New UTAC UK facility enables more accurate coach and bus powertrain testing

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The new facility enables engineers to simulate more accurate, unlimited drive cycles at temperatures as low as -20°C

UTAC has opened its all new VTEC (Variable Temperature Emissions Chamber) facility, allowing coach and bus engineers to conduct a wider range of vehicle tests to develop powertrains with greater accuracy, at temperatures as low as -20°C, at its Millbrook testing centre.

The new facility enables engineers to test the performance of coaches and buses with an axle weight of up to 20 tonnes, and a simulated loading of up to 60 tonnes. It can facilitate testing of vehicles with a wheelbase up to eight metres, and UTAC says it offers more efficient and accurate testing, allowing engineers to simulate eight hours of driving over a typical shift.

UTAC says the capabilities of its new VTEC 4WD facility will allow manufacturers to prove the thermal stability of a vehicle’s powertrain during operation under various ambient conditions, which often forms part of a supplier’s certification test. It also enables manufacturers to prove that their vehicles are able to de-mist and de-frost quickly, and maintain an acceptable internal temperature with varying numbers of passengers under different ambient conditions.

The new facility is also equipped to measure the energy consumption and range of conventional, hybrid and electric vehicles. It can support testing of gaseous fuelled vehicles, such as hydrogen, reflecting the trends within the sector to embrace new powertrain solutions.

With the new VTEC’s double and tri-axle capability, engineers are able to offer a wide range of 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.

Laurent Benoit, Chief Executive Officer at UTAC said: “In the development of our new 4WD VTEC facility our engineers have worked hard to ensure that the coach and bus 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. The introduction of this facility is an important step in ensuring that we remain at the leading edge of testing and development, now and in the coming decades, for heavy duty vehicles.”

The VTEC facility is situated at UTAC’s Millbrook site. UTAC