Every year, millions of cars are produced worldwide. And there is always the same challenge for every vehicle in every country of the earth: The power of the motor is to be transmitted to the wheels with as little loss and fuel consumption and yet as reliably as possible. GKN Driveline has tackled this challenge.
When it comes to test benches, Blum-Novotest GmbH is the partner of GKN Driveline. To date, the company has already supplied more than 20 systems ranging from NVH and quasi-static ones through to 4-square test rigs. Thus, GKN Driveline relies on the entire range of drive shaft test rigs of Blum-Novotest. We spoke to Michael Hagen, responsible for test rigs in the research and development centre at GKN Driveline in Lohmar.
Mr Hagen, your cooperation with Blum-Novotest has apparently been working for quite some time now. How did it actually come about?
The test rig industry is rather small, and people know one another. In our case, it has been already since 1992. In recent years this cooperation was intensified because we had to part with one of our long-standing partners. Apart from Blum-Novotest, 20 other companies were considered as possible successors theoretically able to build test rigs for GKN Driveline. After thorough investigation, we decided in favour of Blum-Novotest and another manufacturer.
Why did you decide to go for Blum-Novotest GmbH?
When selecting a partner for the production of test rigs, there are essentially only three criteria for GKN Driveline: Function, reliable delivery and price. We were looking for a partner with whom we could jointly develop test rigs and adapt them to the needs of our end customers. Moreover, it was important for the prospective company to have some after sales experience, i.e. in the field of repair, maintenance and calibration of facilities. Building a test rig is not a serial project, but something individual. It takes time to reach an understanding since the wording of the requirements specifications can be interpreted in different ways. It became apparent quickly that the chemistry is right between Blum-Novotest and us, and that we speak the same language. In addition, the company has many highly competent associates who are real experts in their respective fields. Thus they are able to meet GKN Driveline´s criteria with flying colours. Blum-Novotest’s decades of experience quickly pay off, because, due to their profound experience, they do not make any mistakes in the first place.
You mentioned decades of experience and good chemistry. Where else is Blum-Novotest a step ahead according to your opinion?
Their experience is reflected in the quality of their test rigs, of course, as illustrated by the following example: Wherever vibration analyses and vibration measurements are conducted, a test rig might develop its own natural vibration. The objective is to prevent this vibration from generating, since they would appear in the measuring results and it is very difficult or even impossible to filter out this vibration at the end. Blum-Novotest does outstanding design work and perfectly masters this problem.
You have just commissioned an NVH test rig of Blum-Novotest. What does NVH stand for and how is the thest bench used?
NVH stands for Noise, Vibration and Harshness, and the measurement thereof. NVH test rigs are used in drive shaft development and production. During tests, they measure the forces generated or transmitted by the drive shaft. An NVH test rig also simulates the load ratios in a car.