By T Murrali
Horiba Automotive Test Systems, a leading supplier of test systems for engine, vehicle, driveline, brakes and wind tunnel balances has been providing total solutions to its customers, with full turnkey capability. The company that manufactures and sells automotive emission measurement systems, environmental measuring instruments, wide range of scientific analysers, and medical diagnostic analysers, and measuring equipment used in the semi-conductor industry, provides the tools to test in customers’ sites and also carries out testing for them as part of the Horiba Contract Testing Services.
From simple engine testing to sophisticated dynamic research and development for engines and drivelines, the company has evolved as a complete testing partner. Its subsidiary Horiba India Private Limited supports its customers in this region. The recent customer requirements were mainly for the testing equipment pertaining to BS-VI.
The company has presented its latest FTIR Analyser, used in diesel engine development with SCR technology where the parts manufacturers have to measure and monitor the ammonia slip coming out of the exhaust. The system, made by its in-house technology, is very compact, robust and easy to move. The company has more than 35 years of experience in developing this, R T Desai, CO Segment Head, Horiba India, said.
Apart from this, it has particle number analyser. This is also required for BS-VI development for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles. It can be used for the raw application along with partial flow and full flow. These are all for BS-VI and Euro-6 certifications, he said.
On the value additions the OEMs get in terms of faster testing times, he said, one of the key advantages of Horiba technology is good, repeatable and consistent data. If any modification is made on the engine test bed, OEMs want to see the result, positive or negative, for them to make amends. So it is very important for them to have reliable, repeatable and consistent data; if the same test is repeated 10 times it should give the same data. If any change is made, like in the components or gaskets etc., it should reflect in the data. This would help them make accurate validation. It also makes them confident that the product meets all the mandatory regulations, he said.
These systems are available with several other companies also. However, there are quite a few advantages that Horiba provides. According to him, one of the key advantages is that the equipment are developed for certain particular applications. “We have our own unique knowhow and experience in developing these proven dilution techniques on how the samples are analysed. We call the basic system a constant volume sampler where the exhaust is homogeneously mixed and analysed. This system is already available in the market. What we are launching is the latest one which is a partial flow particulate measurement system called MDLT-ONE. We have developed this product based on customer feedback and our association with some key OEMs. It meets all global regulations and is certified for such regulation measurements like BS-VI, Euro 6 and CFR 1065 for India, Europe and USA respectively.
Furthermore, new regulation trend started in automotive industry is RDE i.e. Real driving Emissions. In India it will be a monitoring phase April 2023. The Indian Government is now discussing on the draft regulations. Once it is ready it would be implemented after April 2023. Regarding PEMS it is said that there are difficulties as it is an add-on equipment to the vehicle when it is tested on road; developments are going on to optimise it. Asked about the possibility of any unique solution from Horiba in the near future, he said, “Horiba has a background in PEMS equipment for the last 30 years even though there were no regulations for applications. In the US, there is an in-use confirmatory for the HD Truck; so we have the background and the experience to go with it. What the customer is looking for is how to implement this accurately and reliably, correlate with the test cell measurement to use the data for simulation. One of the biggest challenges is to ascertain how correctly the tests are being done using equipment that is expensive, accompanied by all the facilities, resources and boundary conditions. The global trend is a test pass rate of only 20-to-30 percent.”
Horiba launched ‘RDE Co-Driver’ last January. Real Driving Emission (RDE) tests confirm the results produced during an emissions test on a chassis dynamometer to ensure that vehicles meet the set limits in the real world. Testing on public roads exposes the test vehicle to a multitude of varying conditions, such as changing temperature and barometric pressure, rain, wind, traffic lights, or pedestrians crossing the road. The regulated requirements for trip composition and driving dynamic boundaries complicate the testing even further.
RDE tests add to the existing testing efforts and require additional investments in testing equipment, infrastructure, and resources. Invalid tests, which happen due to complex requirements, add further to the costs. The application note, ‘The Implications of RDE Testing’, provides additional information on the significance of the RDE test requirements and Horiba’s solution to help vehicle manufacturers to maximise their test yield.
Vehicle manufacturers need a tool that navigates the driver through all the requirements during an RDE test to maximise the potential of a positive outcome.
Desai said, “RDE Co-Driver will interact with the equipment and inform the driver to drive in such a way as to carry out a successful test that meets the regulatory requirements. Those data can be seen only on the mobile App of the user. When the test is over the user will get data that he can mail to the customer or the person concerned. We are also working on advanced solutions; these data can be directly transferred to the test bed to simulate gradient and other environment conditions inside the chassis and engine test cell. This is a unique value proposition to the customer. Once the test is progressing on the road, it is not expected to fail there. If it fails then it would drive back to the basic front-end design. In case it is not used properly, the test results become invalid.”
The RDE Co-Driver App has different modes – basic learning, simulation mode without PEMS equipment where the user can drive his own vehicle and see whether he is able to drive as per the driving requirements; and he can practise it without equipment.
In India Horiba is present in New Delhi, Pune, Haridwar, Bangalore and Chennai. The company has a technical centre in Pune. Globally, Horiba Automotive Test Systems serves manufacturers and suppliers in every industry that utilises internal combustion and turbine engines, including automotive, heavy-duty on/off-road, marine, aerospace, locomotive and recreational / utility vehicles. It also serves and cooperates with the regulatory agencies and independent test laboratories.