative VarioPleat concept with its variable pleat length of up to 300 millimeters, compact design and low pressure drop perfectly meets the requirements of these applications. Since 2002 MANN+HUMMEL supplies the air cleaner systems for all American Volvo trucks.

Due to our long-term serial product experience, we were able to create a VarioPleat experimental vehicle without the need to make any significant modifications to vehicle or engine. For the design of the VarioPleat housing and the filter elements the engineers relied on existing experiences. Accordingly, the filtration characteristic values, the air inlet and the position of the clean air duct have been taken over from the series air cleaner. In order to ensure that the tested product would be able to withstand the mechanical requirements in the field, a vibration test was carried out on the shaker test bench after determination of the characteristic values for the filtration. Following the successful test, the trial product was released for road use and fitted in the test vehicle. A cooperation was then set up with a trucking company near to the MANN+HUMMEL location at Portage, Michigan, USA to enable regular inspection and measuring of the air cleaner systems during the road testing.

About one and a half years have passed since the fitting of the VarioPleat air cleaner and till now both test vehicles have driven approximately 250,000 kilometer under real driving conditions. During this driving period no damage, functional impairment or worsening of the filtration performance was registered. These very positive results and the experience gained verify that with this innovative air cleaner concept the development engineers at MANN+HUMMEL have been able to set a new milestone in the field of air filtration for commercial vehicles. Further tests are now being carried out in the USA to gain more experience, supplemented by road testing in Germany with a European commercial vehicle.

First series VarioPleat air cleaner for on- and off-highway applications

The standard air cleaner IQORON VP 25, presented in the beginning of 2016 by MANN+HUMMEL, uses the new innovative VarioPleat air cleaner concept for the first time in a series application. Due to a new type of filter element, this compact design of the air cleaner is particularly suitable for confined installation spaces. This element was developed as a single-stage air cleaner without dust pre-separation and for extremely dusty conditions as a two-stage air cleaner with integrated dust pre-separation. Moreover, the filter element perfectly exploits the available installation space and is characterized by a large filter surface area with a simultaneously low pressure loss and high dust holding capacity. Due to this fact, the product is suitable for bus and commercial vehicle applications as well as for use in construction and agricultural machinery.

The IQORON VP 25 can be fitted in a vertical or horizontal position. The service concept from the side and fasteners of the filter system allow user friendly maintenance. Different options for the dirty and clean air ducts are available and there are a number of mounting possibilities. The robust design of the housing and element also offers excellent stability and resistance to temperature fluctuations.