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Opening of Millbrook's Propulsion Systems Test and Validation Facility

The most comprehensive independent facility of its kind in the UK, Millbrook’s new centre now includes two 4WD Chassis Dynos, a PEMS workshop and a 4WD Powertrain Test System.

This is in addition to its Variable Temperature Emissions Chamber and 18 engine test cells. This centre has been developed in conjunction with Millbrook’s battery test facilities and simulator suite and complements its most recent announcement to open an electric vehicle test facility in California.

Millbrook’s expanded propulsion facility offers a secure environment to test all elements of propulsion systems in one convenient location. Direct access to Millbrook’s test tracks provides an opportunity for the validation of test results in real-world environments.

Millbrook provides highly repeatable testing and aims to deliver the shortest test cycle times available independently on the market. Its test systems are being correlated for emissions across the 4WD Powertrain Test System, both 4WD Chassis Dynamometers and PEMS to assure quality of results across a programme of tests.

The expanded propulsion facility includes:

  • 4WD Powertrain Test System - the first independent facility of its kind in the UK
  • Dedicated PEMS workshop suitable for vehicles from passenger cars to HGVs
  • New vehicle soak spaces with continuous vehicle and air monitoring to cover all legislative temperatures
  • Millbrook’s second 4WD Climatic Emissions Chassis Dynamometer, designed to simulate road driving conditions in a temperature and humidity controlled environment

The expansion offers vehicle manufacturers, propulsion system suppliers and fuels and lubricants companies:

  • Correlated, cutting edge facilities and expertise to reduce vehicle development times
  • Repeatable, laboratory-environment testing generating precise and reliable data
  • Conveniently located workshops, offices and storage areas
  • Access to world-famous test tracks, including the Hill Route and High Speed Circuit, and public routes for Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing
  • Increased capacity for certification testing supported by facility approvals for RDE and Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)

In addition, Millbrook offers:

  • Battery lifecycle and abuse testing
  • Electric machine and driveline testing
  • Climatic and environmental test chambers
  • Comprehensive range of engine test facilities for internal combustion and hybrid vehicles
  • Fuels and lubricants testing including CEC
  • Winter test facility at Test World in Finland

Powertrain Integration

Using the new 4WD Powertrain Test System, Millbrook’s engineering team is able to test and validate complex powertrain integrations. The testing features an advanced driving robot and 24 hour automation for best efficiency and repeatability. It has a 350kW battery simulator for advanced development of hybrid and electric powertrains and transmissions.

Millbrook can exercise system and network interactions through a full vehicle trip sequence, and simulate parts of the system not yet available during a given stage of development, such as the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) or battery.

Millbrook’s 4WD Powertrain Test System is capable of accommodating vehicles ranging from a small city car to an SUV, including motorsport or light commercial vehicles.

Prior to testing the full powertrain, Millbrook can validate integrations at an individual system level, such as EDU, on a 2WD test system. All facilities are conveniently located in the UK, close to Millbrook’s climatic chambers and shakers used for system and component durability.

Millbrook also offers a wide variety of powertrain system and component integration test facilities in the US. It will be opening a brand new laboratory in California later this year.

Fuel and Lubricant Testing

Millbrook’s propulsion systems test facilities are ideally suited to real-world energy efficiency and consumption benefits of fuels and lubricants and wear characteristics on components.

Its powertrain test systems are capable of running anything from a high-performance engine to a full hybrid powertrain or vehicle.

Millbrook offers PEMS testing for real driving scenarios. The equipment is correlated to both of its 4WD Climatic Emissions Chassis Dynamometers, which are used to replicate real driving and regulatory routes with a higher degree of repeatability including gradient profiles.

With the addition of the 4WD Powertrain Test System, Millbrook offers another level of repeatability when testing using a full vehicle. Both the test cycle time and variables are reduced (e.g. no tyre slippage) when compared to on-track or chassis dynamometer testing.

Emissions Measurement and Certification

Millbrook is well established as the leading independent and impartial provider of emissions testing to the automotive sector. Its PEMS facility is approved to RDE package 4. Millbrook caters for light, heavy and off-road vehicles, providing crucial RDE measurements for pollutants including NOx, PN, and CO2.

 

The addition of the second 4WD Climatic Emissions Chassis Dynamometer increases capacity for emissions testing including RDE simulation and emissions development. The 4WD Powertrain Test System can also be used for emissions measurement in early stages of prototype development. The facilities are configured for the testing of hybrid and electric vehicles.

High-Performance Vehicle Development

Millbrook offers an efficient alternative to full vehicle testing at earlier stages of development. The facilities have been developed with high performance vehicles in mind (up to 1,000HP), as they are becoming more prevalent.

Its Powertrain-in-the-Loop (PIL) test capability (including battery) enables customers to increase integration maturity earlier in development. It offers high power motor testing and low inertia to handle the most advanced powertrain technologies.

Alex Burns, President of Millbrook, said:

“The rate of development of ultra-low emission, electrified and alternative powertrains has gathered astonishing pace in recent years, creating many new challenges. Millbrook now has a suite of test facilities that allow engineers to test a full range of powertrain types to a number of repeatable test procedures, with results from one test facility easily correlated to another.”

 

Phil Stones, Chief Engineer – Propulsion at Millbrook, said:

“We have continued with our strategy to invest in facilities to meet the rapidly changing demands and technology challenges of the automotive propulsion sector. Our new capabilities reaffirm our position at the forefront of independent propulsion development validation and certification.”

 

Andrew Keay, Sales Director at Millbrook, said:

“It is so important to have independent test facilities available at your fingertips when developing vehicle propulsion systems. We offer capacity for every type of test in the UK and the US, and we will continue to invest in our facilities, equipment and people around the world."

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About Millbrook

Millbrook provides vehicle test and validation services and systems to customers in the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical and defence industries. It is independent and impartial in everything it does.

It has a range of test facilities for components and full vehicles. These include varied indoor and outdoor test tracks in the UK and Northern Finland, engine dynamometers, environmental chambers, e-motor and e-axle test cells, structural test laboratories, crash laboratories, interior systems laboratories, battery test facilities and advanced emissions chassis dynamometers.

Millbrook designs, builds, installs, and services dynamometer test systems and an associated data acquisition and control system.

Millbrook’s employees are passionate about safety, customer service and technical excellence, making them ideal partners at any stage in the development and launch of the vehicles of tomorrow.

Millbrook is part of Spectris plc.

 

For more press information, please contact:

Peter Haynes - 020 7952 1084 or phaynes@torqueagencygroup.com
Alex Michaelides - 020 7952 1078 or amichaelides@torqueagencygroup.com
Henry Willis - 020 7952 1079 or hwillis@torqeagencygroup.com

 

Please contact the team at info@millbrook.co.uk for additional materials.

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