Incremental Innovation - The evolving engine powering modern society


The driving force behind modern civilization continues to power through the ages

Modern civilization has evolved at a rapid pace since the beginning of the 20th century. A key factor behind this was the invention of the engine, a new device that powered vehicles and manufacturing machinery. Engines also form the core of generators that produce electricity. Even now, engines continue to evolve as the driving force in support of a comfortable society and manufacturing activities. In 1917, MHI became the first Japanese company to develop and build a diesel engine, and since then has steadfastly pioneered technologies for the reciprocating engine.* MHI offers a broad lineup, ranging from construction machinery and marine engines to engines for power generation. In recent years, the company has been involved in the general development of advanced gas turbines, rocket engines, and other types of internal combustion engines, even as it continues to look at the true significance and its decades-long quest to further refine the reciprocating engine. A diesel, gasoline or other internal combustion engine that uses pistons to convert the combustion energy created by burning fuel into rotational energy. In contrast to other types of internal combustion engines, such as gas turbines and jet engines, which utilize continuous combustion, reciprocating engines are distinguished by periodic combustion ― firing repeatedly at intervals.

Extending the scope of the engine’s contribution to society

The reciprocating (piston) engine is now so widely used that it literally powers every aspect of modern society. For example, it is used in cars and cruise ships as a means for transportation; in machinery that supports construction and agriculture; in forklift trucks that handle cargo; in generators for factories and buildings; and in power generation systems, which supply the electricity necessary to support daily life in a designated area. MHI is one of the very few companies involved in the production of all these engines. MHI’s impressive product range and technological flexibility allow it to meet all client requests, whether they concern mass-produced small engines or the modular production of mid- and large-sized engines that still encompass detailed customer-tailored specifications. MHI develops and builds the valves for car engines.

Engines created by ever-inquisitive minds in a sound development arrangement
Engines created by ever-inquisitive minds in a sound development arrangement

Engines created by ever-inquisitive minds in a sound development arrangement

MHI has the ideal environment for supporting engine quality. Since its R&D centers are located within the individual works, the production facilities can promptly submit feedback. With its own verification test facilities at the works as well, trial and error from a user perspective is possible, revealing issues that would be undetectable in purely theoretical simulations. All these play important roles in bringing engines ever closer to perfection. In addition, MHI works in cooperation with R&D centers that store all its information and product technology. MHI’s engine development also benefits tremendously from surroundings that foster the sharing of the most recent component and engine technologies related to a variety of engines. This provides a huge advantage in the development of groundbreaking engines.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries