Keeping it real

Engine testing at Millbrook

Virtual reality and computer aided engineering are incredibly useful tools, but there is a limit to what can be achieved using digital simulation. Testing in the real world, both in the field and in the lab, remains a vital part of developing new cars.

For Engine Technology International I spoke to a variety of specialists about the value of physical testing and its complex and evolving relationship with simulation. Those experts were:

  • Fredrik Andersson, chief programme engineer for powertrains at Volvo
  • Joseph Bakaj, vice president of product development at Ford of Europe
  • Dave Meek, engineering director at Intertek
  • Stephen Ratley, engine test leader at Horiba Mira
  • Phil Roberts, principal engineer at Horiba Mira
  • Phil Stones, chief powertrain engineer at Millbrook
  • Stefan Trampert, group vice president of operations at FEV Group

Key quote
“It’s rare for simulations to throw up the unexpected. It does happen – and will happen more as simulations get more complicated – but physical testing will always have the ability to surprise you”
Dave Meek, engineering director, Intertek