HBM equipment ensures responsive steering in latest premium sports car

DURA Automotive Systems Reiche GmbH is using the latest measurement technology from HBM to ensure that the steering coupling it produces meets the extremely high production and quality control standards required.

The steering column is used in the latest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG sports car that has a peak performance of 420 kW while the 6.3 liter engine accelerates it from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. This places high demands on the steering coupling.

The steering coupling connects the steering wheel and the steering gear. It comprises a corrugated tube, a smooth tube and a double universal joint. This joint, a so-called constant velocity joint, has a decisive influence on steering precision.

The coupling is manually assembled by DURA at its specially designed factory.

To ensure the highly responsive steering required for the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, all components of the steering column are checked using HBM’s equipment. Complete traceability of every working step is guaranteed with the HBM hardware and software used because each steering coupling that leaves assembly has a serial number.

The bending torque in the joint connecting both tubes of the steering coupling is checked using HBM’s PW4M platform load cell. This is also used to measure movement in both directions on a test bench.

Once the joint has been checked, the tubes are fitted with threaded inserts. The force and displacement during the press-fit process is carefully monitored using HBM’s MP85A FastPress process monitoring system to maintain the required quality.

All measured data are directly evaluated in the process controller which ensures that press forces lie within the specified tolerance window. The process controller both delivers an "OK" signal and transmits the measured process data simultaneously to the test bench control computer via the network.

Finally, the torque on any screws is measured and recorded during the tightening of screw fittings on the parts. All process parameters are recorded and maintained in a database.


About HBM:
HBM (www.hbm.com) is a globally operating company specializing in test and measurement. HBM provides complete measurement solutions - from sensor to software - based on high quality products as strain gages, load cells, tranducers, signal conditioning and data acquisition electronics and software.

With development and manufacturing operations in Europe, America and Asia, HBM provides measurement solutions to a wide variety of companies in the automotive, aerospace, marine, rail transport, medical equipment, packaging, appliance, automation, and scale industries.

With a 50 year history of quality and precision products, the HBM name has become synonymous with "Measurement with Confidence.

Founded in Germany in 1950, HBM is today the technology and market leader in the field of test and measurement. HBM's product range comprises solutions for the entire measurement chain, from virtual to physical testing. The company has production facilities in Germany, USA and China and is represented in over 80 countries worldwide.

For further information please contact:

1 Churchill Court, 58 Station Road, North Harrow, Middlesex, HA2 7SA UK
Tel: +44(0) 20 8515 6100
Fax: +44(0) 20 8515 6149
Web: www.hbm.com

February 2011

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