Placed on 18/08/2015
Between 28 and 30 May several VB-Airsuspension employees headed to ATP Automotive Testing Papenburg GmbH to learn about and try out their test track. The track is one of the largest automotive test tracks for passenger and commercial vehicles in the world, and is also the most independent. The 780 ha site is situated in the north west of Germany and provides top conditions for every conceivable type of vehicle test.
Due to growth at VB-Airsuspension, growth in the product range and ongoing development work on a number of kits, there was a need for extra staff to be trained to carry out tests, and so ensure any delays in bringing the tested kits to market could be minimised. Several members of staff now hold a special ‘test track licence‘ and are qualified to carry out these tests. VB will only launch its (air) suspension systems on the market once they have undergone extensive testing.
The VB-Airsuspension employees completed the ‘Testing/safety training’ course for commercial vehicles. The course, which took place over 3 days, consisted of practical elements as well as theory.
The first day started with a getting to know you session and introductory talk from the instructor Matthias Plante.
Following the introduction the team got to work on the first test: the brake test track, on which vehicles were braked on different surfaces and at different speeds. After lunch the participants tried out the ‘drift track’ that had been watered down, following which the instructor went back over the theory aspects covered that day. What went well? What could have been done better?
The second day of the course started with the mandatory first aid training. Later the participants got to go out on the test track again in what appeared to be a slalom contest, with understeering and oversteering being the order of the day. The afternoon session also included a number of fast lane change manoeuvres needed for ESC tests.
We are delighted to report that, having completed this part of the training, all the VB-Airsuspension employees on the course gained a test licence.
(from left to right: Mark van Buuren (Engineer R&D), Jeroen Heusinkveld (Prototype Mechanic), Wouter Slendebroek (Test and Homologation Engineer) all VB-Airsuspension, Matthias Planthe (ATP Automotive Testing Papenburg GmbH), Iginio Voorhorst (CEO), Johnny Hengeveld (Prototype Mechanic) and Joep Peters (Sales Engineer) all VB-Airsuspension)
The third day was mainly taken up with testing the commercial vehicles that VB-Airsuspension had brought to the track. The participants had the opportunity to put the knowledge they had gained into practice straight away as they repeated the exercises from the past two days using these vehicles, as well as carrying out a number of tests required for TÜV approval/Letter-Of-Non-Objection (LONO) status.
At the end of the third day it was time to make tracks back to Varsseveld. Now the training is complete, several VB-Airsuspension employees will be able to effectively test existing and newly developed suspension systems on all vehicles on some of the major test tracks in Europe, ensuring any unnecessary delays in bringing products to market can be minimised.