Test consultancy, Dynamic Research Inc (DRI), has opened North America’s first independent Kinematics and Compliance (K&C) test facility that also provides CoG (Centre of Gravity) and MoI (Moment of Inertia) measurements at its California proving ground. At the center of the operation is the suspension parameter measurement machine (SPMM) test machine, manufactured by sister company AB Dynamics.
The facility has been purpose-built for the testing and development of vehicles and will be used by OEMs, suppliers and motorsport teams to measure and evaluate vehicle suspension systems – it will also measure center of gravity (CG) and moment of inertia (MoI) measurements.
“Using the AB Dynamics SPMM as a basis, we plan to expand our capabilities to become a virtual one-stop-shop for vehicle dynamics measurement and testing,” said Joe Kelly, Chief Engineer at DRI.
“Coupled with our existing vehicle dynamics area and full-scale test capabilities and instrumentation, the SPMM will enable us to serve our clients with unmatched flexibility and depth of experience across a wide range of vehicle dynamics related topics.
“Emerging vehicle manufacturers can now have access to the kinds of equipment that were only previously the domain of legacy manufacturers.”
K&C services offered at the new site include industry standard tests such as bounce, bounce-pitch, roll, longitudinal compliance, lateral compliance, aligning torque and steering.
The newly installed SPMM uses a novel moving center table design that manipulates a vehicle’s body to generate the necessary movement and force to the suspension. This design means the ground plane remains fixed when simulating vehicle cornering and braking to more accurately replicate on-road vehicle behavior.
The table is precisely controlled in six degrees of freedom by precision electromechanical actuators, which enable a combination of roll, pitch, bounce and yaw motion to be applied to the vehicle body. As a closed-loop system, it requires no iteration to reach the desired drive commands, which significantly reduces testing time.
According to the companies, the SPMM is the only test machine to lift, roll and tilt the vehicle enabling the full MoI and CG properties of the vehicle to be derived. The measurement data can be directly exported into CarSim, CarMaker and MathWorks.
Further developments are planned, including the addition of a highly accurate 3D Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that will calculate the exact coordinates of the pivot points as well as the locations of key components, such as inboard bushings and damper mountings. DRI will also offer high-resolution video synchronized with the test program.