Emissions reduction specialist, Eminox, recently opened a new Retrofit Service and Support Centre, with a dedicated Aftermarket Distribution Hub, in Stoke-on- Trent. To find out how this came about and what it means for the industry, we spoke to the company’s Retrofit Sales Director, Carlos Vicente.
Q. What does the new Service and Support Centre offer?
Carlos Vicente (CV): The Service and Support Centre provides both Eminox Retrofit and Aftermarket customers with more product choice and service availability. We hold a range of aftermarket products we can supply directly to customers, as well as through our network of over 160 distributors.
For our retrofit customers, the centre includes three fitting bays and three weld bays. The site has seen a complete upgrade to improve accessibility, vehicle security and personnel comfort. We have raised door access so coaches and buses can easily enter the fitting bays; additional security features that provide reassurance to operators who leave their vehicles on site; and a reception area so that the operators who choose to wait with their vehicles during the installation of their new exhaust aftertreatment systems can wait in comfort.
Q. Who will have access to the centre? Who will benefit?
CV: The Service and Support Centre will benefit bus and coach operators responding to and preparing for the introduction of clean air zones and low emission areas, as well as the expansion of the London ULEZ. We can upgrade heavy-duty vehicles to Euro VI equivalent emissions standards at a convenient location in the Midlands. Our retrofit customers can upgrade their vehicles at their own facilities or our HQ in Gainsborough, and they now have a third choice of location to suit their vehicles’ availability.
Q. Is the new centre part of a larger growth plan?
CV: Eminox has invested over £4m across the business, in equipment, product development and employee training in the last year. One major investment has been in the design, development and certification of OE-quality type approved Euro VI DPFs. Over two-thirds of Euro VI heavy-duty vehicles can now be fitted with one of our independently certified replacement Euro VI DPFs. From our support centre we can provide a next-day service on our DPFs, which are BER compliant, include all required fittings, and help to keep vehicleson the road.
We continue to grow and increase our retrofit product development programme to provide key applications with exhaust aftertreatment systems for heavy-duty vehicles operating in London’s expanding Ultra Low Emissions Zone ULEZ and the other clean air zones (CAZs) across our cities.
Q. Could you go into more detail on the support that the centre will offer technicians and fleets looking for a retrofit solution?
CV: More fleet operators and managers are placing orders to upgrade their older vehicles because this is a very cost-effective solution to meeting stringent emissions regulations. With London’s ULEZ expanding to include much of Greater London in October 2020 and many other UK cities planning to introduce CAZs, heavy-duty vehicles that do not meet Euro VI emissions standards could be charged up to £100 per day to enter. Eminox provides cost-effective Euro VI retrofit technology for older heavy-duty vehicles, which reduces harmful diesel emissions by up to 99%. You could upgrade up to 15 vehicles for the cost of a new one.
Q. What are the reasons behind the opening of the centre? Why now?
CV: Many of our customers are planning to opt for cost-effective SCRT solutions to upgrade to Euro VI to comply with the demands of a new wave of emission-control zones, rather than buying new vehicles. As well as working to expand our core range of solutions for buses, coaches and specialist HGVs, we have identified a need for more speciality fitting capacity due to our complex SCRT systems, which fully integrate with vehicles. This dedicated support centre is focused on providing the best-possible service as we work in partnership with our customers to keep vehicles reducing emissions long into the future.
Q. Where has this demand for Eminox’s services come from?
CV: We have now fitted more than 5,000 SCRT systems to upgrade older vehicles, and prevent harmful PM and NOx diesel emissions from polluting our cities. We have seen an increase in demand for Eminox retrofit systems, which is why our development programme and fitments are growing.
There has also been more demand for our replacement Euro VI DPFs. Our customers benefit from high-quality, replacement products that are guaranteed to fit and function the same as their OEMs’ DPFs, and at a lower price. As DPFs are serviceable filters, they should be checked, regenerated manually or cleaned off-vehicle at every service to ensure they operate correctly. Given the focus on compliance, operators of Euro VI-standard vehicles need to ensure that they look after their DPFs. Our new service and support centre allows us to provide rapid responses to our customers and distributors.