Measuring the force of Thrust

Automotive sensors from Endevco chosen for their light weight, small size, ruggedness and sensitivity, were used in the most challenging of conditions, to measure the forces acting on Thrust SSC during the vehicle’s successful British world land speed record attempt in Nevada.Two units mounted at each end of the vehicle measure yaw motions, providing vital information on lateral, longitudinal and vertical forces. The Microtron 7290A-10 accelerometer is a +/-10g range, DC responding accelerometer, weighing 10gm and built to withstand shocks up to 15,000g.

Endevco also designed a special amplifier to feed into Thrust’s data acquisition system.

Endevco UK

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Level sensors, lamp current sensors and other automotive applications are targeted by the maker of Mini-Dyad, a dry reed switch measuring just 10mm long in a rectangular glass body.

Suitable for surface mount technology, the wide, flat, preformed leads are said to be easily formed without damaging the hermetic glass seal. The unit, rated at 10W carries 2A current, switching 0.5A/240V at a typical switching speed of 0.5ms.

CP Clare Corporation

205 on express enquiry card

Surface modelling software ICEM Surf is cutting the concept design phase of aluminium car and truck wheels and improving design accuracy and detail at Alloy Wheels International in Rochester.

Jordan Bennett, chief stylist, says that whereas it took one week to produce a single spoke of a wheel using traditional clay, with ICEM Surf a computer model of a complete wheel can be produced in less than two days.

The software takes the ‘artist’s impression’ and converts it into an electronic, mathematical model. Design constraints such as the wheel rim, clearances for brake callipers and the central bolt arrangement are input directly from the Cadds5 CAD program.


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The powerful Cummins Quantum 19 litre engine, more at home on a locomotive or generator set, is being fitted for the first time to a road-going vehicle with the help of special heavy duty elastomeric mounts designs by Metalastik Vibration Control Systems.

Weighing approximately 2 tonnes, the six-cylinder engine will power the wheels on the new Alvis Unipower MH885 rapid deployment tank transporter via the largest automatic gearbox ever used in a UK road vehicle.

The elastomeric mounting system keeps noise and vibration to a minimum. The transporter, complete with 75 tonne combat-ready main battle tank, has a cruising speed of 80km/h.

Metalastik Vibration

207 on express enquiry card

Volvo’s upgraded Active Security system, developed to help operators beat theft, is said to exceed Thatcham insurance industry requirements which helps to cut premiums.

Solutions range from a 4/5 circuit standalone immobiliser to a fully alarmed system covering the whole vehicle, which includes load space protection and trailer disconnection.

Volvo Truck & Bus

208 on express enquiry card

The European Web site of rubber belts and hose maker, Gates, provides engineering data on automotive original equipment and replacement as well as industrial and hydraulic products. Visit for the latest update.

Gates Europe


Portable spot welding guns developed to be rugged in high-volume production are being used by Indian company Premier Automobile to assemble the Peugeot 309 saloon locally.

Robust features include air cylinders made from standard hard anodised extrusions to a non-lube specification. Double acting dual piston cylinders ensure a constant force throughout the weld stroke regardless of tip wear, providing maximum weld output for minimum cylinder size. The solenoid valves, mounted on the gun itself, give maximum response and fast speeds on both strokes.

The guns, fitted with integral transformer, are made by UK company Portable Welders and supplied in conjunction with British Federal which produces the WS2000 Weldstar programmable controller. Functions include automatic current and hence weld control irrespective of weld conditions.

Portable Welders

210 on express enquiry card

Parts traceability, critical to the assembly process, can be a nightmare for vehicle engine makers. Bar and other machine readable codes cannot cope with the variety of awkward shapes let alone oil and lubricating fluids.

But Snowflake code can, according to vision systems developer Electronic Automation.

The 2D code, made up of a series of dots, carries a lot of information about the product in a relatively small space and can even include error detection in the case, say, of accidental damage.

It can be read in low contrast even with usually invisible ink and can be applied in various ways including inkjet printing, laser etching or, in the latest trials, it can be formed as part of an engine block casting.

Electronic Auto