MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
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Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.
14 Nov 08. Vehicle development engineers now have a new location for tilt table evaluations, as Millbrook further expands its testing capabilities at its Bedford headquarters. One of Europe’s largest tilt tables has been installed at Millbrook, the UK-based military vehicle test and development centre and home of the UK Battlefield Mission. The facility can be used to determine static rollover thresholds and tilt operation capabilities for a wide range of vehicles including light, medium and heavy trucks, buses, ambulances, transporters, off-highway machines, cranes and stackers.
“The data provided by this facility will complement many different vehicle dynamics and safety test programmes taking place across our extensive proving ground and systems test laboratories,” explains Millbrook’s engineering project manager Graham Clarke. “With the knowledge that we can supply using this system, vehicle engineers can optimise vehicle operation across challenging terrains, improve dynamics and ensure that vehicle-mounted systems operate safely and effectively on inclined surfaces.”
Data from the new tilt table will include rollover thresholds, end limit performance, side slope operation (evaluating areas such as the ability of oil pick-ups and fluid systems to operate on side slopes), active suspension development, equipment stowage validation, payload stability and certification testing to various world automotive, commercial vehicle and military standards. It can also be used to determine the height of a vehicle’s centre of gravity. Similar testing can be conducted on non-vehicle systems such as container stacks and military field operations equipment. The platform of Millbrook’s tilt table measures 9m x 3.2m and has a maximum tilt angle of 45°. Loads up to 42,000kg can be raised and lowered at from 0.08° per second to 0.25° per second, providing excellent resolution and repeatability.
“Our substantial heavy vehicle and off-highway expertise is helping us win new business from manufacturers and users who are committed to increasing the durability, safety and capability of their vehicles,” concludes Clarke. “The new tilt table provides an important complement to these programmes, enhancing Millbrook’s position as one of the most comprehensively equipped military vehicle test specialists available commercially anywhere.”
Millbrook operates as an independent vehicle test and development centre with the most comprehensive range of tracks, calibrated hill routes and laboratories available commercially anywhere in the world. Specialist sectors include whole-vehicle durability, powertrain, safety, component and systems test, NVH, emissions and alternative fuels engineering. The company has considerable expertise in low CO2 vehicles, helping a range of vehicle manufacturers and technology suppliers bring their products to market more quickly, more cost-effectively and with increased driveability, durability and refinement.
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