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Ricardo, Pi Shurlock In ECU Collaboration

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Van Buren Township-baesd Ricardo Inc., the American subsidiary of England’s Ricardo plc, Monday announced a technology collaboration with England’s Pi Shurlok on open-artchitecture electronic control unit design and production.

The collaboration is intended for customers in the automotive, commercial vehicle, off-highway equipment and defense vehicle sectors. It will offer the option of a comprehensive and fully integrated set of products and services, ranging from the development of powertrain products incorporating new ECUs by Ricardo, through to high quality, volume electronics manufacture and supply from Pi Shurlok.

This joint service will be based upon a choice of Ricardo’s open architecture “Morfeus” controller and Pi Shurlok’s OpenECU technology, for which a wide range of production-ready ECUs is available for new vehicle innovation programs.

For almost all new conventional and hybrid powertrain technology development programs, enhancements are necessary to the product’s control software and the electronics of the ECU hardware on which it operates. In particular where enhancements are sought to performance, fuel economy, emissions and supervisory control, such changes frequently entail the use of a prototype level controller for the purposes of initial development. Once product targets are achieved, the same functionality has to be subsequently re-engineered on a production-ready ECU platform. Using either Ricardo’s Morfeus or one of Pi Shurlok’s OpenECU products however, Ricardo is able to develop the prototype system on a production-ready platform which is immediately available for series manufacture.

Pi Shurlok has a broad-ranging automotive customer base comprising many of the world’s leading automotive, transportation and related sector companies including BMW, Detroit Diesel, Ford, Mercedes Benz, Renault, Toyota and VW, and their respective tier one suppliers, and has a business model and development capability which is extremely complementary with that of Ricardo.

The collaboration remains non-exclusive and both Ricardo and Pi Shurlok will continue to offer their products and services independently of each other. By combining their respective services and products in this way however, the two companies believe that their joint customers will be able to derive significant benefits in both time-to-market and product functionality and quality.

With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the United States and Asia, England’s Ricardo plc provides strategic consulting and engineering expertise ranging from vehicle systems integration, controls and electronics, and hardware and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel-cell powertrain technologies. Ricardo’s customers include the world’s major automakers and suppliers as well as manufacturers in the military, commercial, off-highway and clean-energy sectors. The company also serves in advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies. Ricardo’s U.S. operation, Ricardo Inc., is headquartered in Van Buren Township. Ricardo plc posted sales of $244.4 million in financial year 2010 and is a constituent of the FTSE TechMark 100 index  — a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit www.ricardo.com.

Pi Shurlok is subsidiary of South Africa-based Control Instruments Group Ltd. More at www.pi-shurlok.com.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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