“Has this been the best show yet? Quite possibly,” said Graham Johnson, managing director of UKIP Media & Events, the organising company behind Automotive Testing Expo Europe, which also hosts Engine Expo Europe and Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo. “We’ve had more than 330 exhibitors and more than 7,000 attendees across the three days in Stuttgart this week. Not only that, I think it’s fair to say we’ve seen more brand-new testing and validation technologies launched than ever before.
“This year’s expo has clearly demonstrated that vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers need ever more advanced time compression development technologies, systems and services that ensure high-quality products. We’re seeing a quantum shift in how vehicle and components are being proven.”
Exhibitors responded by unveiling a number of exciting technology debuts live on the show floor, as exemplified by the release of the latest version of National Instruments’ VeriStand software. Used by embedded software design and test engineers to develop hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems, VeriStand combines real-time simulation, data acquisition, communication protocols and control into a common platform.
“This release of VeriStand enhances the real-time test platform to help reduce risk and cost for embedded software test across a spectrum of applications,” said Chad Chesney, vice president of data acquisition and embedded systems, National Instruments. “With a software-first approach, engineers can meet the demands of rapidly expanding test requirements for current and future HIL systems.”
Elsewhere in Hall 1 of Messe Stuttgart, Voith Turbo elaborated on its recently released financial performance report. In the first six months of the fiscal year (October 2015 to March 2016), Voith Group and its continuing operations received orders worth a total of US$2.4bn, equal to an increase of 19% compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, orders on hand rose to US$6.1bn from US$5.9bn compared with the end of the previous fiscal year.
“Despite the challenging economic climate in the current fiscal year, we remain on course and are continuing to implement on a step-by-step basis our programme as announced,” said Hubert Lienhard, president and CEO. “We are also making good progress in our operative divisions, all of which performed well in a somewhat difficult environment with weak economic momentum.”
On the TECAT Performance Systems stand, the US wireless sensor manufacturer debuted the latest generation of its WISER wireless motion sensor system. Featuring shunt calibration, the latest WISER system is designed to simplify instrumentation verification for users while also allowing them to check system calibration in the field.
“Automotive Testing Expo Europe is an important event for us as we continue to expand our market presence in Europe, and we’re looking forward to creating an impact with the latest features of our WISER platform,” said Don Keating, vice president, new business development, at TECAT Performance Systems. “Visitors to our stand have seen how WISER is an ideal test and measurement solution for smart driveline requirements and end-of-line production.”
More news announced on the third day of the show came from test stand manufacturer Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau, which announced that it has developed a new test stand for the validation of lightweight components for electric, hybrid and combustion engine vehicles.
Equipped with climate chambers, PPM 278-00 exposes parts to temperatures from -72°C to +180°C (-97.6°F to 356°F) and humidity up to 98%. The pressure adjustment ranges from -0.8 to +3.5 bar at a test frequency of 0.5Hz and a test volume of 15dm³ with various media (i.e. glycol, air, water, oil), allowing for pressure pulsation tests in the overpressure-overpressure, overpressure-vacuum and vacuum-vacuum range. Three or more test connections are located on each side in the test chamber. They can be individually shut off via separate valves. An automated tightness test can detect leaks in any individual test piece every X cycles and exclude the piece from the test circuit.
“Components in the automotive sector and many other industries are increasingly being made of special plastic,” said Johannes Montag, head of sales at Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau. “Our test stand allows for applying various testing standards, for example for pumps, hoses, valves and the radiators for the cooling systems of electric vehicles, or novel air intakes for combustion engines.”
Finally, SGS, a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, revealed that it has acquired a 20% stake in Transparency-One, a platform for supply chain visibility and risk management that maps the entire supply chain, tracks compliance and provides analytics to manage business risks. “I am very happy with this partnership, which is fully in line with our TIC 4.0 strategic initiative,” said Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS. “We will continue to partner with selected technology providers to enhance and extend our scope of services.”
Visitors to Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2016 were united in their praise of the diversity of products on display, as well as the networking opportunities that the expo presented. Brian Smith, business development manager – piping solutions, Parker Hannifin, enthused: “We’re here scouting and learning about the automotive test industry and in particular the equipment OEMs, so that we can approach them to align our core technologies with their synergies. I’m very impressed with the show.”
AVL technology scout Steffen Metzner was particularly delighted with the quality and breadth of the presentations given at the Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium: “It was really interesting. There was so much cutting-edge content to take in and absorb every day. I have been to this event many times before and I think this could actually end up being the best and most important part.”
Other visitors, such as Rodrigo Favaron, technical engineering manager at ZYNP International, had their eyes on various technologies to help with their test needs. “I was on the lookout for suppliers of vision systems. I brought a part here, which was tested by a company, and we worked through a lot of doubts I had, so the visit has proved to be very valuable.”
Exhibitors were equally pleased with the quality of those in attendance. “This year’s show was even better than last year’s,” said Heiko Stock, head of trade shows, Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik. “We had more visitors at our stand by the end of Day 2 than we did across all three days last year, and the quality of the customers and the leads we made was very promising.”
National Instruments’ section manager, Abhay Samant, said, “This show continues to be so important. It enables the meeting of minds of all the experts in one place. As a result, there’s more sharing of information. The Open Technology Forum is great for discovering new things, and the demos that happen on the stands are extremely useful.”