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Courtesy of CMD
Cummins MerCruiser Diesel’s configurable VesselView display
provides vital information at the push of a button.
monitoring. Additionally, companies such as Bosch
and Nippon Denso supply electronic control modules
(ECMs), also known as electronic control units (ECUs),
to engine manufacturers after conducting exhaustive
R&D. Several of the engineers I spoke with originally
worked for companies such as GM Powertrain, John
Deere, and Ford and knew the process firsthand.
All confirmed that none of these electronic engines
have the ability to measure actual fuel flow.
No matter if it is a Cummins, Yanmar, Scania,
BMW, Lugger, Deere, or other brand, when an engine
undergoes development, the engineers map the ECM by
developing an algorithm that takes into account key
factors such as injector temperature and cylinder
pressure, and even fuel density.
While I heard essentially the same story from all
companies, John Deere’s Jennifer Barrett best summed up
the holy grail of this mapping program: how much fuel
do we need in order to provide the necessary power for
these conditions at this speed?
The ECM “commands” the injector (funny use of the
word, I thought, but engineers use it in this context) to
be open for the precise amount of time needed to inject
the specific number of milligrams of fuel per stroke that
will achieve the required power at the engine speed
requested by the throttle.
During an engine’s development, the amount of fuel
actually burned is precisely compared to the calculated
fuel burn from the mapping algorithm, and this is
checked and rechecked to make sure the resulting
difference, if any, is very, very small. Some assumptions
are made during the mapping process, as some variables,
such as internal tolerances and fuel type and temperature
(which affect fuel density), might keep the calculated