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Don't Go Round Circles - 'CUBE™' It At Mira

MIRA will save automotive component manufacturers and system suppliers time and money with a new laboratory rig called the CUBE™.

A high-tech CUBE, similar to the one being installed at MIRAThe American-designed rig is literally an 0.8-metre cube of magnesium. It contains six servohydraulic actuators and sophisticated displacement measuring equipment. The CUBE™ replicates vibrations experienced by the car so that various components can be developed without destroying test vehicles.

Currently, components are tested on mule vehicles driven for days, weeks and sometimes months, round tortuous Proving Ground circuits such as MIRA's unique Belgian pavé. Often the development programme is cut short when test vehicles, playing host to the new components, succumb to the brutal punishment dished out by the Proving Ground special surfaces.

The CUBE™ overcomes this!

A further problem for Tier 1 suppliers is the need to include differing environmental conditions during component and system development programmes. This can mean halting work in one country and shipping vehicles, engineers and equipment to, say, the Arctic Circle or possibly the Arizona Desert all adding to time and costs...

The CUBE™ overcomes this!

Switching a component test on the CUBE™ from one 'taking place' north of the Arctic Circle to one in the desert, is as simple as flicking a switch since the CUBE™ sits within its own environmental cabinet. This is capable of generating a range of temperatures from as low as -200C to as high as +1000C as well as providing controlled humidity up to 98% RH.

Yet another bonus offered by the CUBE™ is that it has an acoustic capability. Conventional multi-axis vibration rigs - even of lower complexity - are so noisy that they drown-out the acoustic performance of the component under evaluation. This is a major problem for engineers seeking to maximise refinement of passenger cars.

Because the CUBE™ is built 'inside-out', many noise-generating linkages are eliminated. Those that remain are all within its thick magnesium walls and are as near silent as is possible. A spin-off from this particular design aspect is that the CUBE's frequency response is higher allowing it to more-closely reproduce car background noise levels.

MIRA Component Engineering is investing almost £350,000 in the installation of the new CUBE™ which will be in action towards the end of the summer. Already the new rig has assisted MIRA in securing three significant development programmes. Parts typically suited to development on the CUBE™ include seats, fascias and even complete car interiors.

Graham Townsend, MIRA's Director of Engineering, said:

"The CUBE™ is the most advanced technology available to automotive components and systems manufacturers. MIRA is proud to be among the first to provide European and North American Tier 1 suppliers with access to this development equipment.

"Of course, the rig is only part of the story. Because MIRA offers a fully integrated development and approval service, customers benefit both from our facilities and from our heritage of expertise built up over the past 53 years."

The CUBE™, which is built in America by the TEAM Corporation Inc., is marketed in Europe by lnstron Schenck Testing Systems who have worked closely with MIRA on the supply and installation of the new rig.

The CUBE's climatic capability is being created by MIRA Test Facilities Engineering who have integrated the rig's new chamber with existing air-conditioning plant serving other facilities within the same laboratory.

CUBE™ is a registered trademark of the TEAM Corporation of America.

For further information contact:
Keith R Read, Corporate PR Manager - MIRA
Tel: +44 (0)
24 7635 5455 (direct) Fax: +44 (0)24 7635 5050

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CWN / Motoring / Newswire / MIRA / 10 Jun 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM