Engine testing using Kistler’s KiBox

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When testing prototypes on a test bench, engine development expert Suter Industries uses the Kistler KiBox – a universal solution for combustion analysis and engine validation.

Founded in 1996 by motorcycle racing driver Eskil Suter, Suter Industries has evolved from its roots as a specialist in motorcycle racing into a research and development center for drivetrain technology, including electric engines.

The Swiss company’s facility is equipped with four large-scale test rigs with power ratings from 60-405kW, with flexible instrumentation capability. For cylinder pressure measurements, Kistler’s KiBox is said to supply accurate information about the process in the individual cylinders, so injection and ignition can be optimized.

Explains Reto Karrer, Suter’s head of development, “We’ve been using KiBox since the end of 2015 and we’re highly satisfied with it. We benefit from the numerous features that enable us to form a comprehensive picture of the processes in the engine. For instance, we can precisely determine the power loss or thermodynamic loss angle with the help of a TDC probe.”

The KiBox is not only useful for performance optimization; data obtained by the KiBox plays an essential part in calibration of knock control in the engine control unit.

According to Karrer, Kistler also provides top-notch sales and service. “Whenever we have specific inquiries, the service team responds very honestly. The sales team are always up-to-date with the latest technology. They are highly flexible and they focus centrally on the solution.”

Suter also deploys Kistler accelerometers to measure vibrations. For example, one ongoing current customer project involves the development of a vibration-free generator that has to fit into a very confined space.

Regarding engine electrification, Karrer says, “Speaking as a technician, I see this as a ‘both/and’ situation rather than an ‘either/or’ choice. We’re basically developing in both directions, and we’re fascinated to see how things will continue. Hybrid technology in particular shouldn’t be underestimated. We’ve already been able to make progress on several interesting projects with customers in this field. We’ll continue to use solutions from Kistler in the future – quite simply, they offer exactly the right mix of performance, value for money and service.”

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Currently editor of ATTI, her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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