In April, 2006 Mustang Advanced Engineering completed an upgrade for CalsonicKansei of their existing Thermal Climatic & Solar Wind Tunnel Test Cell, replacing an existing 48″ 2WD Eddy Current chassis dynamometer with a state-of-the-art AWD 48″ AC Motor Chassis Dynamometer with Fully Regenerative Drive Technology.
This project was performed on site at CalsonicKansei’s lab in their metro Detroit, Michigan location. The upgrade to an AWD chassis dynamometer was required by CalsonicKansei due to the changing vehicle population and the increasing shift towards AWD vehicles. Both CalsonicKansei and their customers were requesting a new, state-of-the-art, AWD chassis dynamometer for the test cell. Chief among the concern and the overriding issue for CalsonicKansei for this project was down time. The test cell was operating 24 hour a day, 7 days a week and the dyne schedule was booked up for months in advance. Therefore, maintaining the project time line was of utmost importance to the success of this project.
The general scope of the project was for MAE to remove the existing chassis dynamometer, modify the current pit construction to accommodate the new dyne, install the required utilities for the new dyne, run conduit to the control room, and supply a new AWD 48″ AC chassis dynamometer with vehicle restraint system, vehicle throttle control and new dyne control system.
With the project time line as the central focus, MAE’s project mangers worked closely with CalsonicKansei project managers and developed a detailed schedule and project gant chart. Precise coordination of project tasks and schedules was critical to the success of this project. Facility and utilities modifications where planned to be performed during the dynamometer design and manufacturing phase in order to allow both companies to strictly focus on the test cells modifications well in advance of the dyne installation and to help minimize the test cells down time. The project schedule was set to allow for a one month shutdown of the test facility.
Projects to be completed during this one month time frame included:
- Removing the Existing Dyne
- Saw Cutting the Floor and Excavating a Pit
- Forming the Pit
- Pouring the Pit
- Installing the Pit Ventilation
- Manufacturing the Dynamometer
- Installing and wiring the Dynamometer
- Top Plate Assembly
- Calibrating the Dynamometer and sub-assemblies.
- Start-up and test-out the Dynamometer System
Thanks in large part to the close cooperation and coordination between the CalsonicKansei and MAE’s project managers, the down time of the test cell was minimized to the planned one month time frame without the need for any contingent down time. The cell was up and running with full operation of the dynamometer system on time. The project was considered by all involved to have been a complete success for being completed on time and under budget.
The ultimate result of this project is that CalsonicKansei’s Thermal Climatic & Solar Wind Tunnel now possess the industry’s most advanced AWD AC Motor Chassis Dynamometer with fully regenerative drive technology. The new system adds significant testing capabilities and has broadened the horizons of their operations, giving CalsonicKansei the ability to test a much wider range of vehicles using the most advanced vehicle testing technologies. The regenerative drives, by returning electrical power back to the system, minimize electrical usage and have reduced operational costs of the system. The MAE system has been running flawlessly since installation in April 2006.