A former truck driver, Tomas Björnelund certainly knows the difference between a good and bad truck, but this is just one part of his significant contribution to the Scania V8 team.
Tomas Björnelund has spent quite a lot of time behind the wheel of distribution trucks in the city of Stockholm and at Arlanda airport. “My first-hand experience driving trucks makes me understand the driver’s situation,” he says. “I can tell good from bad.”
Björnelund began working at Scania directly after he took his exams at the Vehicle Engineering programme at Stockholm’s kth Royal Institute of Technology. After 13 years with the company, he was recently appointed as Assistant Chief Engineer in the V8 team, and brings a wealth of experience to his new role.
“Scania is a large company with many possibilities to develop within a range of areas,” he says. “Knowledge that would have been lost if you changed employer can be reused.”
taking the new V8 engine over the finishing line
Björnelund’s most recent position before moving onto the V8 project was as team manager at Scania’s department for brake performance. He was responsible for the performance and properties of the entire brake system; this included the system that is distributed over the whole vehicle, from discs and drums by the wheels, the pedal and levers in the cab, valves for the controlling of the braking system mounted on the chassis and functionality in the powertrain, such as the exhaust brake and the retarder.
It was Björnelund’s manager who pointed him in the direction of the V8 project, giving him the chance to bring his leadership skills to his new team.
“In my new position, I am responsible for taking the new V8 engine over the finishing line,” he says. “This work involves solving the final deviations and supporting the final phase of the long-term testing.”
Björnelund will also take part in the assembly of the engine on the pre-series line to get an in-depth knowledge of the new V8 engine.
“We’ll start assembling the new engine according to the processes in the serial production, but at a slower pace since we also need to write instructions for this,” he says. The goal here is to streamline the production and to find areas for improvement.
So what is his favourite object on the V8 engine?
“To me, the most obvious part is the electronic control unit, the ECU,” he says. “It has interfaces to a range of control systems including the different brake control systems with which I am very familiar.”
Björnelund also stresses the fact that the ECU has been moved to a cooler part of the engine. “It has freed up important space while at the same time helping to increase the lifetime of the electronics,” he says.