Advanced Wheel Force Transducer Technology for Small VehiclesMTS senior product manager Mike Schulz discusses the compact new MTS SWIFT 10 transducer, which precisely measures loads placed on wheels as small as 7" in diameter.
Q: What primary design and testing challenges do small vehicle manufacturers face?
Schulz: They face the same market pressures as manufacturers of passenger vehicles, light trucks and heavy trucks. In all of these industries, customers demand higher performance at a lower cost. These drivers place greater importance on knowing more about vehicle performance during development, while continuing to meet aggressive budgetary and time-to-market demands.
As a result, it is more critical than ever for small vehicle manufacturers to collect complete spindle load data from their vehicle prototypes with utmost speed and efficiency.
These manufacturers have historically had few options other than conducting such procedures using strain gauges and accelerometers, which is expensive, time-consuming, and yields neither a sufficiently accurate nor complete set of measurements.
Q: What new technology helps manufacturers meet these demands?
Schulz: We recently added the MTS SWIFT® 10 to our family of Spinning Wheel Integrated Force Transducers. The SWIFT family has previously extended upward in wheel size, to include solutions for the passenger vehicle, light truck and heavy truck industries. The next logical step was to go the other direction, and offer this proven and beneficial technology to small vehicle manufacturers as well.
MTS SWIFT 10 is the smallest rotating, six-axis transducer available anywhere, designed to be used on wheels as small as seven inches in diameter. This versatile sensor is easily adapted to multiple spindle geometries and integrates with almost any data acquisition system, enabling fast, precise and complete measurements of loads placed on the full range of vehicles including motorcycles, ATVs, metro or city cars, and commercial lawn maintenance equipment. The SWIFT 10 is also the ideal sensor for golf cart manufacturers, along with manufacturers of motorized rickshaws used widely throughout Asia.
Q: How can a device this small withstand the physical demands placed on wheel force transducers?
Schulz: Despite its compact and lightweight structure, the MTS SWIFT 10 sensor offers a high strength-to-weight ratio to easily handle the jumps and other excessive forces common to testing these types of vehicles. The SWIFT 10 sensor is available in titanium and other rugged but lightweight materials, and a patented octatube design facilitates high strength, stiffness, and accuracy. Its single-piece structure also optimizes durability and precision.
The sensor is fully enclosed to keep out the dirt, moisture and other elements common to the terrain in which these vehicles are tested and used. It can be used in snow, rain, heat, and cold.
Q: How can the SWIFT 10 be used for physical testing?
Schulz: MTS' newest sensor can be used in physical laboratories with the MTS Model 329 Road Simulator to perform physical testing. Designed to work with MTS SWIFT wheel force transducers, the MTS Model 329 Road Simulator is used for your small vehicle durability testing needs. The end result is achieving fast and accurate proving ground reproduction in the laboratory.
After just a couple of hours of preparation and without the need for specialized instrumentation or calibration of suspension parts, small vehicle manufacturers can get complete and highly precise durability testing results by using the MTS SWIFT 10 with an MTS spindle-coupled road simulator.
Q: How will the new SWIFT 10 sensor benefit the testing needs of small vehicle manufacturers?
Schulz: Equipped with this new testing capability, small vehicle manufacturers can meet the demands of the marketplace by getting better designs to market faster. Contact MTS to learn how you can meet your business objectives by improving lab productivity and controlling costs.
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