The new facility enables engineers to test the performance of trucks with up to 20 tonnes axle weight and a simulated loading of up to 60 tonnes. It can facilitate testing of four-wheel vehicles with a wheelbase from 3.5 to eight metres.
Benefitting from VTEC’s humidity control and wider temperature range, truck manufacturers are able to carry out tests and prove their vehicles’ thermal stability under various atmospheric conditions. Truck manufacturers must also conduct testing of specific vehicle events, such as cold-start performance. VTEC can facilitate such testing at temperatures as low as -20°C in an accurate and controlled environment.
With the new double and tri-axle capability, the site's engineers are able to offer a wide range of additional testing types, including real driving emissions (RDE) simulation. The facility also has a dedicated particulate matter filter weighing chamber. Its emissions system includes a carousel mechanism, which will allow the running of tests with multiple phases and with no limit on cycle duration.
In addition to the comprehensive testing of vehicles with internal combustion engines, the new VTEC can more accurately prove performance of electric and alternative fuel powered trucks, including hydrogen.This is especially important in light of the increasing need within the sector to develop vehicles that are suitable for use within Ultra-Low Emission Zones.
Connor McCormack, president of UTAC CERAM Millbrook, said: “In the development of our new 4WD VTEC facility our engineers have worked hard to ensure that the truck sector has everything it needs to perform more accurate powertrain and HVAC tests in a controlled environment. It’s a testament to the commitment of our talented team that our all new VTEC is the exceptional facility that is opening today.”
UPDATED 6 APRIL 2021: Changed uses of 'Millbrook' to 'UTAC CERAM Millbrook' to reflect its new corporate structure.