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ARAI enhances crash offering for Indian and global OEMs

Indian and global OEMs alike may be interested in the latest developments in crash testing at ARAI in India

 

The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) is building the testing equipment and facilities needed for compliance of the new regulations of the ‘Road map of Passive Safety’ to be implemented in India by 2013. It will be an upgrade of its existing testing facilities and will include a fully equipped crash track with electric drive, a facility for pedestrian testing, as well as high-speed cameras and test dummies, among other technologies. The facility will come under the National Automotive Testing, Research and Development Project (NATRiP).

 

“ARAI is building a fully-fledged crash test facility at Chakan in Pune (Maharashtra) to cater the Western auto hub with NATRiP, while NATRiP is building its own crash testing facilities at the International Centre for Automotive Technology (iCAT) Manesar (Haryana) in North and G-ARC (Global Automotive Research Centre) in down South in Chennai,” informed Mr Mannikar, deputy director of ARAI in Pune.

 

He continued, “The crash test facilities are being built under the NATRiP project. The passive safety facilities are part of these and they are being built at Manesar, Chennai and Pune. The facilities at Manesar and Pune are mainly for regulatory requirements, whereas the facility at Chennai is for both regulatory and development work.”

 

 

New crash facility in Pune

 

The upcoming crash testing facility at Pune will have a photo-pit and an enclosed track competence building for New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) tests, with a full frontal powertrain lab, fatigue lab and certification lab. As per the road map of passive safety to be implemented in India in 2013 and in subsequent years, regulations for head-on collision, rear collision, protection of occupant against frontal and side collision, child restraint systems and pedestrian safety would be fully implemented in India. Over the years India has emerged as an important market and production center for manufacturing cars for the domestic and global markets, and ARAI has become an epicenter of India’s automotive research. Its services are being used by about 100 Indian and global OEMs at present in the Indian market.

 

 

NATRiP setting up automotive testing & validation infrastructure

 

NATRiP is the most significant initiative ever taken by the Department of Heavy Industry for establishing much-needed world-class automotive testing, validation, R&D and homologation facilities in the three automotive hubs in the North and South, and upgrading the existing facilities at ARAI, Pune and Vehicle Research & Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar, in the western auto hub. The idea was also to set up a proving ground at Indore, a center for testing of tractors at Rae Bareilly, and a model Inspection & Maintenance (I&M) center with a specialized hill area driving training center at Silchar (Assam) with a total investment of Rs.1,718 crores (about US$430 million).

 

 

NATriP aims to create a critically needed automotive testing and validation infrastructure. This is especially important in the light of demand for global safety, emission and performance norms.

 

 

The success story in all of this has largely been iCAT, which has done well for itself. It is the second center in the country to have received certification rights and as a result is today the preferred choice for many manufacturers based in the North.

 

 

The focus currently is on Phase 1 of building infrastructure and capabilities to meet emerging requirements. In the second Phase, nine key Centers of Excellence will be set up to develop capabilities for advanced R&D in critical areas. These centers will aim at converging India's traditionally high strength areas like infotech, electronics and alternative energy sources and other core competences.

 

"Currently the basic facilities exists to address current Indian regulatory need. In the coming five years after implementation of NATRiP project all incoming Indian regulations and existing European regulatory requirements will be addressed by the facility," Manniker confirmed.

 

 

NATRiP’s steady progress in fact has been in the news in both national and international media and at R&D forums. This has helped in potential customers becoming aware of a test facility close to them, thus saving time and logistical hassles. Other OEMs who do not yet have a setup in India are looking at doing business in advanced areas like Euro V emissions, fatigue testing, endurance and validation testing, mileage accumulation, etc.

 

 

Crash test capabilities at ARAI Pune

 

Over the years India has emerged as an important market and production center for manufacturing cars for the domestic and global markets, and ARAI has become an epicenter of India’s automotive research, with its services being used by about 100 Indian and global OEMs present in the Indian market. ARAI is in a major overhaul mode, and several new pieces of equipment have been installed and are now functional. The basic facility has been continually upgraded since it was set up in 2003.

 

"The facilities are supposed to be on a par with international facilties carrying out all the Indian/European regulatroy tests," emphasized Mannikar. When asked the localization level at the ARAI's crash testing faclities, he said, "The facilities are imported."

 

The capabilities of the current facility are as follows:

 

Bungee sled facility

 

ARAI has a deceleration type sled designed for low-cost testing of safety critical components such as seats and seatbelts. It conducts dynamic loading tests for seats & seat anchorages such as AIS 016, AIS 023 or ECE R17 & R80, and for seatbelt assemblies as per AIS-005 or ECE R-16. It is capable of achieving a variety of deceleration pulses as standards. The facility conducts test on maximum pay loads of 650kg, maximum deceleration of 40g, and maximum speed of 65km/h. This facility is accredited by TUV, NABL and other leading agencies.

 

 

Crash testing facility

 

The electronically controlled vehicle crash test facility is equipped with instrumented crash test dummies such as Hybrid III, Euro – SID – I & Euro – SID – II. It has a fully fledged Dummy Calibration Laboratory to test vehicles as per ECE R-12 & R-94 tests. It also has moving deformable barriers for side and rear impact tests – ECER R-32 and R-95.

 

Seatbelt testing facility

 

This facility is installed with TNO10 dummies for dynamic evaluation of seatbelts having test rigs for evaluation of seatbelt assembly components such as retractors, buckles, webbing and hard-parts. It is capable to perform all the tests specified in AIS – 005/ECE R16 under one roof.

 

 

Pendulum impact test facility

 

This facility is designed to conduct test on commercial vehicles like LCVs and HCVs for performing tests as per AIS-029 and ECE R-29 used for design and development of driver cabins. TUV accreditation is available for E-certification.

 

 

Bus rollover test facility

 

This facility is designed to perform rollover tests on passenger buses for evaluation of bus-body structure as per AIS – 031/ECE R66. It is capable to conduct tests for CoG determination and tilt stability angles.

 

 

Anthropometry and ergonomics

 

An advanced 3D whole body scanner is available for anthropometric studies, with access to the largest anthropometric/body dimension database of the Indian driving population. It has variety of sensors and data acquisition units available to conduct ergonomic evaluation of automobiles (pressure mats, pedal force sensors, gear shift force sensors, etc).

 

 

ARAI had launched the 'Size India' project to meet the automotive industry’s long-standing demand for a large and robust anthropometric database representing the civilized population, to be used in automotive design.

 

 

The project aims to build a database of three-dimensional digital images of a participating population using the latest 3D Whole Body Scan technology sourced from M/s Human Solutions GmbH in Germany.

 

 

The project offers a huge database of body dimensions of more than 5,000 volunteers (both male and female) representing different geographic and climatic regions of the country. The dimensional measurement adheres to the well-established international standards (ISO 20685, ISO 7250, ISO 13356 etc). The database offers more than 10 dimension measurements per subject, involving measurement of body dimension and also measurement of hand and foot dimensions, which may be critical for design of automotive interior components such as steering grip, pedals, instruments, etc.

 

 

The biggest advantage of building a database in digital format is that it can be integrated with Ergonomic Analysis Software packages such as RAMSIS, JACK, CAT, etc. This will help automotive designers to take into consideration variations in dimensions of the Indian population. This way vehicle designs can be improved to meet the ergonomic requirements of the Indian population.

 

 

New acquisitions at ARAI

 

ARAI has built up many new advanced capabilities, including eight ruggedized high-speed cameras used to capture detailed views of crash tests. It has also acquired Advanced Motion Analysis Software to study the high-speed camera views, and has installed ruggedized data acquisition units from Kayser Threde GmbH. The facility has accelerometers, displacement transducers, contact switches and other sensors for crash and other dynamic tests, along with portable 3D CMM for precision measurement of crash deformations.

 

 

Passive safety infrastructure

 

As part of building a passive safety infrastructure, ARAI also plans to equip itself with programmable stopping device for sled, adult male and female dummies, child dummies, child restraint system testing, advanced sensors and software for injury criteria evaluation and FMVSS Rollover, and other test facilities required for vehicle development.

 

Futuristic car engine

 

This state-of-the-art engine is designed from concept to meet Euro-4 and Euro-5 emission specifications for a medium-size passenger car and LCV application. A three-cylinder, 1.5-liter displacement diesel engine is designed with an ultimate objective to produce 115kW @ 4200rpm with thumping torque of 310Nm, thus realizing specific power output over 75kW/litre, which is quite a contemporary class of specification in itself. The first stage of the project targets at development of 75kW (50kW/litre) engine meeting Euro-4 and Euro-5 specifications aimed at the smaller car and light motor vehicle segment and a prime mover for hybrid application.

 

 

A team of qualified engineers is engaged in concept development, design and detailing, structural analysis, simulation and combustion package development. Prototype component development phase is in the advanced stage and first prototype engine is slated to be built shortly to commence combustion optimization.

 

 

This R&D project is aimed both at developing the technology at ARAI, and also creating a state-of-the-art diesel engine meeting stringent emission norms and giving good fuel economy, which can be offered to manufacturers all over the world for passenger car/light motor vehicle application. The engine can be used in its present form or can be adapted for a particular application. ARAI plans to design a suitable gearbox for this three-cylinder engine, thus offering a complete powertrain to interested vehicle manufacturers.

 

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