Bradford University turned to Westin Drives when it needed to install drives and motors on test equipment used for research into vehicle brake noise.
Vehicle manufacturers try to minimise brake noise at the design stage and, to help to tackle that, the university has established a braking research laboratory in its School of Engineering, Design and Technology.
Professors John Fieldhouse and Andrew Day are aiming to establish a UK centre of excellence, bringing together expertise and equipment under one roof.
The university operates new and existing brake test-beds for Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover. The test rigs include a Jaguar Land Rover 24kW single-wheel brake noise rig, a 45kW commercial vehicle rig, a light-duty disc thickness variation rig, several 7.5kW rigs for testing axle and brake noise, vibration and harshness, and a heavy-duty sample friction tester.
When a fault occurred on an old servomotor on one of the test-beds, research fellow Dr David Bryant thought the centre could save money and have a more reliable drive system by installing a standard 15kW three-phase induction AC motor powered by a variable-speed drive.
He said: “We needed something that was up-to-date and more reliable. Plus, we needed simple speed control for the motor itself.” He opted for a WEG motor driven by a WEG CFW11 VSD, supplied by Westin Drives. To test the judder effect on brakes, the university uses a rig powered by a 90kW motor-and-drive combination with a control system that was also designed, built and commissioned by Westin. Our company also supplied a safety interlock control system that interfaces with the drive, allowing researchers to shut down the equipment rapidly in the event of a fault.
Dr Bryant said: “This is incredibly important as with typical high-speed brake testing we might be running the brake at around 100 mph, and sometimes up to 200 mph.”
When a fault was found on the motor controls of another Jaguar Land Rover test rig, this was also replaced by a WEG drive, an IP54-protected 11kW CFW11 model.
The laboratory is now operating three WEG drives and two motors, all installed since early 2013. Explaining this choice, Dr Bryant says: “We are in the business of using a motor for an application rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of how a motor works, so we want a package that gets us up and running quickly.