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2013 Awards winners announced!

We reveal the winners of the Automotive Testing Technology International Awards 2013!


Engine Test Facility of the Year
Winner: Ford Otosan, Turkey

As reported in the November issue of Automotive Testing Technology International two new projects at Ford’s facility in Turkey were completed by July 2013. The first added a flexible NVH acoustic chamber that combines with its adjacent cells to enable engine-only NVH testing, or RWD/FWD powertrain testing via AC brake dynos on turntables that can be rotated 90° within minutes to couple with a powertrain unit inside the chamber. This setup provides the flexibility to use the facility on the day shift for powertrain NVH, or on late and night shifts for mechanical development and durability purposes.

The second new cell is a multipurpose cold-engine test cell capable of operating down to -30°C. This test cell has two separate sections that share a single dynamometer with dual-shaft output.

The configuration enables repositioning of the dynamometer while the engine inside the cold cabin continues to soak, making possible the parallel testing of a second engine.

“We are very pleased to be selected as the Engine Test Facility of the Year 2013,” says Cem Ozen, manager – engine DV build and testing at Ford Otosan Powertrain Engineering.

“Standardized, state of-the-art development and validation processes, mostly in-house developed, enable past experience to be integrated into the testing infrastructure as automated tools,” continues Ozen. “This approach has led to a substantial increase in the efficiency and use of tests for performance and emissions, powertrain NVH, mechanical development and durability.

“This test facility will be an important asset for developing Ford diesel engines for LCV, MCV and HVC commercial vehicles with improved fuel efficiency, low emission levels, optimized NVH and durable components.”

“Ford’s Otosan engine test facility edges ahead thanks to its flexibility and versatility,” praises jury member Tony Lewin. “These will prove important assets in light of the new worldwide harmonized light-duty test cycle, which is likely to require much longer test and cold/hot soak times.”

Also shortlisted:
BorgWarner – Rzeszów, Poland
SAIC – Longbridge, UK
Toyota Motorsport GmbH – Cologne, Germany

Person of the Year
Winner: Tony Best, Anthony Best Dynamics

2013 has been a momentous year in the history of Anthony Best Dynamics (ABD). In May, founder Tony Best led the company to a successful IPO and thereby secured the necessary capital to proceed with the company’s planned new factory. Major orders were also secured and new products launched by a company that has a rich history of innovation in testing technologies.

“It is an honor and gives me great pleasure to accept this award on behalf of all the people who work at and with ABD,” says Best. “Since the company was founded in 1982 our focus has shifted from consultancy to the design and manufacture of products for the test and development of vehicle handling and safety systems. I believe our strength has been, and continues to be, the quality of our engineering and our desire to work closely with our customers’ engineers to provide them with the innovative and high-quality testing solutions they require.

“The company’s steady growth has meant that we have outgrown the premises we acquired in 1986, and although we have recently built an annex that has given us 20% more manufacturing space, we will soon outgrow this addition. One of the purposes of becoming a public company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in May 2013 was to raise funds for new premises which, when completed, will provide us with nearly three times the floor area.”

Awards judge Keith Reid enthused: “For more than 30 years, Tony Best has ensured that ABD provides the automotive industry with the right equipment for the right job at the right time. While it is relatively easy to shine simply by making exotic automobiles, he has beamed innovation from the darker areas of engineering by designing, developing and producing machinery, equipment and systems that help to make exotic (and some less exotic!) cars safe and exciting to drive.”

Also shortlisted:
Arnaud Deboeuf – Dacia
Dr Wolfgang Epple – Jaguar Land Rover
Prof Thomas Gillespie – Mechanical Simulation Corp

CAE Innovation of the Year
Winner: MSC Software – Nastran Embedded Fatigue

New this year, MSC’s Nastran Embedded Fatigue (NEF) is an innovative durability analysis module that features the integration of fatigue calculations within MSC Nastran, a leading structural finite element analysis (FEA) software application. In effect, stress and fatigue calculations can occur in one simultaneous operation.

This new capability is said to have wide-ranging implications in relation to the way fatigue and reliability is handled within large mechanical engineering organizations. By combining the two separate processes into one, the need for any kind of intermediate data is removed. Such intermediate files can sometimes be a limiting factor in the size of model that can be handled. Also, by embedding the process with MSC Nastran, an analyst can include the materials and loading information with the model data in the MSC Nastran input file. This means that model portability becomes much easier.

And finally, because the fatigue process is more transparent (within this solver-embedded process) it will open up the opportunity for an analyst to request fatigue results output with every stress run.

“The recent update to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard has imposed a tremendous challenge on automakers to design for lighter weight and still maintain structural integrity and safety,” says MSC Software’s president and CEO, Dominic Gallello. “We designed MSC NEF to meet both of these challenge and are delighted that it is delivering the results that the industry was calling out for.”

“Fatigue analysis is important, but it’s always been quite difficult to integrate into the development process,” notes jury member Tristan Honeywill.

“It’s often done separately and so adds time. MSC’s NEF software goes a long way towards solving this problem. Doing the stress and fatigue work simultaneously gives engineers the chance to do more to extend the life of their products.”

Also shortlisted:
Averna – RF Studio
Cummins Turbo Technologies – Turbocompound Emulator
Danlaw – Mx-Suite

Proving Ground of the Year
Winner: Contidrom, Germany

Continental has recently upgraded the Contidrom with the new AIBA (Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer), the first indoor braking facility that allows fully automated braking on interchangeable surfaces – wet and dry – at speeds up to 110km/h. This, combined with precise temperature regulation, delivers high accuracy and reproducibility in tire braking tests on different surfaces. The facility is already shortening tire development times and improving testing repeatability. Next door is a new indoor, year-round ice surface that will reduce the reliance on outdoor winter testing. The third new addition is an office complex to accommodate the Contidrom’s rising staff numbers.

“We feel honored and proud,” says Thomas Neddenriep, Continental’s director of global tire evaluation. “This award reflects all the investments into the tracks, the AIBA, as well as our new buildings and facilities at the Contidrom in the past few years. It is a great motivation for our whole team to make sure we try to defend its position as one of the most attractive proving grounds in the world in the coming years, both for our customers and for our own testing efforts.”

“With its ice testing facility and newly commissioned AIBA, Continental can interrogate tire performance on realistic surfaces from a vehicle dynamics perspective,” observes jury member Phil Morse. “This leads to better and safer tires – as well as a more efficient tire development process.”

Find out more on the Tire Technology International magazine website.

Also shortlisted:
GM Dudenhofen – Germany
Maxxis International – China
Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds – New Zealand

Crash Test Facility of the Year
Winner: BYD, China

This crash test facility introduces a revolutionary towing and guidance system: the Bi-Trolley. This innovation allows very high precision together with rail-free, fully open-view filming from underneath. The commissioning phase concluded with impressive results: 2mm of impact accuracy in the 120km/h frontal crash test for example. BYD worked closely with supplier Aries to develop the facility.

BYD Motors Inc’s president, Stella Li, says, “BYD has received a lot of international recognition for vehicle reliability and safety in the past couple of years. This year, not only did the BYD F5 attain the highest crash-test score for a Chinese brand, but we outperformed most international brands. Our S6 was the first Chinese SUV to attain a 5-star crash test score in China and was named SUV of the Year.

“We believe that a large amount of our success can be attributed to the fantastic work of our testing labs staff in conjunction with our vehicle R&D. The BYD approach to design is working and our results prove it. We are thrilled to be recognized this year by Automotive Testing Technology International for our world-class testing capabilities.”

“The success of this laboratory is also due to Aries’ commitment to continuous technological research and development, creating innovative technologies capable of improving the performance of crash test facilities,” believes Alessandro Taccini, product manager for full crash facilities at Aries. “Our commitment to making the best crash-test facility was huge, but the results have been impressive: 4mm of impact accuracy in an angular car-to-car crash test at 90º at speeds of 80km/h and 60km/h.”

Explaining his selection of the BYD facility, Awards judge and safety researcher Richard Morgan says: “I feel that an important goal of the automotive community is to counteract the increase in road fatalities and serious trauma. Historically, the new-car assessment programs have furthered safety by encouraging customers of passenger vehicles to choose a safer product.

“I chose BYD China as the crash-test facility of the year because I see it supports the growth of additional consumer crash-test programs in developing markets. In these markets, fleet increase is often strong, but crashworthiness information on local cars is not readily available to the customer. Working with Aries, BYD has designed a state-of-the-art crash test facility to do its own research and development to build safety into its cars.”

Also shortlisted:
Chrysler – USA
IAV Gifhorn – Germany
Thatcham – UK

Hardware Innovation of the Year
Winner: Ford/ASI – Autonomous Vehicle Testing

The Ford Autonomous Vehicle Testing (AVT) robotic durability program (see Automotive Testing, September 2013) performed its first test in October 2012 before being made public in June 2013.

“AVT is one of the year’s best testing stories,” says Graham Heeps, editor of ATTI and chairman of the judging panel. “The system is good for the test drivers’ health and good for test efficiency, quality and repeatability, which leads to better vehicles. Everyone wins!”

The program uses a universal vehicle automation kit, developed
by Autonomous Solutions Inc, comprising hardware and software components that transform Ford truck prototypes into robotically controlled vehicles. From a control station, Ford test engineers can remotely manage multiple test vehicles on rough durability tracks.

“We are pleased with this validation of our innovations,”
says Dave Payne, Ford’s manager of vehicle development operations. “We continually strive to make our Ford truck testing even tougher so that our customers can do their work mile after mile. This testing helps us accelerate durability testing while simultaneously increasing the productivity of our other programs by redeploying drivers to areas such as noise level assessment and fuel economy testing.”

“We are honored to be selected for the Hardware Innovation
of the Year Award,” adds Mel Torrie, CEO of Autonomous Solutions Inc. “This award represents the hard work and ingenuity of many talented individuals from both Ford and ASI. Ford’s robotic durability program shows how far this technology has come and how useful it can be in improving safety and productivity.”

Also shortlisted:
Brüel & Kjær – Sonoscout
LMS – SoundBrush
Moog/Fiat – Fuel tank test system

Company of the Year
Winner: Ford

All the category winners, except Person of the Year, are submitted to the jury for a final vote for the overall Company of the Year. For 2013, this much coveted title has gone to Ford as joint recognition for its Ford Otosan engine test facility and the AVT robotic durability testing technology.

“Ford is a technology company, from innovations in our vehicles and across our development process, to delivering on our promise of full family vehicles with leading fuel economy, safety, quality and smart features,” says Jackie Shuk, Ford’s global testing chief (left). “We are very honored to be named Company of the Year, because it validates the emphasis on innovation that extends across our global testing facilities.”

“Ford has demonstrated world-class innovation in the development of test technology,” echoes David Clay, director of laboratory operations and test prototypes at Cummins Turbo Technologies, last year’s winner in this category. “Projects
in Turkey and the USA have resulted in solutions that improve equipment use, make the testing environment safer, and increase productivity.”

For more information refer to the September issue of Automotive Testing Technology International magazine.


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