Two leading Chinese vehicle manufacturers have invested in AB Dynamics’ Suspension Parameter Measurement Machine (SPMM), contributing to a record sales month for the SPMM. These as-yet unnamed OEMs will use the equipment to improve the vehicle dynamic performance of their products and benchmark competitor products from around the world.
The SPMM is a Kinematics and Compliance (K&C) test machine designed to simulate the on-road behaviour of a vehicle’s chassis. It measures and analyses the suspension’s K&C characteristics, which enables engineers to understand the vehicle’s ride, handling and steering performance. The data generated can be used to benchmark existing products, develop simulation models, verify new designs, resolve problems and monitor product quality.
“We have seen a significant increase in interest from China for our chassis testing equipment within the last decade,” said Matthew Dustan, AB Dynamics’ laboratory test systems director. Indeed China accounts for two-thirds of SPMM sales in the past 24 months due to the rapid expansion of China’s automotive sector and the global increase in EVs.
“Chinese manufacturers are investing heavily to develop vehicles for both the growing Chinese domestic market and setting their sights on exporting vehicles to compete with their much longer-established competitors from Europe, the US and elsewhere in Asia, particularly in the EV sector,” added Dustan. “Improving the refinement of vehicles and how they ride and handle is a key part of this. Our SPMMs enable manufacturers to benchmark a vehicle’s chassis and suspension very quickly and accurately.”
At the centre of the SPMM 5000e is the moving table, which is precisely controlled in six degrees of freedom by precision electromechanical actuators, so that a combination of roll, pitch, bounce and yaw motion can be applied to the vehicle body. This design means the ground plane (road) remains fixed during vehicle cornering and braking simulations as it would driving on the road.
The SPMM is configured with either two or four-wheel stations. These apply X, Y and Delta forces and displacements to each wheel and then measure the resultant wheel forces, moments and displacements. It also measures the motion of the wheel centre in six degrees of freedom. Both OEMs have purchased a four-wheel-station SPMM 5000e, one of which has already been delivered.
All axes are driven by electromechanical actuators that apply precise inputs to the vehicle at frequencies up to 5Hz. The resultant wheel movement and force measurements are automatically processed using MATLAB scripts to produce a report, and input files for popular modelling packages, such as CarSim and CarMaker, can be automatically generated.