And on the screens of department employees we can already see the equipment of tomorrow. First of all, it’s about cars, trucks and other electrical equipment – the Joint Institute of Mechanical Engineering is the leading organization in Belarus for its development. In order to use the augmented reality effect, the designers and builders of the institute changed the usual drawing board and paper for high-performance computers and electronic “glasses”. Everything for a high flight of artistic fantasy! It is not for nothing that students of the Belarusian Academy of Arts work here side by side with graduates of leading technical universities. I ask department researcher Nikolai Solovyov to explain what he saw.
- Before the pre-production stage, we “pilot” the object in virtual reality in order to assess how it will look live, – explains the specialist. And the head of the industrial design department Viktor Bokhonko continues:
Over time, unmanned electric vehicles will also be developed at the institute, a group of scientists is already engaged in this
- We have a new installation every six months. Today – an electric pickup truck, tomorrow – a truck or mining dump truck. It attracts young people.
One of these developments is a four-tonne electric cargo truck. The tests of the experimental sample have already been completed and a license for driving on public roads has been received. This year, JSC “Minsk Automobile Plant” plans to produce 10 such new products for testing real operation in logistics centers. Also, by order of MAZ, scientists are creating a garbage truck and an apron bus for airports with electric traction. And for the Mogilev Automobile Plant, electric mining equipment for underground work is being developed, which will replace traditional diesel equipment on the company’s conveyor. On the listed equipment, academic developments such as a high-speed gearbox for an electric vehicle, traction motors, power electronics and an energy storage control system will find application.
Based on this, the designers of the Institute have developed several of their original models of electric vehicles, recently presented at the exhibition “Intellectual Belarus”. It is a two-seater sports car and a light truck with a load capacity of up to one ton. According to scientists, it is he who has the greatest chance of getting on the conveyor. Quiet and smoke-free, it is the best choice for serving restaurants, cafes and shops, which are full in the center of any city.
To see how the novelty is embodied in the metal, we go to the assembly and test workshop for the electromechanical and hybrid power units of mobile vehicles. In fact, it is a miniature factory. Here, a metal frame is welded, plastic cabin panels are hung on it. They, like the electric motor, the power unit, the glass, are made in Belarus. Energy storage devices are assembled from Chinese cells. “If cheaper products are produced in Russia, we are ready to use them,” the institute assured, “and we are already cooperating with the RENERA company.” Given the economic sanctions imposed on Belarus and Russia, these developments seem particularly attractive. For example, an electric truck, like other electric vehicles, will well replace imported analogues. As has already happened with the ice resurfacer, jointly developed by IOM and the Minsk Tractor Plant. And now sports complexes in Belarus do not need to buy a car to get ice for foreign currency. And Belarusian scientists and specialists have many “tricks up their sleeves”. Another is an asynchronous traction motor. Unlike the traditional permanent magnet electric motor, the production of new items is carried out using domestic components and materials. And this with quite acceptable technical characteristics.
In search of an alternative to imported designs and technologies, Belarusian scientists cooperate closely with their Russian colleagues.
Including with the USA, AVTOVAZ, where, as you know, there are plans to produce an electric passenger car. Why not use Belarusian components? The Russian company ShvabeSpetsAvto recently opened a joint venture with MAZ in Brest to assemble special vehicles – ambulances, social assistance vehicles, patrol cars, etc. It is supposed to expand its assortment through electric traction, using the developments of the Joint Institute of Mechanical Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Oleg Elovoy, Deputy Director General of the Research and Innovation Institute, expressed the hope that in this way we will be able to create an allied electric vehicle of various modifications.
Given the economic sanctions imposed on Belarus and Russia, all of these developments seem particularly attractive.
And over time, unmanned electric vehicles will also be developed at the institute, a group of specialists is already engaged in this. So far, however, we are talking about technological transport for closed areas – factory floors, warehouses. In the longer term, hydrogen cars could also appear on the screens of OIM designers.
At the institute, taking into account world standards, design and engineering, the technological development of promising samples is underway. “We are known all over the world”, proudly say the employees of the institute. Largely due to the high level of scientific research, Belarusian engineering products are successfully exported to dozens of countries around the world. And a unified industrial, scientific and technical policy makes these achievements available to all companies in the Union State.
The Belarusian School of Mechanical Engineering is closely associated with the name of the Hero of Belarus, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Mikhail Vysotsky. Being for many years the general designer of the BelAvtoMAZ Production Association, he developed the concept of a modern mainline road train, and as the head of the Joint Institute of Mechanical Engineering he managed to rally representatives of the main companies in the country around this think tank.
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