ANNA — The successful development of an all-new, mass-produced, turbocharged, Type S 3.0-liter V6 engine at the Anna Honda Engine Plant is credited to two local residents who played key roles in the project.
Anna resident Tim Stroh led the quality manufacturing effort for the all-new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that recently debuted in the 2021 Acura TLX Type S, while Fort Loramie resident Greg Timmerman was critical to the coordination between the R&D and manufacturing teams.
Stroh said this major new engine design was part of the Honda plan to set the Acura models apart as a luxury line. “The new engine allows more speed and better handling, adding the ‘WOW, this is something different’ factor customers will want to tell their friends about.”
“This is a completely new engine from the ground up. Until this point, our V6 engine design was created 25 years ago,” he added.
Timmerman said his main role as plant project leader was to act as liaison between the research and development department and the production facility. The process was the R&D would bring their ideas to him and he would go down to the floor people and try to decide what kind of impact that would have on the facility.
“Then after that I would oversee negotiations between R&D and production floor to see what would be the most efficient way to proceed without a plant shutdown to retool for the new project,” he said.
One major challenge was to reconfigure the more powerful engine to fit within the engine compartment.
Said Timmerman, “We worked with the original equipment company to assemble a head that could go in upside down in the very confined engine compartment.”
The new engine is being built on production line No. 2, the longest line at the facility. The 28 million square foot Honda plant itself, which covers 58 acres, is Honda’s largest engine production plant in the world. They employee 3,000 associates.
To ensure quality production during mass production, Timmerman and Stroh arranged to have 10 master trainers introduce to line workers the technologies and assembly processes required for the new engine.
In a press release, Honda’s Chris Abbruzzese, North American Corporate Communications representative praised the innovations in the new engine. “The new 3.0-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 turbo engine incorporates technologies from the twin-turbo NSX supercar to produce 355 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE Net1), making the TLX Type S the best performing Acura sedan ever.”
He added, “This is a proud moment for the Anna Engine Plant as the exclusive global production source for the new Type S V6 turbo engine. It is an important part of Acura’s identity as the brand continues to sharpen its focus on Precision Crafted Performance.”
The new engine debuted in the 2021 Acura TLX Type S, which went on sale recently at Acura dealerships nationwide. The new Type S engine also will power the upcoming 2022 MDX Type S. Both the TLX and MDX are made exclusively in Ohio.
Plant manager of the Anna Engine plant Rick Riggle said, “The last year has brought unique challenges but because of the knowledge and experience of our team here at the Anna Engine Plant we never lost sight of our objective, to deliver a high performance engine to power Acura Type S products.”
Since the plant started production in 1985, they have produced 1.8 million engines annually for a total of 28 million over their history. Timmerman said they are more than an assembly plant, creating many of the components on their other production lines. Honda’s U.S. manufacturing operations were established in 1979 with the start of motorcycle production in Marysville, Ohio, followed in November 1982 by the start of automobile production at the Marysville Auto Plant.
Today, Honda employs more than 11,000 associates in Ohio across five plants with total capital investment of $12.7 billion and the capacity to produce 680,000 Honda and Acura automobiles, 1.18 million automobile engines, 1 million automobile transmissions and two-motor hybrid systems, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News