VB Airsuspension
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INTRODUCING: IR&D DEPARTMENT – THE BRAINS BEHIND OUR BRAIN

Placed on 13/09/2021

To mark 'Programmers Day', we'd like to take this opportunity to introduce our programmers, some of our guys who form our Innovation, Research & Development department.

Lower the vehicle, tilt the vehicle, sport mode, offroad mode, car park – hold it there! Let's park the list of the many functions on our systems for a moment. Our full air suspension systems have many functions, which are really useful as they not only add value to our air suspension system in terms of comfort and safety, but also add unique functions to the vehicle! The air suspension is controlled by 'the brain' of the air suspension system: the VB-ASCU software developed in-house by the iR&D department. So surely that makes these guys 'the brains behind our brain'? We're delighted to introduce them here, so you can finally meet the faces behind 'our brain'!

But did you know 'the programmer section' is only part of the department? Our iR&D has two strands, and we explain what they are both about here.

Mechanical engineering
This includes 'simulations of various mechanical issues’ and 'component development'. The components the guys develop can be anything from seals to injection-moulded parts. One recent example, as just mentioned, was a shut-off valve. But the guys don't start the process with: “We need to develop a shut-off valve.” They start with: “We need a seal.”

First, they investigate what the most suitable (sealing) method could be, a process that raises all kinds of issues. Different versions are tried out for the method(s) under consideration. Each version then undergoes various simulations – such as weight-strength-fatigue calculations and service life simulation. Once they have developed what they believe to be the right component, a proof-of-concept prototype is produced. This prototype is then subjected to various real-life tests – such as a functional test and a climate test. If it also passes these tests and fulfils the demanding quality requirements, the components are fitted on a vehicle and the functional tests are performed again.

Software & hardware engineering
In our section to mark 'Programmers Day', we introduced the guys who are responsible for our VB-ASCU – a control unit that we like to think of as the brain behind our air suspension systems. However, this is not the only software and hardware we develop in-house. The software and hardware for various sensors, such as our SMT tool, our calibration tool and other technical solutions, were also developed in-house by VB-Airsuspension. But how do we check that software developed in-house is properly installed on hardware developed in-house? With precision, using our own 'control software' – developed in-house by the brains of this department.

Meet our iR&D department

(from left to right) Mark Prins, Martijn Meijer, Robin Renkema, Aard Teunter.

Mark Prins
Position: Innovation Software & Hardware Engineer

Martijn Meijer
Position: Senior Innovation Software & Hardware Engineer

Robin Renkema
Position: Junior Software Engineer

Aard Tuenter
Position: Innovation Research & Development Manager

Victor Benno