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Why engineers can sometimes be allowed to mess things up

EDAG’s unique accredited test centre

Sun cream that is rubbed onto the cockpit? Various climatic zones and weather conditions? Kicks, impacts and cuts on vehicle parts? Or simply wear and tear beyond the service life?

If the intention was not so serious, you could also call the EDAG "Accredited Test Center", or "ATC Fulda" for short, a 2500 m² playground for a demolition derby. But when the engineers give the cars a grilling, it is not necessarily something to do with the urge to play. The opposite is true: components and materials are tested to see if they are ready for the start of production in "ATC Fulda". This involves tests that correspond with realistic everyday situations. Each and every one of us can sometimes be a little clumsy. And a modern car needs to be able to withstand little mishaps like soft drinks or cosmetics just as much as wind, weather and wear and tear on tough roads.

Test solutions for elevant stress situations in the automobile industry

Vehicle parts are constantly subjected to precisely these types of stresses in ATC Fulda. These are served by a unique and extensive collection of test setups in "ATC Fulda", which surely cannot be found anywhere else. From climatic chambers, mechanical, electrical or chemical tests and so-called shakers through to high speed cameras that register bending and tensile tests – there is a test solution in "ATC Fulda" to suit every relevant stress situation in the automobile industry.

Tests reveal material performance

Automobile manufacturers and suppliers, for example, can produce materials cards that reproduce the performance level of their material combinations. Materials are thereby bent, compressed, turned or pulled. Using special cameras with a speed of more than 100,000 images per second, you can quickly see what a material can really do. Visual simulations from the area of Computer-Aided-Engineering (CAE) can also be validated with these tests.

Whether Siberian cold or hot desert temperatures: testing demands a lot of creativity

Electrical tests are another example from the "ATC Fulda" range of services. A current is sent through a conductor and it analyses which voltage drops, temperature changes or resistances occur in different stress situations.

And if that is not enough to put electronic components through their paces, the EDAG engineers carry out the entire test in a climatic chamber. Components not only need to perform at their best at room temperatures, but also in the coldest and hottest regions of the world, in constant downpours, under pressure changes, in direct sunlight or in electromagnetic fields. It is no wonder that creativity and experience are required to set up the test.

Working life at "ATC Fulda" means that everyday it rains and that fog rises, the earth quakes and lightning strikes yet again."