Thyssenkrupp has begun construction of a €15 million test and development center for steering technology in Liechtenstein. When completed in the first half of 2019, the roughly 3,000 square meter test center will bring together Thyssenkrupp’s competencies in development, vehicle bodies and prototyping.
Dr Karsten Kroos, CEO of Thyssenkrupp’s components technology business area stated, “Combining and expanding our test and development activities will enable us to serve our automotive customers better and more quickly with new solutions and products. This applies in particular to the large number of new orders for electric power-assisted steering systems (EPAS) we have received in recent months. We will also be addressing new development trends in chassis and steering and translating them into customized, market-ready products.”
Kroos is not overstating the importance of EPAS work, as for these systems alone, Thyssenkrupp has received auto industry orders worth around €8 billion in this and the last fiscal year.
The test center will drive current development projects such as steer-by-wire, e-mobility and the further development of driver-assist systems as a precursor to automated driving. For example, in the area of basic research, state-of-the-art measuring technology will be used to examine new materials and test their suitability for use in future products. Four- to six-week endurance tests will allow the quality and service life of these products to be mapped over the entire vehicle lifetime. Work in the acoustics center will focus on further optimizing the acoustic performance of the steering systems.
“The results of the various test series will feed automatically into our digital test models. New software-based analyses will allow us to identify the relevant development parameters and test them in a virtual environment. This will make prototyping significantly more efficient and save on cost-intensive development time,” said Kroos.
The test center in Liechtenstein will complement Thyssenkrupp’s software and development center for steering technology in Budapest. This center brings together all the company’s software development activities for electro-mechanical steering systems and develops new software functions for improved driving safety.