Upgrading Crash Test Facilities with MicroTrack

Efficient and cost-saving sled system / Fast and easy retrofitting / Guaranteeing high precision and accurate point of impact

Munich - For many suppliers and OEMs, automotive test equipment is essential to investigating and testing their products, whether individual components or entire vehicles. MESSRING Systembau GmbH has not only built more than 90 complete crash test facilities, but is also the leader in modernizing existing test facilities. As the pace of development for vehicle components continues to accelerate, test methods and test equipment must continually meet new criteria. Many test centers are thus no longer able to simulate all the required scenarios and test procedures after just a few years.

Upgrading test facilities offers huge benefits as you can see from the example of retrofitting the Skoda test plant in Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic). Retrofitting involves far less capital outlay than building a new facility. For car manufacturer Skoda, MESSRING extended the existing track system to include the proven MicroTrack rail system. The advantage that this system has is that the guide channel is much narrower than usual solutions, thus revealing far more detail in crash test images of the vehicle underside from the camera pit: a key criterion in the assessment of the crash performance of vehicles. With older rail systems, the width of the guide rail typically covers important details.

Another MicroTrack benefit: when retrofitting, in most cases, the old rail system can remain in place, as the new rail requires very little space (maximum 7cm). Additionally, the narrower, almost free from play guidance of the new trolley ensures improved control over the test vehicle during the acceleration phase as well as higher precision regarding target speed and point of impact. Because MicroTrack is highly versatile, it is possible to install the system over a distance of a few meters (RCAR testing), but also up to almost 300 m, regardless of the sled system being in or outdoors. At Skoda, the length of the rail system is about 95 meters.

The construction period for the MicroTrack and the new camera pit at the Czech plant was just four weeks in total. A very short time, if you compare it with constructing a similarly equipped test center from scratch. The total cost of upgrading the system is just a fraction of the expense of building a completely new facility.

Of course, the MicroTrack system is not the only product that is suitable for retrofitting crash test facilities. Another practical example is the Hydrobrake or the renewal of the control technology in older test facilities. Both measures are equally swiftly installed, very cost-efficient and open new possible test scenarios for the user.

For MESSRING Systembau GmbH CEO, Dierk Arp, it is quite clear that the topic of upgrading is becoming increasingly relevant. "We now have many requests from customers who are considering upgrading their test centers. There are some quite clear-cut reasons for this - it's cheaper than building a new system; test facilities can often be upgraded to a very advanced level with just a few new components, and the pace at which new developments are being launched on the market has increased immensely. We put a lot of work into being able to quickly and easily retrofit as many of our products as possible in existing crash test centers - including ones that we did not design - in order to offer our customers even better service." To meet with demand, MESSRING offers its customers regular, on-site inventory checks in order to suggest appropriate upgrades.


MESSRING Systembau GmbH of Munich is the world's leading manufacturer of crash test systems and components. The mid-size company designs and builds turnkey test systems for customers in all relevant markets and on nearly all continents. To date, MESSRING has implemented over 90 large crash test systems for automotive OEMs, automotive suppliers, governmental authorities and insurance companies - more than any other company. In the process, the global market leader continues to astonish the field time and again with innovative advances and revolutionary new solutions, whether in system design, the actual measurement equipment, or in documentation and recording of individual tests.

For more information, go to www.messring.de.

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