DSD invests in new facility to meet demand for electrified powertrain development

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Engineering consultant Drive System Design (DSD) will invest more than US$2m on expanding into new facilities in Michigan.

The move will enable DSD to meet the growing need for electrified powertrain development, enhancing the company’s test and development capabilities and offering customers the ability to deliver programs from concept through to vehicle prototype stage.

“As more stringent fleet average emissions regulations approach, greater pressure is being placed on OEMs to electrify a growing portion of their product range,” says Jon Brentnall, DSD president (below left).

“Global customer demand for electrification has also come quicker than anticipated, partly proven by a significant growth in EV startups. As a result, we are increasingly seeing manufacturers outsourcing specialist expertise to help reduce time to market.

“The new facility will directly enable us to cater for this rising demand,” Brentnall adds.

“We can offer customers additional prototype build and test facilities, providing a genuine one-stop shop for electrified powertrain development. Our in-house capability also provides DSD with full project control, shortening customer development times.”

Additional capability offered by the new facility includes the support of hydraulic system development and loaded testing. DSD is currently commissioning a 3E rig and has recently installed a battery emulator, for electric and hybrid vehicle development and HIL testing.

Existing driveline test equipment includes a transmission efficiency test rig that is suitable for all transmission types, including engine accessory drives, such as supercharger and CVT drives.

In addition to the new North American headquarters, DSD has also appointed Matt Hole (below right) as vice president.

“Matt’s appointment as VP enhances the expertise available to North American customers,” explains Brentnall.

“Matt’s time at Drive System Design UK adds a breadth of expertise to our US operation, having played a central role in the delivery of a number of high-profile, highly complex driveline programs and contributed significantly to the business growth of Europe’s premier, commercially available driveline development center.”

“This is an exciting and extremely fast-moving time in the transmission and driveline industry, and I am delighted to be taking a key role in the continued development of the company’s leading-edge facilities,” says Hole.

“The capability of the new facility offers enormous potential and flexibility to manufacturers and suppliers operating in all key markets in this thriving region, and for driveline development globally.”

DSD will be working closely with the State of Michigan to grow the company by a further 25 skilled engineering staff over the next three years, which has led to the award of a US$175,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program.

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About Author


Matt joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he has been an editor since 2015, and began editing Tire Technology International in 2018. In 2020, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Tire, Professional Motorsport World, Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International and Crash test Technology International.

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