Test house installs configurable driveline test equipment

| Environmental Testing

3E drive line transmission test rig

New testing equipment has been added to the facility at Drive System Design to offer more flexible options for providing test capabilities for automotive drive trains.

Drive System Design (DSD) has upgraded its test capability with new equipment, which now includes a 3E driveline test rig. Housed within a purpose-built facility, the reconfigurable 3E rig provides bespoke test capability up to 310kW input for customers developing in-line transmissions, rear axles, front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive transaxle assemblies.

“The expansion of DSD’s test facility is the next step in our continually evolving portfolio,” says Rob Oliver, DSD Chief Engineer – Test & Development. “We now have six test cells that can house a range of equipment. We also Individually sourced components for the 3E rig and assembled it in-house. This ensures maximum flexibility for our customers and their needs.”

The regenerative rig, which can be run in 3E or 2E configuration, enables DSD to test a range of driveline set-ups with varying power and torque levels. In 3E arrangement, it is specified with one 310kW input and two 126kW outputs with a short duration capability of 465 Nm. This is higher rated than conventional equipment of this type and is suitable for most production passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Its added flexibility allows tests to run with power flowing in both directions to provide wider test conditions. These can include simulation of under-load environments that replicate steep descents or extreme engine braking.

In 2E configuration, the rig can still provide a transient 190kW or sustained 125kW capacity. The 2E formation is traditionally used to test rear-wheel drive in-line transmissions and can also simulate descents and engine braking.

“Our test facility’s capability provides a cost effective and flexible provision for customers and enables a quick turnaround of driveline testing and validation – many of our existing clients have already expressed interest in using the new facilities,” says Oliver. “We regularly act as an in-house test department for vehicle manufacturers, and we can absorb overspill from congested facilities.”

DSD’s spin rig capability has been heightened with the addition of two further rigs recently purchased from an F1 team. The company is to re-specify the high speed equipment to enable the testing of high velocity, low-torque drag loss measurements on electric vehicle transmissions. The new rigs will compliment DSD’s comprehensive wet clutch and synchroniser test equipment.

“The new capability complements DSD’s existing expertise, and we are able to offer an extensive range of truly bespoke testing and validation programmes for customers,” adds Oliver. “For example, DSD writes its own rig control software, which allows testing to be tailored to best meet customers’ individual requirements down to the finest details. We also write test control software for other operators, such as vehicle manufacturers, for use in-house.”

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