Ex-service technician Mikael Åkerfelt knows the importance of an engine with a simple layout and good serviceability. And with the task of ensuring that the V8 engine is made as easy to repair as possible, he is a godsend to the workshops.
No matter if you’ve tinkered with a faulty household appliance or fixed a combustion engine, you may have had that moment when you find yourself asking: ‘Why oh why has this machine been made in such a complicated way?’
It’s fair to say the manufacturers could have done with someone like Mikael Åkerfelt on hand. As a development engineer, he provides service information to the workshops, making sure the instructions and manuals are as clear as possible and that things are put together as simply as possible to start with.
So imagine the relief of Scania service technicians when they found that the new V8 engine has a layout that is much easier to service than before. But then, as an ex-service technician who worked at a Scania dealership until 2012, Åkerfelt has been in their shoes.
“I’ve been the guy in the workshop swearing and wondering what on earth they were thinking when they constructed it, saying, ‘I’d like to talk to this guy! I have a good idea of what the workshops think and what they want, and especially what they don’t want.
“My goal is to make myself obsolete,” Åkerfelt adds. “If I do the work well enough early on, the workshops shouldn’t need any advice on how to repair it.”
In fact, Scania is getting better all the time at integrating simplicity and serviceability into its engines, as the new V8 will show.
“Nowadays we work with projects from the start, and we make sure the engine is as easy to repair as possible,” says Åkerfelt. “I’ve been in the V8 engine project since 2013. I’ve been in regular discussions with the different designers, attended layout meetings, looked at 3D models of the engine, and looked at the early versions.”
The idea of designers jealously guarding their work and making no compromises does not apply here; that was a nice surprise to Åkerfelt.
“Everybody has been interested in getting the best possible solution for Scania. I was expecting some to say, ‘No, I don’t want to change my parts’, but there haven’t been any problems at all. A lot of the team have come to me with questions before I have found something. It’s been fun to work on, and I’m excited to get the engine out there.”
And a favourite V8 object?
“Since troubleshooting the fuel system’s high-pressure side was my biggest concern at first, I choose the single accumulator with the high-pressure lines.”
And with that our troubleshooter, a keen cyclist, heads home to get out on one of his easy-to-repair bikes.