MAN B&W Celebrates 100th Anniversary Of Diesel Engine License Agreement
998 to be exact — marked the 100th anniversary of B&W acquiring the rights to use the patent granted to German engineer Rudolf Diesel for his invention. In 1892, Mr. Diesel patented the engine which would later be named after him — the diesel engine.
The diesel engine was run for the first time on February 17, 1894 at Maschinenfabrik Augsburg.
That same year, Mr. Diesel tried to interest B&W in his engine, sending a letter to David Halley, B&W managing director. Enclosed with the letter was his book, Theorie und Konstruktion eines rationellen Warmemotors, which described a 30 to 40 percent fuel utilization as opposed to the 15 percent obtained with contemporary steam engines.
Mr. Halley's response: Using oil as fuel was unusual and it was very difficult getting the oil to its destination at a reasonable cost.
In brief, B&W was not immediately interested.
Enter Danish engineer C. Winsl0w, who visited Maschinenfabrik Augsburg in October 1897, where he met Rudolf Diesel. There, Mr. Winsl0w — who worked for the Danish company A/S Titan — attended a trial run of the testinterested in producing small diesel engines and had sent Winsl0w to Augsburg to study the engine. As Titan was only interested in small-engine production, Mr. Diesel gave them until November 30, 1897 to find a manufacturer who would be interested in large engines, and he set up a draft agreement.
Before the November deadline, Titan got together with B&W, and the contract was split in two, giving B&W and Titan joint rights to produce engines of up to 20 hp for DEM 40,000 and DEM 20,000.
However, B&W and Titan were unable to come to an agreement, and in December 1897, Martin Dessau, B&W's managing director, went to Berlin where the contract was set up and signed by Diesel and later by B&W on January 28, 1898. The first engine was delivered in 1904 to N.
Larsens Vognfabrik in Copenhagen to produce electricity for lighting. The engine type was DM140, i.e. one cylinder with an output of 40 hp at 180 rpm. The cylinder diameter was 320 mm and the stroke 490 mm.
The demand for marine diesel engines grew rapidly, and around 1909, B&W engineers developed a reversing mechanism enabling the engines to run in both directions. In 1910, diesel engines were being built for the world's first oceangoing motorship, M/S Selandia.
With Selandia's maiden voyage to Bangkok in 1912, the B&W engine became recognized as an innovative addition to the shipping industry. In the following years, the diesel engine was furtherimproved and its field of deploy ment enlarged to include everything from ships to power plants, road and rail.
The first ship with a two-stroke diesel engine was the M/S Amerika, which was delivered to the East Asiatic Company in 1930. B&W soon became a licenser of diesel engines built according to company specifications, with the first license contract signed in 1910.
Before 1960, the majority of licensees were European. This changed in the 1970s and 1980s when large parts of the shipbuilding and engine production industry moved to Japan, and later to Korea and China. Currently, more than 80 percent of engines built according to MAN B&W Diesel specifications are built in East Asiaagreement with Kvaerner Masa-Yards for the construction of an 82,000-gt cruise ship. The estimated cost of the 2,100-passenger vessel is $390 million. The new vessel will be the eighth in the Costa fleet, which is jointly owned by Carnival and Airtours pic. In addition to its equity interests in Costa Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and Airtours pic, Carnival Corp. is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises. Combined, Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America have six new ships slated for delivery over the next three years — 101,000-ton Carnival Triumph and sistership Carnival Victory are scheduled to enter service in 1999 and 2000, respectively; Carnival 70,000-ton SuperLiners Elation and Paradise are currently under construction and scheduled to debut in March and November 1998, respectively; and Holland America Line has two 65,000-ton cruise ships on order, both scheduled for delivery in 1999.