MUNICH, May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The test facilities in Aschheim and in the Research and Innovation Center (FIZ) have been upgraded to improve the target accuracy and visibility of crash tests
It is often challenging to keep crash-test facilities up to date with the latest technical developments. Nonetheless, it is usually far more cost effective to upgrade existing facilities than to build new ones. The BMW Group gave a perfect illustration of this point in the past few weeks: The Bavarian car manufacturer fitted its Munich test facilities in Aschheim and in the Research and Innovation Center (FIZ) in Milbertshofen with state-of-the-art MESSRING track systems. In the future, this will improve the precision, target accuracy, and visibility of the BMW Group's crash tests. The improved visibility will also make the tests easier to film. Another positive side effect is that the two propulsion systems are now compatible, i.e. they have the same point of impact. In addition, the two facilities can straightforwardly exchange special equipment such as guide elements or nonstandard sled test platforms if necessary.
For around ten years, the BMW Group used conventional track systems in its two in-house crash-test facilities in Munich, which were fully state of the art at the time of installation. Now the two facilities can enjoy the benefits of a track system developed by MESSRING, the world's leading manufacturer of crash-test facilities and components. With a guide channel measuring just 30 mm and a total width of 70 mm maximum, MicroTrack is both the narrowest and the most precise track system on the market. The narrow guide channel for the trolley guarantees optimum control during the acceleration phase. Unlike conventional track systems, where the vehicle or sled is decoupled from the trolley at the start of the film pit, the MicroTrack system guides the test vehicle until just before the crash. As a result, the period of uncontrolled movement is extremely short, and the risk of unintended deviations during the interval between decoupling and the crash is almost entirely eliminated.
Each of the BMW facilities took just a few weeks to retrofit; the installation was completed in March. Peter Reichhard, head of testing technology at the BMW Group, highlights one important criterion: "Both facilities are used very intensively. So it's essential that at least one of them is always available for running tests while upgrade work is being carried out." Accordingly, the test facilities were retrofitted one after the other. It was possible to recommence regular test operations at each facility just a few days after the work was complete.
MicroTrack systems are compatible with all older standard track system models. Variable installation in almost any length is possible. The track system at the test facility in the Research and Innovation Center (FIZ) is 135 meters long, while the one in Aschheim measures a little over 120 meters. This allows both test facilities to carry out vehicle tests with a stationary obstacle. After installing the new track system, the MESSRING experts also upgraded the film pit, including the transparent covering. This ensures an almost unrestricted view of the crash tests at both facilities.
The amount of investment required to retrofit the two facilities was a fraction of the cost of building a completely new facility. Dierk Arp, CEO of MESSRING Systembau GmbH, believes that the BMW Group's approach shows once again how important it is to retrofit automotive test facilities in a timely manner and to adapt them to the latest requirements and test scenarios: "The requirements for testing and the applicable legal provisions are changing at increasingly short intervals. Upgrades are an efficient and cost-effective way of updating crash-test facilities in line with the latest technical developments."
Alongside the MicroTrack system, MESSRING offers a host of other components and innovations that can be used to upgrade existing systems. They include the newly developed HydroBrake, the high-performance headlight system M=Light LED, a load cell wall, and equipment for small overlap and rollover testing.
Press Images (Copyright MESSRING):
MicroTrack integrated into a conventional rail system:
MESSRING is the world's leading manufacturer of crash test systems and components. To date, MESSRING has implemented more than 100 large crash test systems for automotive OEMs, automotive suppliers, governmental authorities and insurance companies - worldwide.
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SOURCE MESSRING Systembau GmbH