Drive System Design develops new driveline test facility


Drive System Design (DSD) has invested in a new test facility, to enable increased driveline efficiency for vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers.

Developed and operated by the North American subsidiary of UK-based driveline engineering consultancy DSD, the Michigan facility will enable lower emissions, improved fuel economy and increased electric vehicle range.

“The current focus on real-world emissions means the efficiency challenge has suddenly become substantially more critical,” said Jon Brentnall, president at DSD.

“Our parent company has developed what we believe is Europe’s most advanced, commercially-available development center for vehicle driveline efficiency, with many test systems designed in-house to ensure that areas that have not previously received sufficient attention can now be investigated. It is our intention to build similar test capability tailored to the North American market.”

The facility will initially house a loaded transmission efficiency test rig and will be further developed throughout the year to include three pieces of driveline test equipment. The current rig – which is fully operational – is suitable for all transmission types, including engine accessory drives such as supercharger gearboxes. The rig will mainly be used for transmission efficiency testing and the data produced will also ensure that transmission efficiency math models produced in-house are well correlated.

Further expansion throughout the year will include a hydraulic test stand for hydraulic valve body development and a tilt rig, which provides enhanced lubrication flow analysis capability.

“This will require a larger facility in the area, which we are already investigating,” says Brentnall. “We are delighted to be offering this opportunity for the automotive industry in North America, but also for aspiring engineers looking for their next challenge – the initial expansion has already generated nine engineering vacancies.”


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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017, having recently graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in journalism. For the newest addition to the editorial team, stepping into the assistant editor position signalled the start of a career in the subject he studied. Now deputy editor for Professional MotorSport World and Engine + Powertrain Technology International, Sam writes content for both of the magazines and websites.

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