(19)
(11)EP 3 364 001 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 18154973.4

(22)Date of filing:  02.02.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F01L 13/00(2006.01)

(54)

INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE SYSTEM

VERBRENNUNGSMOTORSYSTEM

SYSTÈME DE MOTEUR À COMBUSTION INTERNE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 16.02.2017 JP 2017027090

(43)Date of publication of application:
22.08.2018 Bulletin 2018/34

(73)Proprietor: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
Toyota-shi, Aichi, 471-8571 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • SUGIHIRA, Shigehiro
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)
  • ADACHI, Noriyasu
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)
  • SASAKI, Keisuke
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)
  • KAWAI, Takayoshi
    Aichi-ken, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)
  • OTSUKA, Kaoru
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)
  • SADAKANE, Shinji
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)
  • SUGIHARA, Hiroyuki
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)

(74)Representative: D Young & Co LLP 
120 Holborn
London EC1N 2DY
London EC1N 2DY (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 199 581
US-A1- 2002 088 416
EP-A1- 2 743 479
US-A1- 2016 333 803
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    1. Field of the Invention



    [0001] The disclosure relates to an internal combustion engine system.

    2. Description of Related Art



    [0002] Japanese Patent No. 5404427 discloses a valve operating device including a cam carrier that is provided on a camshaft of an engine and a servomechanism that slides the cam carrier in an axial direction of the camshaft. The cam carrier includes three kinds of cams that have different cam profiles and that are capable of driving an intake valve. On an outer peripheral surface of the cam carrier, a groove having a predetermined shape is formed. The groove having the predetermined shape includes an inclined portion that is inclined with respect to the axis of the camshaft. The servomechanism operates so as to push out an engagement element capable of engaging with the groove on the cam carrier, from a predetermined retraction position, or to return the engagement element to the predetermined retraction position. When the servomechanism is actuated during the rotation of the camshaft, the engagement element is moved along the groove on the cam carrier. When the engagement element is moved along the above-described inclined portion, the cam carrier is slid in the axial direction of the camshaft. According to such a valve operating device, it is possible to switch a cam that drives the intake valve (hereinafter, referred to as a "driving cam"), to a desired cam, at a desired timing.
    US 2016/333803 A1 discloses a system and method for determining an oil contamination level of an engine based on a switching period of a valve lift actuator to improve engine startups.
    EP 2 199 581 A1 discloses a control system for an internal combustion engine.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0003] Incidentally, in the case where the engine that uses the above-described switching of the driving cam is a multiple cylinder engine, cam profiles of driving cams of all cylinders are generally equalized to an identical cam profile. If a single cam carrier shared by all cylinders is provided on the camshaft, the cam profiles of all driving cams are concurrently equalized to an identical cam profile. Otherwise, that is, if the cam carrier is provided for each corresponding cylinder or for each corresponding cylinder group, the cam profiles of the driving cams are switched in order, separately by each cam carrier.

    [0004] At the time of the start of the multiple cylinder engine, it is desired that the cam profiles of all driving cams be equalized to a cam profile suitable for the start (hereinafter, referred to as a "start profile"). However, in the case where the cam carrier is provided for each corresponding cylinder or for each corresponding cylinder group, there is a possibility that the combustion state of a cylinder for which the change to the start profile is not completed becomes unstable, when the change to the start profile is performed in parallel with the start of the engine. Further, there is also a possibility that the combustion state varies between a cylinder for which the change is completed and a cylinder for which the change is not completed. Therefore, the change to the start profile is desired to be completed by the start of the engine, and moreover, is desired to be completed by the time of the previous stop of the engine. However, the change to the start profile does not necessarily succeed at the time of the previous stop.

    [0005] If the engine is started in a state where some cam carriers have failed in the change to the start profile at the time of the previous stop, the above-described problems relevant to the combustion state occur. As a measure against this problem, at the time of the previous stop, the stop of the engine may be extended until the change to the start profile is completed. However, when the stop of the engine is extended, there is a problem in that fuel consumption increases by an amount equivalent to the extension. Further, there are various modes for the stop of the engine, and in some cases, the extension of the stop of the engine is originally impossible. That is, in the case of an unexpected engine stop that is not based on a driver's intention or a control by an in-vehicle computer, there is a problem in that the change to the start profile is impossible at the time of the previous stop.

    [0006] The disclosure has been made in view of the above-described problems. That is, an object of the disclosure is to prevent problems of the combustion state at the time of the start of the engine, in a multiple cylinder engine system in which the switching among a plurality of kinds of cams having different cam profiles is performed by a cam carrier provided for each corresponding cylinder or for each corresponding cylinder group.

    [0007] The invention relates to an internal combustion engine system according to independent claim 1.

    [0008] An teaching of the disclosure relates to an internal combustion engine system. The internal combustion engine system includes an internal combustion engine that includes a plurality of cylinders, a plurality of kinds of cams that have different cam profiles, each of the plurality of kinds of cams being configured to be capable of driving an intake valve that is provided for each of the cylinders of the internal combustion engine, a plurality of cam carriers, a plurality of switching mechanisms, and a controller. Each of the plurality of cam carriers is configured to support the plurality of kinds of cams provided for a corresponding one of the cylinders or to support the plurality of kinds of cams provided for a corresponding one of cylinder groups. The plurality of cam carriers is provided on a camshaft which rotates in synchronization with a crankshaft of the internal combustion engine. Each of the plurality of switching mechanisms is respectively provided for a corresponding one of the cam carriers. The plurality of switching mechanisms switches driving cams among the plurality of kinds of cams. Each of the driving cams is a cam that actually drives the intake valve. The controller is configured to output a switching command, for performing switching of the driving cam of each cylinder to a predetermined start cam, to the switching mechanism at a time of a stop of the internal combustion engine. The controller is configured to output the switching command to the switching mechanism, when a failure of the switching to the predetermined start cam has occurred, at a time of a next start of the internal combustion engine. The controller is configured to suspend a start of combustion of air-fuel mixture in each cylinder, until the switching is completed for all cylinders.

    [0009] The plurality of switching mechanisms may respectively slide the cam carriers in the axial direction of the camshaft in order, by extruding pins capable of engaging with the cam carriers.

    [0010] The plurality of switching mechanisms may be solenoid actuators. The internal combustion engine system may determine that the failure of the switching to the predetermined start cam has occurred, when induced electromotive force is not detected in any one of the solenoid actuators.

    [0011] According to the teaching, even in the case of the failure of the switching to the start cam at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine, it is possible to perform the switching to the start cam at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine, and to suspend the start of the combustion of the air-fuel mixture in each cylinder, until the switching is completed for all cylinders. That is, it is possible to start the combustion of the air-fuel mixture in each cylinder, after the switching to the start cam is completed for all cylinders at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent problems of the combustion state at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine.

    [0012] The controller is configured to specify a specified cylinder or a specified cylinder group at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine and output the switching command only to the switching mechanism provided corresponding to the specified cylinder or the specified cylinder group at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine. The specified cylinder is a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam. The specified cylinder group is a cylinder group that includes a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam.

    [0013] According to the teaching, at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine, it is possible to perform the switching to the start cam, only for the corresponding cylinder or corresponding cylinder group that has failed to switch to the start cam at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine. Accordingly, it is possible to suppress the amount of electric power to be consumed for the drive of the switching mechanism, compared to the case where the switching to the start cam is performed for all cylinders.

    [0014] The internal combustion engine system may further include an electric motor that rotates the crankshaft. The controller may be configured to specify a specified cylinder or a specified cylinder group at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine and control the electric motor during a period when the internal combustion engine is stopped such that an order for the specified cylinder or the specified cylinder group is advanced. The order is an order of the switching to the predetermined start cam at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine. The specified cylinder is a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam. The specified cylinder group is a cylinder group that includes a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam.

    [0015] According to the teaching, it is possible to advance the order of the switching to the start cam at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine, for the corresponding cylinder or corresponding cylinder group that has failed to switch to the start cam at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine. Accordingly, it is possible to shorten a suspension time of the combustion of the air-fuel mixture in each cylinder at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine, and to complete a start operation early.
    Particular aspects of the invention are set out in the appended claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0016] Features, advantages, and technical and industrial significance of exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals denote like elements, and wherein:

    FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing an exemplary configuration of a system according to a first embodiment of the invention;

    FIGS. 2A to 2D are diagrams for describing an exemplary rotating operation of a cam carrier 12 by engagement between a pin 20 and a groove 18 shown in FIG. 1;

    FIG. 3 is a diagram for describing an exemplary correspondence relation between a switching operation of a driving cam and four strokes of an engine;

    FIG. 4 is a diagram for describing an exemplary stop-time control and an exemplary start-time control in the first embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 5 is a diagram showing an exemplary processing routine relevant to the start-time control that is executed by an ECU in the first embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an exemplary processing routine relevant to the start-time control that is executed by the ECU in a second embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 7 is a diagram for describing an exemplary during-stop control in a third embodiment of the invention; and

    FIG. 8 is a diagram for describing another exemplary during-stop control in the third embodiment of the invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0017] Hereinafter, embodiments of the invention will be described based on the drawings. In the drawings, identical reference characters are assigned to common elements, and repetitive descriptions are omitted. The invention is not limited to embodiments described below.

    [0018] To begin, a first embodiment of the invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 5.

    [0019] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing an exemplary configuration of a system according to the first embodiment of the invention. The system shown in FIG. 1 is a system of an internal combustion engine that is mounted on a vehicle. The internal combustion engine is a four-stroke reciprocating engine, and is an inline-four engine. The firing order of the engine is the order of a number one cylinder #1, a number three cylinder #3, a number four cylinder #4 and a number two cylinder #2. The number of the cylinders of the engine may be two, may be three, or may be five or more. Further, the firing order of the engine is not particularly limited.

    [0020] A valve train shown in FIG. 1 includes a camshaft 10. The camshaft 10 is connected to a crankshaft (not illustrated) of the engine, and rotates in synchronization with the crankshaft. On the camshaft 10, four cam carriers 12 formed as hollow shafts are disposed. Each cam carrier 12 is fixed in a rotational direction of the camshaft 10, and is slidably disposed in an axial direction of the camshaft 10. The cam carrier 12 includes two kinds of intake cams 14, 16 having different cam profiles (the cam profile means at least one of lift amount and valve duration; the same applies hereinafter), in an adjacent manner. Note that "valve duration" means the length of time, in degrees, that a valve is held open.

    [0021] In the first embodiment, the intake cam 14 has a smaller valve duration and lift amount than the intake cam 16. Hereinafter, for the purpose of explanation, an intake cam having a relatively small valve duration and lift amount is referred to as a "small-cam", and an intake cam having a relatively large valve duration and lift amount is referred to as a "large-cam". Two sets of small-cams 14 and large-cams 16 are included for each cylinder. The reason is that two intake valves are provided for each cylinder. However, in the invention, the number of intake valves for each cylinder may be one, or may be three or more.

    [0022] Spiral grooves 18 are formed on surfaces of the cam carriers 12. Each of the spiral grooves extends so as to rotate in the axial direction of the camshaft 10. The grooves 18 are formed with phase differences among the cylinders. Specifically, a phase difference of 90° is provided between the groove 18 on the number one cylinder #1 and the groove 18 of the number three cylinder #3, between the groove 18 of the number three cylinder #3 and the groove 18 of the number four cylinder #4, between the groove 18 of the number four cylinder #4 and the groove 18 of the number two cylinder #2, and between the groove 18 of the number two cylinder #2 and the groove 18 of the number one cylinder #1. In the groove 18 of each cylinder, two branches are merged to one groove. Hereinafter, to distinguish the sites of the groove 18, a groove 18 after merging is referred to as a groove 18a, and two grooves 18 before merging are referred to as grooves 18b, 18c. The depth of the groove 18a is not constant, and in a range from an intermediate portion to an end portion, the groove 18a is formed such that the depth is smaller at a position closer to the end portion.

    [0023] The valve train shown in FIG. 1 includes, for each cylinder, a solenoid actuator 24 including two pins 20, 22 and two coils (not illustrated). The pins 20, 22 are composed of a magnetic substance. When the coil is energized, the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is extruded from the solenoid actuator 24. When the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is extruded, the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is inserted into the groove 18b (or the groove 18c), so that the pin 20 (or the pin 22) engages with the groove 18.

    [0024] When the pin 20 (or the pin 22) engaging with the groove 18 is pushed by the small-depth end portion of the groove 18a, the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is pushed back to the solenoid actuator 24 side. When the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is pushed back to the solenoid actuator 24 side, induced electromotive force is generated because electric current flows through the coil. When the induced electromotive force is detected, the energization of the coil is cut off. When the energization of the coil is cut off, the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is drawn to the solenoid actuator 24, and the pin 20 (or the pin 22) is disengaged from the groove 18. Hereinafter, when the pins 20, 22 need not be particularly distinguished, the pins 20, 22 are referred to as merely "pins".

    [0025] FIGS. 2A to 2D are diagrams for describing an exemplary rotating operation of the cam carrier 12 by the engagement between the pin 20 and the groove 18. In FIGS. 2A to 2D, the cam carrier 12 rotates in a direction from an upper side to a lower side. For the purpose of explanation, FIGS. 2A to 2D show only the cam carrier 12, the solenoid actuator 24, and rocker arm rollers 26 that contact with the small-cams 14 or the large-cams 16. In FIG. 2A, the pins 20, 22 are drawn into the solenoid actuator 24. The pin 20 faces the groove 18b, and the pin 22 faces a portion where the groove 18 of the cam carrier 12 is not formed.

    [0026] FIG. 2B illustrates an attitude of the cam carrier 12 after the cam carrier 12 rotates by 90° from the state shown in FIG. 2A. As can be seen from comparison between FIG. 2B and FIG. 2A, by the rotation of the cam carrier 12, the groove 18a moves to a far side, and the grooves 18b, 18c move to a near side. The grooves 18b, 18c illustrated in FIG. 2B are orthogonal to the axis of the cam carrier 12. Hereinafter, sites of the grooves 18b, 18c illustrated in FIG. 2B are referred to as "orthogonal sites". In FIG. 2B, the pin 20 is extruded from the solenoid actuator 24. The extruding operation of the pin 20 is performed while the pin 20 faces the orthogonal site of the groove 18b. The pin 20 extruded from the solenoid actuator 24 by the energization of the coil is inserted into the orthogonal site of the groove 18b, so that the pin 20 engages with the groove 18b.

    [0027] FIG. 2C illustrates an attitude of the cam carrier 12 after the cam carrier 12 rotates by 90° from the state shown in FIG. 2B. As can be seen from comparison between FIG. 2C and FIG. 2B, by the rotation of the cam carrier 12, the whole area of the groove 18a completely moves to the far side, and the grooves 18b, 18c further move to the near side. The grooves 18b, 18c illustrated in FIG. 2C are inclined with respect to the axis of the cam carrier 12. Sites of the grooves 18b, 18c illustrated in FIG. 2C are referred to as "inclined sites". As can be seen from comparison between FIG. 2C and FIG. 2B, the cam carrier 12 is slid to the left direction. This is because the orthogonal site and inclined site of the groove 18b move with the rotation of the cam carrier 12, while keeping the engagement with the pin 20.

    [0028] FIG. 2D illustrates an attitude of the cam carrier 12 after the cam carrier 12 rotates by 90° from the state shown in FIG. 2C. As can be seen from comparison between FIG. 2D and FIG. 2C, by the rotation of the cam carrier 12, the inclined sites of the grooves 18b, 18c move to the far side, and the groove 18a moves to the near side. In FIG. 2D, the pin 20 is drawn into the solenoid actuator 24. The drawing operation of the pin 20 is performed while the pin 20 faces the groove 18a. With the rotation of the cam carrier 12, the pin 20 engaging with the groove 18a reaches the small-depth end portion of the groove 18a. When the pin 20 moves on the small-depth end portion of the groove 18a, the pin 20 is pushed back to the solenoid actuator 24 side. When the pin 20 is pushed back, induced electromotive force is generated. By the detection of the induced electromotive force, the energization of the coil is cut off, so that the pin 20 is drawn into the solenoid actuator 24.

    [0029] As can be seen from FIGS. 2A to 2D, when the cam carrier 12 is slid to the left direction, cams (that is, driving cams) that contact with the rocker arm rollers 26 are switched from the small-cams 14 to the large-cams 16.

    [0030] A switching operation from the large-cams 16 to the small-cams 14 is performed as follows. The cam carrier 12 further rotates from the state shown in FIG. 2D, and the pin 22 is extruded from the solenoid actuator 24 while the pin 22 faces the orthogonal site of the groove 18c. Thereby, the pin 22 is inserted into the orthogonal site of the groove 18c. Then, the orthogonal site and inclined site of the groove 18c move while keeping the engagement with the pin 22. Therefore, the cam carrier 12 is slid to the right direction. When the pin 22 moves from the groove 18c to the groove 18a and reaches the small-depth end portion of the groove 18a, the pins 22 is pushed back to the solenoid actuator 24 side. When the pin 22 is pushed back, induced electromotive force is generated. By the detection of the induced electromotive force, the energization of the coil is cut off, so that the pin 22 is drawn into the solenoid actuator 24. In this way, the cams that contact with the rocker arm rollers 26 are switched from the large-cams 16 to the small-cams 14.

    [0031] Back to FIG. 1, the description of the exemplary configuration of the system will be started again. The system shown in FIG. 1 includes an ECU 30 as a controller. The ECU 30 includes a RAM (random access memory), a ROM (read only memory), a CPU (microprocessor), and the like. The ECU 30 takes signals from various sensors that are mounted on a vehicle. The various sensors include a crank angle sensor 32 that outputs a signal corresponding to the rotational angle of the crankshaft. The various sensors include an ignition key 34 that outputs a signal (IG signal) for starting the engine and a signal (IG-OFF signal) for stopping the engine. The ECU 30 processes the signals taken from the various sensors, and operates various actuators in accordance with predetermined control programs. The various actuators include the above-described solenoid actuator 24. The various actuators also include a fuel injector 36 and an ignition device 38 that are provided in each cylinder of the engine. The various actuators also include a starter motor (starter) 40. The starter motor 40 is a well-known starting device that receives drive electric power from a battery (not illustrated) and rotates the crankshaft.

    [0032] In the first embodiment, at ordinary times of the engine (the time of the start of the engine is excluded; the same applies hereinafter), the small-cam is mainly used as the driving cam. On the other hand, at the time of the start of the engine, the large-cam is always used as the driving cam. FIG. 3 is a diagram for describing an exemplary correspondence relation between a switching operation of the driving cam and four strokes of the engine. In FIG. 3, a switching operation of the driving cam of the number one cylinder #1 is described. Basically, the same goes for switching operations of the driving cams of the number two cylinder #2 to the number four cylinder #4. The switching operation of the driving cam of the number one cylinder #1 is performed during one rotation of the camshaft (one rotation of the cam carrier). More specifically, the switching operation of the driving cam of the number one cylinder #1 is started in a middle period of an exhaust stroke shown on the left side of FIG. 3. The middle period of the exhaust stroke corresponds to a period just before the pin faces the orthogonal site of the groove 18b or the groove 18c. The extruding operation of the pin is started in this period.

    [0033] The extruding operation of the pin is completed in an early period of an intake stroke shown on the left side of FIG. 3. The pin after the extruding operation is completed is in a full stroke state. The pin in the full stroke state contacts and engages with the orthogonal site of the groove 18b (or the groove 18c). From this state, the inclined site of the groove 18b (or the groove 18c) moves while keeping the engagement with the pin contacting with the orthogonal site of the groove 18b (or the groove 18c). Then, in an early period of an exhaust stroke, the pin engages with the groove 18a. A period after the pin becomes the full stroke state and before the pin engages with the groove 18a corresponds to a switching period of the driving cam. Then, a drawing operation of the pin is started in a latter period of the exhaust stroke shown on the right side of FIG. 3. The latter period of the exhaust stroke corresponds to a period during which the pin is reaching the small-depth end portion of the groove 18a described in FIG. 2D. The drawing operation of the pin is completed in a latter period of an intake stroke shown on the right side of FIG. 3. Thereby, the switching operation of the driving cam of the number one cylinder #1 is completed.

    [0034] In the system that uses mainly the small-cam at ordinary times of the engine, it is expected that the small-cam is frequently selected as the driving cam when a stop request for the engine (which means a stop request for the drive of the fuel injector and the ignition device; the same applies hereinafter) is output. Hence, in the first embodiment, when the stop request for the engine is output, it is determined whether a cylinder (hereinafter, referred to as a "small-cam cylinder") for which the small-cam is selected as the driving cam is included. Then, in the case where it is determined that the small-cam cylinder is included, a switching command for switching the driving cam from the small-cam to the large-cam is output. Hereinafter, such a control at the time of the stop of the engine is referred to as a "stop-time control". In the stop-time control in the first embodiment, the switching command for switching the driving cam from the small-cam to the large-cam is output to all solenoid actuators.

    [0035] However, since the stop request for the engine is output, the rotation of the camshaft is stopped even during the stop-time control. When the rotation of the camshaft is stopped during the stop-time control, there is a possibility that the switching operation of the driving cam based on the above-described switching command is not completed for some cylinders. That is, there is a possibility of a failure of the switching operation of the driving cam based on the above-described switching command. According to the first embodiment, which gives preference to the stop of the engine over the execution of the stop-time control, it is possible to reduce fuel consumption, compared to a case of extending the stop of the engine while giving preference to the execution of the stop-time control. On the other hand, when the engine is started in a state where the failure of the switching operation has occurred, there is a possibility that the combustion state worsens in the small-cam cylinder. Further, there is also a possibility that the combustion state varies among the cylinders due to unequal driving cams of the cylinders.

    [0036] Hence, in the first embodiment, when a start request for the engine is output, a determination having the same content as the content of the above-described determination is performed again. Then, in the case where it is determined that the small-cam cylinder is included, the above-described switching command is output to all solenoid actuators again. In addition, the drive of the fuel injector is suspended until the switching operation of the driving cam is completed for all cylinders. Hereinafter, such a control at the time of the start of the engine is referred to as a "start-time control".

    [0037] FIG. 4 is a diagram for describing an exemplary stop-time control and an exemplary start-time control in the first embodiment of the invention. In the example of FIG. 4, the stop request for the engine is output at time t1, and the engine speed becomes zero at time t2. The switching of the driving cams of the number one cylinder #1, the number three cylinder #3 and the number four cylinder #4 is performed in a period from time t1 to time t2. However, the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2 is not completed. That is, the number two cylinder #2 is a small-cam cylinder. Hence, the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2 is performed after time t3. Time t3 is a time when the drive of the starter motor is started in response to the start request for the engine. By the drive of the starter motor, the cam carrier is rotated in synchronization with the rotation of the crankshaft. Therefore, by outputting the above-described switching command after time t3, the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2 is completed at time t4.

    [0038] When the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2 is completed, the switching of the driving cams of all cylinders is completed. In the example of FIG. 4, an injection permission for each injector is output at time t4, and the injection of fuel is actually started after time t5. In other words, the injection of fuel from each injector is suspended until time t4. Thus, in the start-time control, during the drive of the starter motor, the start of the combustion of air-fuel mixture in each cylinder is suspended until the switching of the driving cams of all cylinders is completed. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent the above-described problems relevant to the combustion state, before the problems occur. The engine speed is increased by a torque to be supplied from the starter motor and a torque to be generated by the combustion of the air-fuel mixture. The drive of the starter motor is stopped at time t6 when the engine speed reaches a threshold Neth.

    [0039] In the example of FIG. 4, the above-described switching command is output to all solenoid actuators. Therefore, the extruding operation of the pin is performed not only in the number two cylinder #2 but also in the other cylinders for which the switching of the driving cams is completed. However, in each of the cylinders other than the number two cylinder #2, the pin extruded from the solenoid actuator faces a surface of the cam carrier 12 positioned between the orthogonal site of the groove 18b and the orthogonal site of the groove 18c, which have been described in FIGS. 2A to 2D. Even when the cam carrier 12 shown in FIGS. 2A to 2D is rotated, the extruded pin is inserted into the groove 18a. Thereafter, the pin is pushed by the small-depth end portion of the groove 18a, and is pushed back to the solenoid actuator side. Therefore, the cam carriers of the cylinders other than the number two cylinder #2 are not slid, and only the cam carrier of the number two cylinder #2 is slid.

    [0040] When the pin is pushed back to the solenoid actuator side, the above-described induced electromotive force is generated, and the energization of the coil is cut off. Therefore, similarly to the extruding operation of the pin, the drawing operation of the pin is performed for all cylinders.

    [0041] FIG. 5 is a diagram showing an exemplary processing routine relevant to the start-time control that is executed by the ECU in the first embodiment of the invention. The routine is executed whenever the start request for the engine is output. Whether the start request is output is determined, for example, based on whether the ECU receives the IG signal from the ignition key 34 shown in FIG. 1. The IG signal is a signal that is output when a predetermined operation (for example, an operation of turning the ignition key to a predetermined position) is performed by a driver of the vehicle.

    [0042] In the routine shown in FIG. 5, first, a drive command is output to the starter motor (step S2). Subsequently, it is determined whether the driving cam has been switched to the large-com for all cylinders (step S4). The determination in step S4 is performed using the detection result of the generation of the induced electromotive force in the stop-time control that is performed just before the execution of the routine. Specifically, in the case where the generation of the induced electromotive force has been detected in all solenoid actuators, it is determined that the driving cam has been switched to the large-cam for all cylinders. On the other hand, in the case where the generation of the induced electromotive force has not been detected in any one of the solenoid actuators, it is determined that the failure of the switching of the driving cam in the stop-time control has occurred.

    [0043] In the case where the determination in step S4 is negative, it is determined that the small-cam cylinder is included. Therefore, the above-described switching command is output to all solenoid actuators (step S6). Subsequently, it is determined whether the driving cam has been switched to the large-cam for all cylinders (step S8). The determination in step S8 is performed using the detection result of the induced electromotive force that is generated based on the switching command output in step S6. Specifically, in the case where the generation of the induced electromotive force has been detected for all solenoid actuators, it is determined that the driving cam has been switched to the large-cam for all cylinders. The process in step S8 is repeated until the positive determination result is obtained.

    [0044] In the case where the determination in step S4 or step S8 is positive, it is determined that the small-cam cylinder is not included. Therefore, a command for permitting the injection from the fuel injector is output (step S10). Subsequently, it is determined whether the engine speed is exceeding a threshold Neth (step S12). The process in step S12 is repeated until the positive determination result is obtained. In the case where the determination in step S12 is positive, a drive stop command is output to the starter motor (step S14).

    [0045] Thus, according to the routine shown in FIG. 5, when the start request for the engine is output, it is possible to equalize the driving cams of all cylinders to the large-cam, by the start of fuel injection. Therefore, it is possible to prevent the above-described problems relevant to the combustion state, before the problems occur. Further, according to the routine shown in FIG. 5, no matter what the detection result of the induced electromotive force in the stop-time control is, it is possible to equalize the driving cams of all cylinders to the large-cam, by the start of the fuel injection at the time of the subsequent engine start. That is, regardless of the mode of the engine stop at the time of the previous stop, it is possible to equalize the driving cams of all cylinders to the large-cam, by the start of the fuel injection at the time of the current engine start.

    [0046] In the first embodiment, the solenoid actuator corresponds to an example of the "switching mechanism". The ECU corresponds to an example of the "controller". The large-cam corresponds to an example of the "start cam".

    [0047] Next, a second embodiment of the invention will be described with reference to FIG. 6. An exemplary configuration of a system in the second embodiment is similar to the exemplary configuration shown in FIG. 1. Further, the switching operation of the driving cam has been described in FIGS. 2A to 2D and FIG. 3. Accordingly, descriptions about the exemplary configuration of the system and the switching operation of the driving cam are omitted.

    [0048] In the first embodiment, the stop-time control is executed, and the start-time control is executed depending on the determination result relevant to the small-cam cylinder when the stop request for the engine is output. Further, in the execution of the start-time control, the switching command output at the time of the stop-time control is output to all solenoid actuators, again. In the second embodiment, the stop-time control having the same content as that in the first embodiment is executed, and the start-time control is executed depending on the determination result relevant to the above-described small-cam cylinder. However, in the execution of the start-time control in the second embodiment, the switching command output at the time of the stop-time control is output to only a solenoid actuator corresponding to the small-cam cylinder, again.

    [0049] As described in step S4 of FIG. 5 in the first embodiment, the determination about the failure of the switching of the driving cam is performed using the detection result of the generation of the induced electromotive force in the stop-time control. Since the detection result is obtained separately from each solenoid, it is found what cylinder corresponds to the small-cam cylinder, at the end time of the stop-time control. The above-described energization of the coil is performed separately in each solenoid. Since the above-described switching command is output to only the solenoid actuator corresponding to the small-cam cylinder, the above-described switching command is not output to the other solenoid actuators. Therefore, according to the start-time control in the second embodiment, it is possible to avoid some coils from being energized. Therefore, it is possible to reduce the electric power consumption for the execution of the start-time control, compared to the first embodiment.

    [0050] FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an exemplary processing routine relevant to the start-time control that is executed by the ECU in the second embodiment of the invention. The routine is executed whenever the start request for the engine is output, similarly to the routine shown in FIG. 5. The processes shown in the routine is basically the same as the processes in the routine shown in FIG. 5. Specifically, the processes in steps S16, S18, S24, S26 and S28 of FIG. 6 are the same as the processes in steps S2, S4, S10, S12 and S14 of FIG. 5. In the following, the processes in steps S20 and S22 of FIG. 6, which are partially different from the processes in FIG. 5, will be described.

    [0051] In step S20 of FIG. 6, the above-described switching command is output to a solenoid actuator corresponding to the small-cam cylinder. As described above, it is found what cylinder is the small-cam cylinder, at the end time of the stop-time control. In the process in step S20, the small-cam cylinder is specified based on that information, and the above-described switching command is output. Subsequently, it is determined whether the driving cam of the small-cam cylinder has been switched to the large-cam (step S22). The determination in step S22 is performed using the detection result of the induced electromotive force that is generated based on the switching command output in step S20. Specifically, in the case where the generation of the induced electromotive force has been detected in the solenoid actuator corresponding to the small-cam cylinder, it is determined that the driving cam of the small-cam cylinder has been switched to the large-cam. The process in step S22 is repeated until the positive determination result is obtained.

    [0052] Thus, according to the routine shown in FIG. 6, in the case where the small-cam cylinder is included, it is possible to switch the driving cam of the small-cam cylinder to the large-cam, by the start of fuel injection. Therefore, it is possible to reduce the electric power consumption for the execution of the start-time control, compared to the first embodiment.

    [0053] Next, a third embodiment of the invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8. An exemplary configuration of a system in the third embodiment is an exemplary configuration in which a motor generator (not illustrated) is added to the configuration shown in FIG. 1. The motor generator is configured by a permanent magnet type alternating-current synchronous motor, as an example. A rotational shaft of the motor generator is linked with the crankshaft. The motor generator gives a motor torque generated by powering drive, to the crankshaft. The motor generator operates also as an electric generator, by regenerative drive. Constituents other than the motor generator are the same as those in the exemplary configuration shown in FIG. 1. Further, the switching operation of the driving cam has been described in FIGS. 2A to 2D and FIG. 3. Accordingly, descriptions about the exemplary configuration of the system and the switching operation of the driving cam are omitted.

    [0054] In the first embodiment, the stop-time control is executed, and the start-time control is executed depending on the determination result relevant to the small-cam cylinder when the stop request for the engine is output. In the third embodiment, the stop-time control and start-time control having the same contents as those in the first embodiment are executed. However, in the third embodiment, there is executed a control to perform a powering drive of the motor generator during a period when the engine is stopped, based on the information about the small-cam cylinder that is found at the end time of the stop-time control. Hereinafter, such a control during a period when the engine is stopped is referred to as a "during-stop control".

    [0055] FIG. 7 is a diagram for describing an exemplary during-stop control in the third embodiment of the invention. In the example of FIG. 7, the stop request for the engine is output at time t1, and the engine speed becomes zero at time t2. The switching of the driving cams of the number one cylinder #1, the number three cylinder #3 and the number four cylinder #4 is performed in a period from time t1 to time t2. However, the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2 is not completed. So far, the content of the stop-time control is the same as the content of the stop-time control described in FIG. 4.

    [0056] At time t2, it is found that the number two cylinder #2 corresponds to the small-cam cylinder. Hence, in the example of FIG. 7, at time t7 after time t2, the powering drive of the motor generator is started, and the crankshaft is rotated. By the rotation of the crankshaft, the stop position of the cam carrier is moved. In the example of FIG. 7, the drive of the motor generator is continued until time tg with reference to positional information from the crank angle sensor, such that the extruding operation of the pin of the number two cylinder #2 after time t3 is started ahead of the switching operations of the other cylinders. That is, the powering drive of the motor generator is performed from time t7 to time t8, such that the order of the extruding operation of the pin of the number two cylinder #2 is advanced.

    [0057] By the execution of the during-stop control, it is possible to complete the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2, at time tg. When the injection permission for each injector is output at time tg, the injection of fuel is actually started after time t10. If the advance of the order of the number two cylinder #2 is not performed, there is a possibility that the start of the fuel injection by the execution of the start-time control is delayed. In contrast, when the stop-time control is executed, it is possible to shorten the delay time to the start of fuel injection, and to increase the engine speed in a short time. The drive of the starter motor is stopped at time t11 when the engine speed reaches the threshold Neth.

    [0058] FIG. 8 is a diagram for describing another exemplary during-stop control in the third embodiment of the invention. In the example of FIG. 8, the stop request for the engine is output at time t1, and the engine speed becomes zero at time t2. So far, the content of the stop-time control is the same as the content of the stop-time control described in FIG. 4.

    [0059] In the example of FIG. 8, the switching of the driving cams of the number one cylinder #1 and the number four cylinder #4 is performed in a period from time t1 to time t2. However, the switching of the driving cams of the number two cylinder #2 and the number three cylinder #3 is not completed. At time t2, it is found that the number two cylinder #2 and the number three cylinder #3 correspond to the small-cam cylinder. Hence, in the example of FIG. 8, at time t12 after time t2, the powering drive of the motor generator is started, and the crankshaft is rotated. By the rotation of the crankshaft, the stop position of the cam carrier is moved. In the example of FIG. 8, the drive of the motor generator is continued until time t13 with reference to positional information from the crank angle sensor, such that the extruding operation of the pin of the number three cylinder #3 after time t3 is firstly started and the extruding operation of the pin of the number two cylinder #2 is thirdly started.

    [0060] By the execution of the during-stop control, it is possible to complete the switching of the driving cam of the number three cylinder #3 at time t14, and to complete the switching of the driving cam of the number two cylinder #2 at time t15. That is, it is possible to complete the switching of the driving cams of all cylinders at time t15. When the injection permission for each injector is output at time t15, the injection of fuel is actually started after time t16. As described in the example of FIG. 7, if the advance of the orders of the number two cylinder #2 and the number three cylinder #3 is not performed, there is a possibility that the start of the fuel injection by the execution of the start-time control is delayed. In contrast, when the stop-time control is executed, it is possible to shorten the delay time to the start of fuel injection, and to increase the engine speed in a short time. The drive of the starter motor is stopped at time t17 when the engine speed reaches the threshold Neth.

    [0061] In the third embodiment, the motor generator corresponds to an example of the "electric motor".

    [0062] Incidentally, in the examples described in the first to third embodiments, the four cam carriers 12 are disposed on the camshaft 10 shown in FIG. 1. That is, in the examples, the cam carrier 12 is disposed for each cylinder. However, the cam carrier 12 may be disposed across two or more cylinders. An example of the disposition is disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2009-228543. That is, regardless of the configuration of the cam carrier that is employed, the above-described stop-time control, start-time control and during-stop control can be applied, if the switching of the cam using the slide of the cam carrier is not performed for all cylinders collectively but is performed separately in each corresponding cylinder or in each corresponding cylinder group.

    [0063] Further, in the examples described in the first to third embodiments, the driving cam at ordinary times of the engine is mainly the small-cam, and the driving cam at the time of the start of the engine is the large-cam. However, the relation between the operation state and driving cam of the engine is just one example. The driving cam at ordinary times of the engine may be mainly the large-cam, and the driving cam at the time of the start of the engine may be the small-cam. That is, even in the case where the driving cam at the time of the start of the engine is the small-cam, the above-described stop-time control, start-time control and during-stop control can be applied. Moreover, candidates of the driving cam of the cam carrier are not limited to the two kinds: the small-cam and the large-cam, and three or more kinds of candidates of the driving cam may be adopted. Even in such a case, the above-described stop-time control, start-time control and during-stop control can be applied, when the driving cams of all cylinders are equalized to a particular start cam at the time of the start of the engine.

    [0064] In the first to third embodiments, whether the failure of the switching of the driving cam has occurred is determined using the detection result of the induced electromotive force when the pin is pushed back to the solenoid actuator side. Further, in the second embodiment, the detection result is used for specifying the small-cam cylinder. However, there may be separately provided a sensor that detects the intake cam facing the rocker arm roller, and the sensor may be used for the determination of the above-described failure and the specification of the small-cam cylinder.

    [0065] In the third embodiment, the stop-time control and start-time control having the same contents as those in the first embodiment are executed. However, in the third embodiment, the start-time control in the second embodiment may be executed instead of the start-time control in the first embodiment.

    [0066] In the first to third embodiments, in the start-time control, the drive of the fuel injector is suspended until the switching operation of the driving cam is completed for all cylinders. However, the drive of the ignition device may be suspended instead of the drive of the fuel injector or in addition to the drive of the fuel injector. By suspending the drive of the ignition device, it is possible to suspend at least the combustion of air-fuel mixture in each cylinder, and therefore, it is possible to prevent the above-described problems relevant to the combustion state, before the problems occur. From a standpoint of the reduction in fuel consumption, it is preferable to suspend not the drive of the ignition device but the drive of the fuel injector.


    Claims

    1. An internal combustion engine system comprising:

    an internal combustion engine that includes a plurality of cylinders;

    a plurality of kinds of cams (14, 16) that have different cam profiles, each of the plurality of kinds of cams (14, 16) being configured to be capable of driving an intake valve that is provided for each of the cylinders of the internal combustion engine;

    a plurality of cam carriers (12), each of the plurality of cam carriers (12) being configured to support the plurality of kinds of cams (14, 16) provided for a corresponding one of the cylinders or to support the plurality of kinds of cams provided for a corresponding one of cylinder groups, the plurality of cam carriers (12) being provided on a camshaft (10) which rotates in synchronization with a crankshaft of the internal combustion engine;

    a plurality of switching mechanisms (24), each of the plurality of switching mechanisms (24) being respectively provided for a corresponding one of the cam carriers (12), the plurality of switching mechanisms (24) switching driving cams among the plurality of kinds of cams (14, 16), each of the driving cams being a cam that actually drives the intake valve; and

    a controller (30), the controller (30) being configured to:

    i) output a switching command, for performing switching of the driving cam of each cylinder to a predetermined start cam (16), to the switching mechanism (24) at a time of a stop of the internal combustion engine; the internal combustion engine system being characterized in that, the controller is configured to:

    ii) output the switching command to the switching mechanism (24), when a failure of the switching to the predetermined start cam (16) has occurred, at a time of a next start of the internal combustion engine;

    iii) suspend a start of combustion of air-fuel mixture in each cylinder, until the switching is completed for all cylinders; and

    iv) specify a specified cylinder or a specified cylinder group at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine and output the switching command only to the switching mechanism provided corresponding to the specified cylinder or the specified cylinder group at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine, the specified cylinder being a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam (16), the specified cylinder group being a cylinder group that includes a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam (16).


     
    2. The internal combustion engine system according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of switching mechanisms (24) respectively slide the cam carriers (12) in the axial direction of the camshaft (10) in order, by extruding pins (20, 22) capable of engaging with the cam carriers (12).
     
    3. The internal combustion engine system according to claim 1 or 2, wherein:

    the plurality of switching mechanisms (24) are solenoid actuators (24); and

    the internal combustion engine system determines that the failure of the switching to the predetermined start cam (16) has occurred, when induced electromotive force is not detected in any one of the solenoid actuators (24).


     
    4. The internal combustion engine system according to any one of claims 1 to 3, further comprising an electric motor that rotates the crankshaft, wherein the controller (30) is configured to specify a specified cylinder or a specified cylinder group at the time of the stop of the internal combustion engine and control the electric motor during a period when the internal combustion engine is stopped such that an order for the specified cylinder or the specified cylinder group is advanced, the order being an order of the switching to the predetermined start cam at the time of the next start of the internal combustion engine, the specified cylinder being a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam (16), the specified cylinder group being a cylinder group that includes a cylinder that has failed to switch to the predetermined start cam (16).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verbrennungsmotorsystem, Folgendes umfassend:

    einen Verbrennungsmotor, der mehrere Zylinder umfasst;

    mehrere Arten von Nocken (14, 16), die verschiedene Nockenprofile aufweisen, wobei jede der mehreren Arten von Nocken (14, 16) dazu ausgelegt ist, ein Einlassventil antreiben zu können, das für jeden der Zylinder des Verbrennungsmotors vorgesehen ist;

    mehrere Nockenträger (12), wobei jeder der mehreren Nockenträger (12) dazu ausgelegt ist, die mehreren Arten von Nocken (14, 16), die für einen zugehörigen der Zylinder vorgesehen sind, zu tragen oder die mehreren Arten von Nocken, die für eine zugehörige Zylindergruppe vorgesehen sind, zu tragen, wobei die mehreren Nockenträger (12) auf einer Nockenwelle (10) vorgesehen sind, die sich mit einer Kurbelwelle des Verbrennungsmotors synchron dreht;

    mehrere Schaltmechanismen (24), wobei jeder der mehreren Schaltmechanismen (24) jeweils für einen zugehörigen der Nockenträger (12) vorgesehen ist, wobei die mehreren Schaltmechanismen (24) Antriebsnocken von den mehreren Arten von Nocken (14, 16) schalten, wobei jede der Antriebsnocken eine Nocke ist, die das Einlassventil tatsächlich antreibt; und

    eine Steuerung (30), wobei die Steuerung (30) dazu ausgelegt ist:

    i) einen Schaltbefehl, um das Schalten der Antriebsnocke jedes Zylinders zu einer festgelegten Startnocke (16) durchzuführen, an den Schaltmechanismus (24) zu einem Stoppzeitpunkt des Verbrennungsmotors auszugeben; wobei das Verbrennungsmotorsystem dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass die Steuerung dazu ausgelegt ist:

    ii) den Schaltbefehl an den Schaltmechanismus (24) auszugeben, wenn zu einem nächsten Startzeitpunkt des Verbrennungsmotors ein Fehler beim Schalten auf die festgelegte Startnocke (16) aufgetreten ist;

    iii) den Start der Verbrennung des Luft-Kraftstoff-Gemischs in jedem Zylinder auszusetzen bis die Schaltung bei allen Zylindern abgeschlossen ist; und

    iv) einen spezifizierten Zylinder oder eine spezifizierte Zylindergruppe zum Stoppzeitpunkt des Verbrennungsmotors zu spezifizieren und den Schaltbefehl nur an den zum nächsten Startzeitpunkt des Verbrennungsmotors für den zugehörigen spezifizierten Zylinder oder die zugehörige spezifizierte Zylindergruppe vorgesehenen Schaltmechanismus auszugeben, wobei der spezifizierte Zylinder ein Zylinder ist, bei dem ein Fehler beim Schalten auf die festgelegte Startnocke (16) aufgetreten ist, wobei die spezifizierte Zylindergruppe eine Zylindergruppe ist, die einen Zylinder umfasst, bei dem ein Fehler beim Schalten auf die festgelegte Startnocke (16) aufgetreten ist.


     
    2. Verbrennungsmotorsystem nach Anspruch 1, wobei die mehreren Schaltmechanismen (24) jeweils die Nockenträger (12) in Axialrichtung der Nockenwelle (10) verschieben, um über hervortretende Stifte (20, 22) in die Nockenträger (12) eingreifen zu können.
     
    3. Verbrennungsmotorsystem nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei:

    die mehreren Schaltmechanismen (24) Magnetstellantriebe sind (24); und

    das Verbrennungsmotorsystem bestimmt, dass der Fehler beim Schalten auf die festgelegte Startnocke (16) aufgetreten ist, wenn die aufgebrachte elektromotorische Kraft in keinem der Magnetstellantriebe (24) erfasst wird.


     
    4. Verbrennungsmotorsystem nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, ferner einen Elektromotor umfassend, der die Kurbelwelle dreht, wobei die Steuerung (30) dazu ausgelegt ist, einen spezifizierten Zylinder oder eine spezifizierte Zylindergruppe zum Stoppzeitpunkt des Verbrennungsmotors zu spezifizieren und den Elektromotor während eines Zeitraums zu steuern, wenn der Verbrennungsmotor gestoppt wurde, sodass eine Reihenfolge für den spezifizierten Zylinder oder die spezifizierte Zylindergruppe vorrückt, wobei die Reihenfolge eine Schaltungsreihenfolge der festgelegten Startnocke zum nächsten Startzeitpunkt des Verbrennungsmotors ist, wobei der spezifizierte Zylinder ein Zylinder ist, bei dem ein Fehler beim Schalten auf die festgelegte Startnocke (16) aufgetreten ist, wobei die spezifizierte Zylindergruppe eine Zylindergruppe ist, die einen Zylinder umfasst, bei dem ein Fehler beim Schalten auf die festgelegte Startnocke (16) aufgetreten ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de moteur à combustion interne comprenant :

    un moteur à combustion interne qui comprend une pluralité de cylindres ;

    une pluralité de types de cames (14, 16) qui ont différents profils de came, chacun de la pluralité de types de cames (14, 16) étant conçu pour pouvoir entraîner une soupape d'admission qui est fournie pour chacun des cylindres du moteur à combustion interne ;

    une pluralité de supports de came (12), chacun de la pluralité de supports de came (12) étant conçu pour supporter la pluralité de types de cames (14, 16) fournis pour un cylindre correspondant des cylindres ou pour supporter la pluralité de types de cames fournis pour un groupe de cylindres correspondant du groupe de cylindres, la pluralité de supports de came (12) étant fournie sur un arbre à cames (10) qui tourne en synchronisation avec un vilebrequin du moteur à combustion interne ;

    une pluralité de mécanismes de commutation (24), chacun de la pluralité de mécanismes de commutation (24) étant respectivement fourni pour un support de came correspondant des supports de came (12), la pluralité de mécanismes de commutation (24) commutant des cames d'entraînement parmi la pluralité de types de cames (14, 16), chacune des cames d'entraînement étant une came qui entraîne effectivement la soupape d'admission ; et

    un dispositif de commande (30), le dispositif de commande (30) étant conçu pour :

    i) transmettre une commande de commutation, pour effectuer la commutation de la came d'entraînement de chaque cylindre sur une came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie, au mécanisme de commutation (24) au moment de l'arrêt du moteur à combustion interne ;

    le système de moteur à combustion interne étant caractérisé en ce que le dispositif de commande est conçu pour :

    ii) transmettre la commande de commutation au mécanisme de commutation (24), lorsqu'un échec de la commutation sur la came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie s'est produit, au moment d'un démarrage suivant du moteur à combustion interne ;

    iii) suspendre le démarrage de la combustion du mélange air-carburant dans chaque cylindre, jusqu'à ce que la commutation soit terminée pour tous les cylindres ; et

    iv) spécifier un cylindre spécifié ou un groupe de cylindres spécifiés au moment de l'arrêt du moteur à combustion interne et transmettre la commande de commutation uniquement au mécanisme de commutation fourni correspondant au cylindre spécifié ou au groupe de cylindres spécifiés au moment du démarrage suivant du moteur à combustion interne, le cylindre spécifié étant un cylindre qui n'a pas réussi à commuter sur la came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie, le groupe de cylindres spécifiés étant un groupe de cylindres qui comprend un cylindre qui n'a pas réussi à commuter sur la came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie.


     
    2. Système de moteur à combustion interne selon la revendication 1, la pluralité de mécanismes de commutation (24) faisant respectivement coulisser les supports de came (12) dans la direction axiale de l'arbre à cames (10) dans l'ordre, par des broches d'extrusion (20, 22) pouvant venir en prise avec les supports de came (12) .
     
    3. Système de moteur à combustion interne selon la revendication 1 ou 2,
    la pluralité de mécanismes de commutation (24) étant des actionneurs à solénoïde (24) ; et
    le système de moteur à combustion interne déterminant que l'échec de la commutation sur la came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie s'est produit, lorsque la force électromotrice induite n'est détectée dans aucun des actionneurs à solénoïde (24).
     
    4. Système de moteur à combustion interne selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, comprenant en outre un moteur électrique qui fait tourner le vilebrequin, le dispositif de commande (30) étant conçu pour spécifier un cylindre spécifié ou un groupe de cylindres spécifiés au moment de l'arrêt du moteur à combustion interne et pour commander le moteur électrique pendant une période où le moteur à combustion interne est arrêté de sorte qu'une commande pour le cylindre spécifié ou le groupe de cylindres spécifiés soit avancée, la commande étant une commande de commutation sur la came de démarrage prédéfinie au moment du démarrage suivant du moteur à combustion interne, le cylindre spécifié étant un cylindre qui n'a pas réussi à commuter sur la came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie, le groupe de cylindres spécifiés étant un groupe de cylindres qui comprend un cylindre qui n'a pas réussi à commuter sur la came de démarrage (16) prédéfinie.
     




    Drawing





























    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description