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Turnkey Competence at FEV: From Planning to Implementation

10. April 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

Today, the development of drive systems for vehicles, mobile and stationary machines, and applications is characterized by an extremely wide range of requirement profiles. In addition to the world’s highly-differentiated user and customer requirements, widely differing laws, additional strict environmental regulations and resource limitations, all have a lasting influence on today’s development work. In the future, the complexity of the situation is likely to only increase.

Classical approaches to drivetrain or vehicle development — for example, elaborate summer and winter test drives — will no longer be feasible in the same form they have been conducted in the past. Instead of such classical development methodologies, combinations of intelligently-connected processes consisting of simulation and experimental testing technology will be increasingly used – for example, the real-time coupling of individual, specialized test rigs with subsystem tests into one complete system. This type of “virtual shaft” connection was recently realized by FEV in the “Center for Mobile Propulsion” (CMP) at the Institute for Combustion Engines of RWTH Aachen University (VKA).

As a leading development service provider with more than 240 of our own test cells and more than 400 experts in our Software and Testing Solutions Business Unit, FEV has extensive expertise related to the requirements and operation of a modern test center. In this area, FEV offers, among other services, turnkey test field planning from a single source, which is extended, as needed, throughout the planning and implementation process and ensure the realization of highly efficient laboratories with maximized user benefits. “In addition to technically equipping test benches and test facilities, the operational organization, the technical and functional infrastructure, and logistics topics are becoming increasingly important to supporting complex test requirements with high efficiency and in a timely and cost-effective manner,” explained, Dr. Ralf Marquard, Executive Vice President and COO of FEV Group
Holding GmbH.

From Concept to Commissioning

The concept, design, equipment, and operational organization of future test fields all impose high demands on planners and test facility operators. Conceptual defects attributed to inadequate specification and conception in the early planning stages can only be corrected later with great difficulty or, in some cases, not at all. “Here, similar to the construction of a home, the general “rule of 10” can be applied – the cost to correct errors increases by a factor of ten with each subsequent phase of construction,” explained Marquard.

Due to the high capital expenditures for buildings, technical facilities, and testing facilities – in addition to the resulting long depreciation periods – test centers must be quickly and easily adaptable to changing testing tasks. Functionally-organized basic structures, modular design, reserves for changing equipment needs as well as an intelligently-structured supply infrastructure are all key factors for efficient test centers.

Task-Specific Process Steps

FEV has established a sequence of task-specific, customized processes to accommodate these challenges and constraints. The conception, planning, and implementation of new testing facilities all build on the foundation of years of FEV experience with test facility installations – both for our own facilities and for those of our customers. These national — and international — projects are handled by multidisciplinary FEV project teams that work in close cooperation with specialized planners including, for example, architects and structural engineers.

Future-Proof Testing Center in China

A recent example of one such turnkey test center project is the construction of the new FEV Test Center in Yanjiao (China). This new test center was first conceived in Germany, then brought into the planning phase in close cooperation with Chinese design planners up to ready-to-build status, and was opened end of June 2016. Already in the first phase of construction, it contains all the essential features for future-oriented drive system development and, with its centralized technical facility design, is laid out for flexible, modular expansion in the coming years.