A cutting-edge laboratory in terms of machinery, technologies and type of tests, aimed at guaranteeing carmakers the highest quality
Today, Magneti Marelli inaugurated a new laboratory for reliability tests of automotive components. Located at the Magneti Marelli Powertrain facilities in Bologna, this laboratory will carry out testing and qualitative validation activities in the development of modern technologies for automobiles, with the aim of ensuring the best quality possible of the components over time.
The Bologna-based Magneti Marelli Powertrain Reliability Laboratory – that covers an area of about 2000 square meters - was equipped with sophisticated machinery and test benches worth approximately € 5 million, and it is one of the best examples at the international level in terms of number of technologically advanced machinery and ability to carry out combined simultaneous tests in accelerated mode. These characteristics make it particularly flexible and capable of meeting, at the same time, the validation specifications of different customers and the need to carry out tests on a wide range of products: from smaller products, such as GDI injectors, to larger and more complex ones, such as dual clutch transmissions, also including advanced technology components for electric engines, such as electric motor-generators and inverters.
The Laboratory equipment includes 6 rotating electrodynamic vibrating benches, combined with thermal cells for the vibration of large loads (12,000 – 18,000 lbs) and 3 vertical electrodynamic vibrating benches combined with thermal cells for high-frequency vibrations (up to 5 kHz); sme of these benches can also be used with gasoline under pressure in the circuits, up to values of 200 bar. The Laboratory also features 22 climate chambers (temperature range from -60 to +180 C° with relative humidity control), 5 thermal shock chambers (from - 60 to +180 °C, with transition time of less than 10 seconds from minimum to maximum temperature), 2 salt spray chambers, 1 water tightness test chamber, 1 dust test chamber and 1 X-ray machine.
The high number of workstations means that up to 20 engines and inverters can be tested at the same time, all in continuous cycle and in total safety.
The tests can simulate the actual utilization conditions of components at the bench, thus making it possible to carry out accelerated life tests in the laboratory. This means that all the stress peaks to which a component is subjected during the entire life of the vehicle can be concentrated in just a few hours. Such testing capacity reduces testing times and, consequently, the time it takes to put a component in production; it also allows the evaluation of the quality and reliability over time of the individual component, as well as of its specifications.
In addition to the high technology of the machinery, such performances in the reliability verification process are based on two other elements: first, a consolidated method in the composition and combination of tests and testing parameters that Magneti Marelli has been building since the 1970s, accumulating experience and know-how both within the company and through the collaboration with customers. This experience has also enabled the development of particular skills in terms of test personalization and specific response to the various needs of individual carmakers.
The second element is the technical ability that makes the Reliability Laboratory one of the few facilities in the world that can carry out combined tests in continuous cycle using gasoline under pressure up to 200 bar, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in total safety, ensuring the remote monitoring during all phases thanks to the continuous recording of functional parameters and to the filming of the components being tested.
This means that the technicians at the Reliability Laboratory will be able to test complex components such as, for example, components for the GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) system, through combined vibration, temperature and operational tests using high-pressure gasoline.
“Guaranteeing customers higher and higher reliability and quality levels is an unavoidable commitment and a necessary condition if one wants to continue being competitive, especially on the automotive market - stated Eugenio Razelli, C.E.O. of Magneti Marelli - By setting up this component testing “hub” in Bologna, we will be able to handle many types of components in a very flexible manner and with high levels of automation and control, as well as to provide a personalized service to our different customers. Investing in such an important facility here in Bologna has a tangible and yet symbolic meaning, and bears witness to the strategic nature of our excellence centre in Bologna and to our commitment to quality”.
The new Reliability Laboratory located at the historical Magneti Marelli Powertrain plant in Bologna is one of the most important centres of excellence for quality at the European level, and joins the other important quality testing facilities within the company’s global footprint, such as the one in Germany for the Lighting area and the one in Brazil for shock absorbers, powertrain components and exhaust systems.
The Magneti Marelli complex in Bologna is the location of the Powertrain division dedicated to the production of hi-tech components for engines and transmissions intended for automobiles, motorcycles and light commercial vehicles. Magneti Marelli Powertrain designs, develops and manufactures systems and components in the area of gasoline and diesel engine control, GDI systems, the Freechoice® AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), the SFS flexfuel and Tetrafuel multi-fuel systems, intake manifolds, throttle bodies, fuel pipes, air/gasoline modules for automotive applications and, lastly, strategic components for hybrid/electric engines.