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Ford Europe has upgraded its test capability with the purchase of 10 of the latest Kistler Roadyn measuring wheels and a set for use in test-lab-based vehicle simulators to ensure correlation between the road and the lab.

The automotive company commits many man hours to acquiring data from prototype test vehicles at its test track in Lommel, Belgium, and over the past 13 years much of the road load data (RLD) has been derived using Roadyn wheel force sensors over a variety of road surfaces.

Ford Europe has invested a total of €1m (£847,240) on upgrading its test capability. The modular design of the new Kistler Roadyn wheel force sensors enables the company to test an extensive range of vehicles, with wheel sizes ranging from 15in to 19in (38cm to 48cm).

Key benefits of product application

  • According to Mark Linn, Ford Europe’s RLD supervisor, the Roadyn system is used on prototype vehicles being subject to total vehicle durability testing on a variety of road surfaces, from tracks to cobblestones and large potholes.
  • The data from the wheel force sensors is used to predict the durability performance of vehicle chassis and bodies using CAE tools and also in the lab to provide load data to be applied to single suspension components and complete subassemblies, the objective being to combine minimum component weight with maximum durability to reduce total unsprung weight for best suspension performance.
  • Each Roadyn wheel uses a number of three-component strain-gauge sensors to provide data used to precisely calculate the forces and moments acting on the rotating wheel.
  • The high measuring accuracy of the precision loadcells is retained during transmission as digitisation takes place on the wheel to eliminate transmission interference from brake heat, movement and vibration.
  • The measurement of individual values with separate loadcells leads to an improvement in the interchannel crosstalk. As the original loadcell signals are known, rapid error diagnostics are made possible. Individual loadcells can be replaced without impairing the overall quality of the sensor.

Kistler Instruments

Established in Winterthur (Switzerland) in 1957, the Kistler Group now has a worldwide presence with 23 group companies and 30 distributors ensuring prompt, local application support and short delivery times. With a staff of more than 1,000, the Kistler Group is one of the world’s leading providers of dynamic measuring instrumentation.

Kistler’s core competence is the development, production and use of sensors for measuring pressure, force and acceleration.  Kistler’s know-how and electronic systems can be used to prepare measuring signals for use in analyzing physical processes, controlling and optimizing industrial processes, improving product quality in manufacturing and improving performance in sports and rehabilitation.

Kistler offers a comprehensive range of sensors and systems for engine development, automotive engineering, plastics and metal processing, installation technology and biomechanics.

Heavy investment in research and development, 15% of staff worldwide are engaged in research and development, has generated a number of innovations using piezoelectric, piezoresistive and capacitive techniques to provide solutions to numerous force, pressure and acceleration measuring problems. These innovations include the world’s first commercial quartz sensor, two-wire constant current technology to integrate sensors with microelectronic circuitry, high-temperature pressure sensors for use up to 400 Deg C and three-component force measuring sensors.

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