Akebono Strengthens Brake R&D Leadership With Second Chassis Noise Dynometer - aftermarketNews

Akebono Strengthens Brake R&D Leadership With Second Chassis Noise Dynometer

Akebono Corporation, North America’s leading supplier of advanced brake technology, today announced the installation of a second full chassis noise dynamometer at its research and development technical center in Farmington Hills, Mich. This new piece of testing equipment positions Akebono as one of the only companies in the automotive industry with two such testing machines, further strengthening its industry-leading brake noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance capabilities.

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Akebono Corporation, North America’s leading supplier of advanced brake technology, today announced the installation of a second full chassis noise dynamometer at its research and development technical center in Farmington Hills, Mich. This new piece of testing equipment positions Akebono as one of the only companies in the automotive industry with two such testing machines, further strengthening its industry-leading brake noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance capabilities.

There are now 22 brake dynamometers at the facility, the largest brake technology R&D center in North America. Expected to be fully operational in July, the new multi-million dollar chassis noise dynamometer features a 500 hp motor and is capable of testing vehicles up to Class 4 and 5 medium-duty trucks. It joins a similar, slightly smaller chassis noise dynamometer installed in 1998. Both have full environmental control capabilities, enabling Akebono to test brakes at temperatures between 0-100 degrees F with 20-90 percent relative humidity. All Akebono dynamometers have environmental control capabilities of varying ranges.

“Our second chassis dynamometer significantly expands Akebono’s ability to provide unmatched brake system NVH testing capabilities to our customers,” said Bill Hilbrandt, Akebono vice president of R&D. “We are one of only a few companies in the auto industry with two of these highly specialized machines – certainly the only one in the friction sector.”

With full environmental controls, these machines enable Akebono to reliably duplicate real-world driving conditions that produce brake noise predicated by a variety of weather factors. The company also has a similarly capable machine in Europe and 11 more chassis dynamometers in Japan, giving Akebono the unique ability to provide global NVH solutions.

One of the more sought-after capabilities of the custom-built Akebono full chassis dynamometers is their ability to conduct a “morning effect noise test” at a specific temperature and humidity level consistent with early morning driving conditions. Hilbrandt said he believes no other brake manufacturer in North America has the capability to conduct such a test to Akebono’s level of expertise. In addition to evaluating its own friction materials with this test, Akebono often evaluates other manufacturers’ brake pads loaded on Akebono calipers.

Installation of a second chassis dynamometer also enables Akebono to conduct more upfront application testing for customers, including duplication of Los Angeles city traffic conditions. This demanding driving environment is used throughout the industry to benchmark brake pad performance. Over the long term, Hilbrandt said this in-house ability will help Akebono improve testing efficiencies and reduce development time requirements.

In addition, the new chassis dynamometer features a highly advanced noise analysis program developed by Akebono engineers. The high-resolution torque measurement capability of the new chassis dynamometer enables Akebono to measure small torque differences to determine the relationship between lining output and brake noise. This will assist Akebono engineers in evaluating differences between static and dynamic friction levels and how this affects specific brake noises and vibrations.

“Akebono will use this new chassis dynamometer to solve and prevent a variety of brake NVH issues for customers,” Hilbrandt said. “I expect it to be put into heavy use right away. In addition to supporting our own needs, we have already been approached by a number of customers regarding this unique piece of testing equipment.”

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