MTS Systems Corporation, a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, has once again demonstrated its capability to connect people, processes and equipment to improve lab operations for the automotive test sector.
MTS has successfully implemented its pending patent Echo® Health Monitoring at the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering & Vehicle Engines (Forschungsinstitut für Kraftfahrwesen und Fahrzeugmotoren Stuttgart, referred to as FKFS) to support its state-of-the-art test facilities.
Based in Stuttgart, Germany, FKFS is an independent research and development laboratory that delivers test and measurement data to meet the exacting standards of the global automotive industry. Its advanced, highly specialized test systems play an integral part in product development and testing programs for many leading automobile manufacturers. One key testing capability is the FKFS first™ offering in its premier wind tunnel facility.
Highly sought after by automotive brands, FKFS first (fully interchangeable road simulation technology) is a modular, five- and three-belt interchangeable rolling road test system installed in its full-scale wind tunnel. The technology is extremely sophisticated and acquires a steady stream of data from more than 100 different channels. With growing pressure to increase the throughput of vehicle tests, it is critical to avoid downtime, but the complexity inherent in the FKFS first system means that it can be very difficult to reach some of the core system components during operation.
With such a challenging set up, there is a compelling need to support the system with tools that are designed to address these issues. This is why FKFS' management team selected the Echo Health Monitoring solution to maximize machine availability and mitigate unplanned downtime. Echo is a real-time, remote monitoring platform that enables detection of issues or potential issues within the system, the critical components and sub-systems, enabling just-in-time maintenance. System status can be accessed anywhere using any web-enabled device. Through MTS Echo, lab personnel can check the operational efficiencies of the entire FKFS first system via a user-friendly interface.
The MTS Echo Health Monitoring solution is now being employed by FKFS to keep track of critical parameters in the hydraulic distribution, moving ground plane and air handling systems. Echo delivers a real-time data stream that allows lab personnel to more effectively balance maintenance requirements with customers' test schedules.
"This is yet another example of MTS' commitment to our customers and their success," stated Dr. Jeffrey Graves, President and Chief Executive Officer of MTS. "The pressures being exerted on labs such as FKFS are increasing all the time. Tighter deadlines need to be met and productivity maximized while high degrees of complexity need to be addressed. As a result lab staff have a difficult balancing act to keep everything running smoothly. Our Echo Health Monitoring solution brings real value as it allows comprehensive visibility to test system operation."