The experts from both sides met, engineer to engineer at K&N headquarters in Riverside, California. K&N opened its doors to the SAE, with a tour designed to show technology and protocols.
David Shushereba is the Director of Research & Development at K&N. His responsibilities include the engineering, design and testing of Air Filters and Intake Systems developed by K&N, both domestically and internationally. “The world is black and white to an engineer,” said Shushereba. “There’s one right answer and all the other ones are wrong, they just want to know what the problem is and what the solution was.”
Douglas Kruse is a mechanical engineer and the Director of Communications for the Southern California Chapter of SAE. The group attending the K&N tour was comprised of engineering students and SAE engineers with general memberships. “The level of understanding was great engineer to engineer,” said Kruse. “We did not have to lay a basic foundation before each question.”
Shushereba started the tour by showing the SAE group the operations side of the K&N manufacturing facility. “They were impressed with how our filters go from raw materials to finished products,” he said. “We ended the tour in our lab. The group saw how K&N tests filters, what type of characteristics we look for and how we manipulate our product to improve on the characteristics, whether it’s air filter retention or efficiency."
K&N performs thorough tests during development, upon completion and before release of each and every new filter. Extensive air-flow, dirt retention, dynamometer and field test are completed in order to validate each of our product designs. In addition to our own stringent testing, K&N air filter designs are periodically tested by independent laboratories using standards set by the SAE.
The tour was beneficial to students to see how theoretical education is applied to real world problems in the automotive industry. “It was also beneficial to K&N because we’re able to get our story out with respect to our products and our abilities,” said Shushereba.
“The entire SAE group was interested in everything at K&N,” said Kruse. “We were interested in performance applications, along with the amount of research and development needed to have a product.” There is a lot of thought and testing to perfect an air filter. “People generally think an air filter just traps dirt, but there is a lot of engineering and a lot of work that goes into making our product as good as it gets,” said Shushereba.
K&N’s automotive warehousing system stood out for the SAE group. “The high degree of automation is something that is greatly appreciated and provides the best value for customers,” said Kruse.
Kruse built dragster bodies and has a number of patents on engine technology within the general industry. “I was especially impressed by the race shop. It was exciting to see a competitive dragster as well as a wide variety of race cars at K&N,” he said.
SAE presented K&N with a turbo award plaque at the end of the tour. It is given by the group to presenters for SAE events.
It was good to have SAE at K&N, said Shushereba. “We received detailed answers and accurate engineering responses,” said Kruse. “K&N’s attention to detail confirms the K&N standard and dedication to quality.”
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