New US test facility to focus on improving driveline efficiency for commercial vehicles

The facility will initially house a loaded transmission efficiency test rig

Driveline efficiency test rig
Driveline efficiency test rig


A new test facility has been developed in Michigan to help commercial vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers increase the efficiency of vehicle drivelines. Developed and operated by Drive System Design Inc, the North American subsidiary of UK-based driveline engineering consultancy Drive System Design, the facility will help manufacturers lower emissions and improve fuel economy.

The facility will initially house a loaded transmission efficiency test rig and will be developed throughout the year to finally include three pieces of driveline test equipment. The current rig, which is fully operational, is suitable for all transmission types, including engine accessory drives, such as supercharger gearboxes. It will largely be used for transmission efficiency testing and the data produced will also ensure that transmission efficiency math models produced in-house are well correlated.

Jon Brentnall, president, Drive System Design, said: “Our parent company has developed what we believe is Europe’s most advanced, commercially-available development centre for vehicle driveline efficiency, with many test systems designed in-house to ensure that areas that have not previously received sufficient attention can now be investigated. It is our intention to build similar test capability tailored to the North American market.”

Further expansion throughout the year will include a hydraulic test stand for hydraulic valve body development and a tilt rig, which provides enhanced lubrication flow analysis capability. 

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