The Tolmin Innovative Glow Plug for a Million of Cars
A trailing glow plug with a pressure sensor manufactured by the Tolmin Company “Hidria” reduces the fuel consumption by 30%.
Over the past five years, the Hidria AET Company from Tolmin has developed a diesel glow plug with a pressure sensor. More than 15 patents in Europe, the USA, Japan and China were issued to protect the invention. The Company has already signed the purchase contracts worth 110 million euros with regard to the cold start glow plug system for a pressure sensor diesel engine.
More than 20 leading experts from the Hidria Company Institute of Technology were developing the innovative glow plug. Peter Uršič, the head of the research project, noted, “This is our national scientific research. Since 2010, a group of technicians, engineers, masters and doctors in the field of instrumentation, electrical engineering, physics, metallurgy and mechatronics has been working on this innovative project, which is a new trend in the automotive industry. We also cooperated with our partners and institutions from abroad. The essence of the innovation is that the glow plug transmits a pressure pulse to the engine’s microcomputer, thereby achieving the optimum combustion. This reduces the power consumption, and, which is important, the environment is considerably less contaminated, since a far less volume of toxic compounds is emitted by the reaction.”
The new glow plug is installed in every third car in the world.
Calculations show that the innovative cold start glow plug system for a pressure sensor diesel engine also provides up to 30 percent of fuel savings. According to Rudi Kragelj, the Director of the Development and Sales Department of the Hidria AET Tolmin Company, “… this technology will ensure constant monitoring of the operation and combustion in diesel engines. According to forecasts, the cold start glow plug system for a pressure sensor diesel engine will be integrated into each third manufactured diesel vehicle in the world by 2018. After 2017, the Euro 6.2 Emission Standard will come into force. We have already entered this process of modernization as a supplier of new technology and expect to fundamentally enter the market over the next three years.”
The representatives of the Hidria AET Tolmin Company preferred not to disclose the details of the contract for 110 million euros signed with a European company.
It should be also noted that according to the authoritative European Association of Automotive Suppliers, the invention has become the best green innovation of this year in Europe.
In recent years, Hidria has invested 45 million euros in the development of the Tolmin Company.
The innovative breakthrough is the result of deliberate investments. Even today, 350 people are working in the Slovenian company and its small branch in China. While in the coming years another 50 new job positions are expected to be opened. The Company needs a highly qualified technical staff, which is reflected in the investment policy. According to the Hidria AET leadership, 26 million euros will be allocated for the development and search for the new design solutions by 2020.
“More funds to specialists, and not to managers!”
While answering the question on revision of the specialists’ official salaries in accordance with the efficiency of their intellectual products, the Chair of the Hidria AET Board of Directors Iztok Seljak said, “We need to proceed from the comparison with the Slovenia’s neighbouring countries, with which we compete at the macro level. Moreover, it is not about 3–5 percent verification of salaries, but about 10–20 percent. To avoid confusion, I should note that we are not referring to managers and highly qualified staff from other areas of industry. Here, we are talking only about the machinists, electrical engineers, mechatronic engineers, physicists, etc. In short, we are talking about the people who are able to create innovative projects in the field of technologies and products of the future.”
Minister: “I support the leading experts…”
The Minister Zdravko Počivalšk provided his personal reaction to this game-changer in technology, “I stand for the intellectual capital and support this idea of another improvement within the automotive industry. The government also stands firm on this, and the Ministry of Finance has already prepared concrete steps in this direction, so that due to this breakthrough we could create a more competitive environment for the companies oriented to innovations.”
At the end of his visit, Iztok Seljak was laconic, “We hope that in the coming months we will manage to decide on the increase in the gross salaries of specialists, and not just managers, in order to have a possibility of preserving these valuable employees, on whom we all depend.”
Video about the innovative invention of the Slovenian technologists: rtvslo.si