Millbrook, the leading independent vehicle test, validation and engineering service provider and owner of winter and tyre test specialists, Test World, expects 2016 to be the year when customers really start to benefit from its recent changes in leadership, investments in facilities and personnel, new strategic alliances, and an overseas acquisition.
Looking to the year ahead, Millbrook’s CEO, Alex Burns, comments: “Millbrook will have more to offer customers in 2016 than ever before. The ways in which we are currently developing Millbrook are probably more extensive than at any other time in the last four decades. We’re strengthening our service offering to meet the current requirements of customers and in anticipation of their future needs.”
Of the many recent developments at Millbrook, these are the five that will make the most difference in 2016 . . .
1. Test World - To broaden its services, in September 2015 Millbrook acquired Test World at Ivalo in Finland, the world’s most northerly independent proving ground. A uniquely versatile winter vehicle and tyre test facility, 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Test World has outdoor and indoor winter tracks for objective and subjective testing on real snow. The indoor tracks, the world’s first, makes possible testing throughout the year, which for tyre manufacturers can reduce the time to market.
2. New ServoSled - In June 2015 Millbrook installed a new ServoSled, the only one commercially available in the UK, to simulate vehicle collisions more accurately. With a servo-actuated braking system to control the crash pulse correlation, this improves accuracy, repeatability and correlation of test pulses to a real crash when compared to the older (HyGe sled) simulator. Turnaround times are also much faster, enabling customers to complete more tests per day. Millbrook also upgraded the seat belt anchorage test system and installed the latest high-speed, high-definition camera equipment to improve the quality of images taken when capturing tests.
3. Real world emissions testing - Millbrook has invested further in its Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) by adding a dual Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) unit. This will enable Millbrook’s experienced engineers to measure levels of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons in exhaust gases simultaneously. PEMS use is increasing because of the impending EC regulation for Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing. Millbrook now has three of the latest PEMS units available, from each of the major suppliers.
4. Enhanced powertrain test facilities - In August 2015 Millbrook invested £1.8m in 9 upgraded engine test cells. This enables Millbrook to extend its full emissions development capabilities - in particular cold-start characterisation to support engine calibration from -40C and advanced road load simulation modelling.
5. Advanced vehicle noise measurement – Millbrook has introduced a new noise measurement system, upgrading the existing advanced facilities for investigating and understanding vehicle noise. This will enable engineers to measure acoustics and vibration inside a vehicle and synchronise this data with what’s recorded outside the vehicle.
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