GasShow 2011 - a good year coming
Compared to last year's first edition of the fair (then called the LPG & CNG Show 2010), progress and development is immediately visible. The Expo XXI centre's exhibition hall was filled to the limit, which is thanks to two factors: first of all, more spacious and open stands, organised in a creative way (they seemed somewhat conservative last year) and secondly, more involvement from foreign companies. In 2011, the GasShow was truly international, even though Polish manufacturers still dominated the exhibition.
As usual, debuts were plenty. AC probably had the largest number of them per stand. Among other products, they showcased ECU's – the „intelligent” STAG-300 ISA 2, the upgraded STAG-4 Plus, the STAG-400 DPI for direct-injected petrol engines and the latest iteration test version of the still-under-development STAG-Diesel – two versions of own injector rails and a modified reducer.
Diesel-gas systems were probably the largest group of new LPG and CNG solutions presented this year. It is quite apparent that manufacturers are exploring this new idea for autogas or methane propulsion and finally there might be reconciliation between the ever-quarreling fans of diesel and gaseous fuels. Apart from AC, a number of other companies displayed market launch-ready or test versions of their diesel-gas solutions. Among them were AG Centrum, Europegaz, Elpigaz and Vialle. The latter's system was, traditionally for that Dutch company, based on liquid state LPG injection. The other Dutch company present in Warsaw this year, Prins, also has a diesel-gas offering – the VSI Diesel blend – but this year they brought the Direct Liqui Max instead. i. e. a system for direct-injected petrol engines, based on high-pressure liquid state LPG injection directly through petrol pump and injectors.
Liquid state LPG injection is an interesting and promising technology, but remains a niche. Meanwhile, gaseous state LPG injection is becoming popular, which could be seen in the large number of new offers on GasShow 2011's floor. As we have said before, there was AC's STAG-400 DPI, but also the Omegas Direct from Landi Renzo (showcased in a 200-PS Skoda Octavia RS TSI), the Stella4DPI from Elpigaz and a yet-to-be-named prototype from AG Centrum.
Exploring new technological territories does not mean conventional sequential injection systems for MPI engines are not developed any more. They are and remain very popular, with new systems and components still dominating the product ranges of both Polish and foreign companies. Certain general trends can be observed, major ones being working towards commonplace OBD-compatibility, simplification of the conversion/calibration/maintenance process and downgrading existing systems to fit less demanding 3- and 4-cylinder engines.
New products in the gaseous state sequential multi-point port injection category included: Tartarini Evo 01 (presented by Auto Gaz Slask's – Tartarini's Polish importer and representative), Lovato's Easy Fast, Landi Renzo's Omegas Evo, Stefanelli's SiS Plus, Lecho's Sec Eco, Europegas' Oscar-N OBD CAN, AC's aforementioned STAG-300 ISA 2 and STAG-4 Plus and Eko-Alma's ESGI-OBD. Some already known products were also there, among them LPGTECH's series of ECU's (models 104, 204, 316 and 516), Versus' SGI, Lovato's Smart, Aprojekt's Roxi, Lecho's Sequel and Mini Sec, App Studio's Agis/Altis and GFI Control Systems' range (at Auto Gaz Holandia's stand). A small number of liquid state port injection systems were presented, too, including Vialle's LPi and Irene's WGP. South Korea's Motonic has one of these as well, but – even though the company was there in Warsaw – the system was not showcased.
The GasShow would be little of a show without proper showcars accompanying the autogas-related products. GZW's Porsche Cayenne, AC's Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 5,7 Hemi or Lovato's Toyota Land Cruiser (obviously, all converted to run on LPG) proved the generally recognised truth that autogas is best suited for petrol-guzzling cars. The Skoda Octavia RS at Landi Renzo's stand showcased the possibility of converting cutting-edge, demanding direct-injected engines and the Italian company's involvement in the OEM market (Skoda and Landi Renzo have been cooperating for years, although an LPG-powered Octavia RS is not available straight from dealerships; however, there is a 1,4 TSI model, with pretty much the same technology inside, instead). Other direct-injected cars were there, too, among them another Skoda Octavia at Vialle's stand and AC's Audi Q5 TFSI, as well as some diesel-gas dual fuel vehicles: a Volkswagen Transporter with Elpigaz' DegaMix system, a Ford Transit with Vialle's LPdm and a BMW 535d GT with AG Centrum's prototype solution.
Like we said, this year's GasShow attracted more foreign exhibitors than last year's LPG & CNG Show. Apart from companies already known to Polish visitors, like Tamona and EuroGasService from Lithuania, Fobos from Bulgaria or Atiker from Turkey, there were many brands new to the fair's attendees: Aldesa and NLP (Turkey), Apolo (USA, represented by Polish importer – Alek), North Italy Gas Systems (Italy) or the aforementioned Vialle (Holland) and Motonic (South Korea). So much for manufacturers of ECU's and complete autogas systems, but since the sector is not all about them and needs other components, too, producers of specific LPG-related parts presented their ranges just as well. There were CNG tanks from STAKO, Vitkovice Milmet (both from Poland) and Ragasco (Norway), LPG tanks from STAKO, Irene, PolmoCon, GZWM, Bormech (all from Poland), Atiker, Tugra Makina (Turkey, the latter sharing a stand with Gas Italia 2000 – a distributor of Tugra Makina's products), filters by Certools, Filgaz, MMC Filter, ZWM Czaja (all from Poland), rubber hoses from Fagumit (Poland), reducer and reducer repair kits from Gurtner (France) and Memtex (Bulgaria), multivalves and other metal fittings from Rotarex Automotive (Luxembourg) and Gomet (Poland), electrical connectors and accessories from SeCo (Poland) and LPG/CNG injectors from MED (Italy), Planiplastic and Injectors Viper (Poland).
An interesting tendency can be observed as far as accessories for autogas systems are concerned. Lubricants and valve saver kits, until recently imported only by wholesalers (e. g. A.Max and Mimar) and presented among other products, now are a category in its own right, displayed at separate, dedicated stands. Flashlube, JLM, ERC, V-Lube and Vialle's own lubricant are the major names in the valve-saving game. Apparently, this is much more than a fad. And while we are at accessories, let us mention Izi – a Polish company specialised in producing spare wheel covers, useful for everyone who has a toroidal LPG tank in their car.
Even all the companies mentioned before do not complete the exhibitors list for the 2011 GasShow. All the remaining firms and institutions present at the Expo XXI hall constitute an important support for the entire LPG/CNG/LNG sector. Among them there were: the Oil and Gas Institute (Instytut Nafty i Gazu, Cracow, Poland), Cleanobil, Amtrol, Haik, Isisan, KWS Waage, Raufoss Fuel Systems, ProfiAuto, Siraga, SNA Europe, GOK, Techman, Cavagna Group, Bradas, Arko, Aritas, Fuchs, Kompozit Praha, Nederman and TubenCap.
Media were on the spot, too, among them Czas na Gaz (Time for Gas), Nowoczesny Warsztat (Modern Garage), cng.auto.pl and, of course, gazeo.pl – the entire event's primary media partner, offering visitors and exhibitors space for business talks and fresh-made coffee.
Apart from the main exhibition, the GasShow is a series of accompanying side events. This year there was a series of lectures and presentations under the name of Autogas Meeting Point, where latest solutions and products were discussed in detail. AC, Auto Gaz Holandia, Auto Gaz Slask and Elpigaz took this opportunity to thoroughly present their latest debuts from the fair floor.
When the first day of the GasShow was over, a gala dinner was held, which also served as an occasion for the INPRO 2011 awards to be given away. Taking innovativeness into account, jury decided to award AC (for the STAG-400 DPI system), Vialle (for the LPdi – a liquid state direct LPG injection system) and Elpigaz (for the DegaMix diesel-gas system). Flashlube and JLM Lubricants were honoured in the „LPG Additives” category for their valve saver kits, while the sixth award (in „LPG Bottles” category) was given to Amtrol Poland for their Xlite steel LPG canister.
Two editions may be too few to speak of tradition, but still the GasShow has the chance to become the autogas sector's „weatherglass”, presenting the industry's trends and tendencies in Poland and all over the world. Companies present at the Expo XXI centre's floor in March and products shown there seem destined to play significant roles on the market in the following year. At least until the next edition of the GasShow, which is on the right track towards becoming not only an event of international, but global importance.
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