Issue: Nov 2007


Sturman Industries Breakthrough Digital Hydraulic Platform



by Malcolm Babbin

Eddie Sturman, co-founder of Sturman Industries, pioneered the digital latching valve technology for the Apollo space program in the Sixties. It enabled smaller, lighter, more precise control of motion and flow. Now Sturman Industries has integrated that core technology into an entire platform of components, systems and modules for the automotive industry, and beyond.

Sturman is now working with more than 28 organizations from industry, academia, research and government on some portion of the Digital Technology Platform applied to engines. It is not a surprise that production projects are now underway. "Some customers started working with us on a single component, such as a digital valve or perhaps a fuel injector and then moved on to a larger system-based approach," states Carol Sturman, president and CEO of Sturman Industries. "Others are starting right with our full Digital Engine, which is the optimum application of the Digital Technology platform on engines."

While the vast majority of Sturman's projects are client confidential, several projects are public since they are co-funded by agencies such as the Department of Energy. A recently publicized report by Volvo Powertrain North America was presented at the Japan SAE Congress, "US 2010 Emissions Capable Camless Heavy-Duty On-Highway Natural Gas Engine." Prepared in cooperation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Southwest Research Institute, Sturman's Hydraulic Valve Actuation (HVA), or "camless" technology, was utilized to help achieve nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels of 0.005 g/kW-hr, well below the target of 0.27 g/kW-hr.

"We are working hard to help companies achieve future emission standards in a more cost-effective, practical and sensible manner," said Sturman. "The Volvo test engine with HVA technology incorporated is an example what we are able to achieve by thinking differently. We are helping the industry find solutions that make SENSE - Simple, Efficient, Needed, Safe and Economical."

Sturman is "Leading the Mechanical World into the Digital Age" from their headquarters in Woodland Park, CO. Sturman employs more than 75 team members active in the development, application, and licensing of Sturman Digital Technology Platform components and systems. The platform consists of the combined use of simple and efficient magnetic, hydraulic, pneumatic and electronic components that use performance enabling digital and binary control strategies.

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