Research and development

The technical centre in Ratingen is amongst the most modern testing facilities in Europe and makes a considerable contribution to the success of NGK in the original equipment segment.
Test stand in the technical centre in Ratingen

The percentage of the annual turnover spent each year by the parent corporation, NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. on research and development is well above average.

Groundbreaking research for the products of tomorrow

In the process, the focus is on the areas of automobiles, health, energy and the environment. All research and development activities are concentrated in the NGK Engineering Research & Development Group. It is located in Japan.

Its tasks include:

  • groundbreaking research of materials, alloys and construction forms
  • the development of new production processes and optimisation of existing production processes
  • the analysis of local market requirements and trends under constant comparison with current products
  • research for strategic, new products or future areas of application

Therefore, NGK Engineering Research & Development Group's work today establishes the foundation for tomorrow's products.

Product development: Step-by-step from the prototype to start of production

The development of new spark plugs, glow plugs or sensors for the automobile industry takes place through the close collaboration of the technical specialist departments of the respective NGK subsidiary with the development department in Japan. Together, they find the best technology for optimally fulfilling customer requirements.

The local original equipment teams represent the interface between the development departments of the customers and the NGK engineers in Japan and guarantee a permanent exchange of information. They accompany the individual development and test phases up to the finished product and the start of series production, the so-called SOP ("Start of Production").

Technical centre: a thorough examination

If the outline data of a new customer project is defined, the technical centre accompanies the prototype development through extensive application testing - step-by-step until the perfect product is realised.

For example, testing is carried out in regard to thermal behaviour (keyword: heat rating), idling stability, combustion, cold-start properties, endurance and even the water hammer for lambda sensors.

Three engine test stands and two rolling test stands are available for the widest range of test cycles and simulations. There is also a wind machine and a cold chamber, which can generate temperatures between -30 and +50 ° Celsius. The hardest Siberian winter, as well as mountain ascents at high speed with head or tailwind can be simulated.

In addition, the technical centre has the newest systems for exhaust gas testing and equipment for testing lambda sensors.

Interesting facts: The technical centre in Ratingen

The technical centre in Ratingen, covering 2,200 m² was constructed in 1990 with an initial investment of around 10 million Euro and underwent a very cost-intensive expansion after the turn of the millennium. It is one of NGK's four technical centres outside of Japan, is amongst one of Europe's most modern testing facilities and makes a considerable contribution to the original equipment success of NGK.

Related topics

Influential factors in the product development: The application of new technologies and legal provisions directly influences the development of new products.

Development process: On average, the development of a new spark plug/glow plug or sensor type takes approximately three years from the project start until the beginning of serial production.