21st Aug 2018

European engineer exchange transfers knowledge and enhances productivity


AB Dynamics and UTAC CERAM exchange engineers to learn more about each other’s role in the ever-dynamic and expanding automotive testing industry.

AB Dynamics has recently completed an engineer exchange with UTAC CERAM, a France-based independent test house. The exchange aimed to share knowledge to enhance future support services. It provided both companies with a greater understanding of each other’s engineering processes and requirements, fostering a closer relationship between the two companies’ engineering teams.

“We learnt a lot from one another,” explained Ian Faulkner, Project Engineer, AB Dynamics. “While we spend a lot of time developing these products and ensuring our customers are able to make the most of them, our time spent involved in the actual vehicle testing is minimal. We conduct training, maintenance and technical support but being present for day-to-day testing is not usually required. It was interesting to see how rigorous the UTAC test schedule was, running 9 or 10 systems at all times. For me personally, the experience highlighted which features customers find the most useful and a few ways in which we can improve our software for extremely demanding test schedules.”

The exchange involved an engineer from UTAC spending three weeks with AB Dynamics while two engineers from AB Dynamics went to UTAC on two separate trips. UTAC wished to learn more about the Guided Soft Target (GST), a platform that supports and manoeuvres a vehicle shaped target for safe ADAS testing. The knowledge gained will help UTAC to improve the effectiveness and utility of its GSTs.

“We were able to do track testing, commissioning and problem solving,” explained Fabien Passerat, ADAS Technician, UTAC CERAM. “We are now better placed to help our customers in the future, minimising downtime and maximising the value of AB Dynamics’ reliable products in our testing.”

The exchange also highlighted the importance of Euro NCAP safety protocols around Autonomous Emergency Braking, including car-to-car, car-to-vulnerable road user and Lane Support Systems. This has helped to progress AB Dynamics’ new post-processing software for these tests, which is currently in development.

“I learnt a lot about how UTAC runs the Euro NCAP tests and the type of information they are interested in post-test,” explained Matthew Kist, Senior Software Developer, AB Dynamics. “Gaining this kind of insider insight helps to directly inform the way we develop our hardware and software to optimise each of them for our customers. We also looked at future ADAS scenarios, giving us an idea of the software our customers will need in the future, so that we can develop it in advance.”

The exchange proved a success for both parties, strengthening professional and personal relationships on both sides. AB Dynamics is now hoping to replicate the success of this exchange with other customers in an effort to further understand the complex and differing needs of automotive test houses and vehicle manufacturers worldwide.

UTAC CERAM is an accredited Euro NCAP test centre for vehicles and equipment. With over 500 engineers and technicians and more than 36km of test track, it offers a large spectrum of expertise and facilities in areas such as environment, safety and enhanced-reliability.

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