Automotive Testing Technology International – Test Rig Modernization

September 14, 2022 - Author: Matt Thiel - Director, Integration Engineering

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Test rig equipment modernization

Test Rig Equipment Modernization

The significance of maintaining, upgrading, and enhancing efficiency within the test and development arena cannot be overstated. These costs are unavoidable, making it imperative to get things right from the beginning. The ongoing fitness of hardware in the laboratory is crucial for ensuring projects remain on schedule and within budget. The emergence of new legislation or assessments often prompts difficult decisions regarding whether to upgrade major test rigs or invest in cutting-edge technology. Fortunately, there exists a plethora of options and strategies tailored to meet specific needs and circumstances.

One of the foremost concerns across all industries, particularly in the automotive sector, is energy consumption. Businesses are striving to operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible. This drive has spurred assessments of plant and facility equipment, prompting profound introspection about how the test and development community can positively contribute to environmental sustainability efforts.

There has been a major shift in what customers require from test rig equipment, specifically a new automotive test rig. In the article, “The Rig Picture” published in Automotive Testing Technology, Matt Thiel, Director, Integration Engineering mentions, “The importance of energy efficiency seems to vary by customer, location, and program. In some cases, it has been the driver – and specific corporate or government funding has been made available based on improvements to energy efficiency.”

The choice between refurbished test equipment or investing in new rigs often hinges on finding the right balance between cost, timing, and long-term vision. If numerous components demand attention or replacement, opting for new equipment is often the best choice.

Delaying the inevitable need to purchase brand-new equipment necessitates meticulous attention to detail and maintenance. Neglecting these protocols can incur significant costs, both in terms of finances and efficiency. “All too often – whether it is frontline equipment or support systems – the maintenance schedule is either not developed or not adhered to,” says Thiel. He notes that he and his colleagues have frequently observed personnel changes disrupting the established routine for inspecting and maintaining critical components.

Read the full article starting on page 36 here.