Millbrook Group, the leading independent vehicle testing and validation services provider, has expanded its varied offering for commercial vehicle testing and development. The company has had an aggressive investment programme over the last 12-18 months, which is expected to continue following its acquisition by Spectris plc in September 2016.
The latest developments across Millbrook Group, serving the commercial vehicle industry, are detailed below. Further information will be available from a member of the Millbrook team throughout this year’s show, on stand 5H109.
Millbrook has opened its new 4WD climatic emissions chassis dynamometer in December 2016. The facility is suitable for measuring vehicle emissions, CO2 and fuel consumption, as well as energy consumption, EV range, and climatic performance. It can test light commercial vehicles in repeatable conditions between -20°C and +50°C.
The 48” chassis dynamometer and advanced emissions systems are suitable for all conventional and alternatively-fuelled vehicles, including electric vans and partial-hybrid models. Separate testing can be conducted on the front and rear wheels in isolation, helping to future-proof the facility for all known new and novel powertrains, putting Millbrook at the forefront of the industry.
The facility includes the latest equipment available and Millbrook’s team compliments it perfectly. With over 40 years of experience conducting testing and development work in the automotive industry, the on-site team members are highly-skilled and can help customers design testing procedures to best suit their needs. That approach echoes Millbrook’s commitment to constantly develop its people, equipment and facilities.
Ground has been broken on the latest phase of Millbrook’s Technology Park, adding new workshop facilities for the development and testing of commercial vehicles. The new development will feature three HGV workshops with wide bays and tall access points, particularly suitable for businesses working with trucks and commercial vehicles.
Tenants at the Technology Park can use the facilities on a short or long-term basis, also benefitting from office space on site to help manage the entire product development process. The proving ground’s extensive Track facilities are also available for tenants to use in their testing, and include; a constant speed circuit, city and urban simulation routes, a mile straight, truck slopes, and different surfaces for structural durability.
The new large bays are due for completion in July 2017 and are available for rentals on short or long-term bases.
Millbrook has recently completed work on a large climatic facility to conduct environmental tests on military, commercial, plant and public service vehicles.
The chamber will be capable of testing to customer specifications, as well as military and industry standards. It will conduct testing as low as -60°C, and up to +85°C (both ±2°C), to test how vehicles perform in even the most extreme temperatures found across the globe. That is supported by being able to create relative humidity levels from 3% up to 98%.
At 13.7m long, 5.7m wide and 6m high (internal measurements), and with a vehicle door opening measuring 5.1m x 5.0m, the facility will comfortably take any conventional commercial or public service vehicle.
Using the latest emissions testing equipment, including portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS), Millbrook is well-equipped to test a wide range of vehicles used across the off-highway industry. This is particularly important as off-highway and commercial vehicles used across the industry are being increasingly scrutinised regarding their environmental credentials, due in part to local, national and international requirements.
With a host of suitable workshops and facilities on site, Millbrook Group can provide independent commercial vehicle conversion work for small-level convertors and fleet operators.
The team can develop prototype vehicles to exact customer specifications, incorporating emerging and disruptive technologies where appropriate. Beyond that, Millbrook can carry out small series production and conversions across a fleet of vehicles to make factory models more fit-for-purpose.
Millbrook is a core partner of the Low CVP HGV Accreditation Scheme, and alongside Transport for London (TfL), is responsible for getting the scheme established.
The scheme is designed to increase the uptake of existing retrofit technology among HGV operators, providing independent verification of the performance of technologies, and a credible assessment of the applicability of equipment to different operational environments.
It is an accreditation scheme for retrofit technology to enable equipment manufacturers or vehicle operators to conduct robust, repeatable and reliable tests to validate the impact on fuel consumption and emissions under a range of operating conditions. The scheme also assesses the operational characteristics of the technology to provide broad information to operators on potential applicability. The test and accreditation scheme focuses on proving existing technology in a back-to-back comparison under realistic HGV operational scenarios.
Millbrook’s experience has been crucial to getting the scheme established and will continue to provide this valuable service to the manufacturers of aftermarket products and technology in the HGV sector.
Independent of the Technology Park (see above), Millbrook’s extensive test tracks are available to hire by commercial vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. The proving ground includes a wide range of routes to simulate all driving situations, including hill and urban routes ideal for emissions and durability testing, in a safe, reliable and cost-effective environment.
A highly-attractive aspect of track hire at Millbrook is the ability to hire only the specific facilities required, and to make use those facilities at a very cost-effective, hourly rate for the chosen period. The tracks are located conveniently just off the M1 in Bedfordshire, while several on-site venue spaces allow teams to hire additional facilities to use as a base throughout their testing.
Millbrook Group’s testing facility in Northern Finland, Test World, is well-established as a vehicle testing centre, with expertise in winter tyre and vehicle testing. Its tyre testing capabilities extend beyond passenger cars up to those commonly used on large vans and other light commercial vehicles. With indoor and outdoor tracks with genuine snow guaranteed throughout the year, vehicle and tyre manufacturers can conduct tests for braking and handling performance up to and beyond official requirements, such as those for snow certification of a tyre.
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