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Going the Distance PUBLIC ACCESS

They Put this Frame through the Long Haul in a Short Time.

Mechanical Engineering 127(07), 37 (Jul 01, 2005) (1 page) doi:10.1115/1.2005-JUL-4

Abstract

This article discusses a Turkish auto manufacturer that had been marketing its heavy commercial vehicle for years, but new emissions requirements were looming. The rules came from the European Parliament in Brussels. Turkey, which is not part of the European Union, has been pursuing membership for decades and many nearby countries belong, so the rules could not be ignored. The company decided to redesign its truck. The testing company, LMS International, crunched numbers and devised a schedule of track driving that would accelerate fatigue-inducing events a hundredfold. LMS engineers began by getting a snapshot of what the roads do to trucks in Turkey. LMS will not disclose details of the final test schedule, but according to the project manager on this job, Michael Kienert, the truck traveled a total of 10,000 km over the track in eight weeks. The team of engineers inspected it at regular intervals during the test.

Article

A Turkish auto manufacturer had been marketing its heavy commercial vehicle for years, but new emissions requirements were looming. The rules came from the European Parliament in Brussels. Turkey, which is not part of the European Union, has been pursuing membership for decades and many nearby countries belong, so the rules couldn't be ignored. The company decided to redesign its truck.

The company is Ford Otosan, a venture of Ford Motor Co. and a Turkish partner, Koc Group, whose various business activities range from banking in Istanbul to manufacturing refrigerators in Uzbekistan. The heavy-duty truck, called Cargo, fills a number of roles in Turkey.

The company gave the Cargo a new diesel engine that it developed in-house and dubbed Ecotorq. According to the company, the new engine not only meets the European Union's Euro-IlI emissions standards but has been designed with the potential to meet the more stringent Euro-IV standards yet to take effect. It also designed the truck to run for 1.2 n1i.llion kilometers on Turkish roads without developing cracks in critical suspension, frame, or cab structures.

The company needed evidence that its design would, in fact, hold up that long, but to drive that far was impractical. At 1,000 km a day, it would take 1,200 days, or more than three years. So Ford Otosan hired a company in Leuven, Belgium, to come up with a duty cycle that would put its new vehicle through the same punishment as driving more than a million kilometers, but do it all in a matter of weeks.

The testing company, LMS International, crunched numbers and devised a schedule of track driving that would accelerate fatigue-inducing events a hundred-fold.

LMS engineers began by getting a snapshot of what the roads do to trucks in Turkey. They took a truck outfitted with the suspension and cab planned for the new Cargo, and drove it 5,000 km on open highways, village roads, and city streets. Strain gauges monitored forces at all the cab mounting positions. There were accelerometers on the cab mounts and on each hub. In all, the engineering team recorded 50 channels of data.

They processed this information through the company's software, LMS Tecware, to remove spikes, drifts, and other sensor anomalies. They shipped the test truck to a Ford proving ground at Lommel, Belgium, where they drove it with the same sensor array over the various parts of the test track. Comparing the track readings with those from the road, the software helped calculate a test schedule𠄄how many passes over the Belgian block, how many through the pothole course, how many kilometers offroad would be needed𠄄to accelerate the fatigue cycle by a factor of 100.

LMS will not disclose details of the final test schedule, but according to the project manager on this job, Michael Kienert, the truck traveled a total of 10,000 km over the track in eight weeks. The team of engineers inspected it at regular intervals during the test.

The cab was tested separately at the same time. It was mounted on a test rig programmed to replicate forces of the accelerated track test. The suspension held up just fine, and the cab tests led to some design tweaking before the truck was released to the market.

Ford Otosan sees the Cargo as one of its real success stories. The company said that, after the redesigned Cargo was introduced in September 2003, its share of the big trlick market in Turkey increased from 16.4 to 22 percent. That's a gain of about a third.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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