Steering Test Systems (SMTS)

The MB Dynamics Steering Module Test Simulator family of technologies (SMTS) is an assembly of components and software designed to facilitate the quiet testing, development, troubleshooting, and auditing of a variety of steering gear and steering column assemblies — collectively referred to here as steering modules (including components). The MB SMTS provides quiet turnkey elements necessary to test the NVH and rattle performance of a steering module; to reproduce functional or running noises such as zipper, growl, howl, reversal clunks, howl & growl noises, steering nibble, and other annoying vibration and noises during NVH-related driving maneuvers; to evaluate noises during critical driving conditions like high-velocity parking lot maneuvers in tight spaces with large, rapid angle changes at zero vehicle speeds; and to characterize performance during low frequency (for example 0.2 Hz) sinusoids, triangle wave, trapezoid, and CSV position inputs to the steering wheel.

Using SMTS helps evaluate EPS, EPHS, EPAS, MDPS, ColPAS and HPS steering technologies and designs based on their propensity to rattle plus other NVH and driving-dynamics metrics. The MB equipment applies these steering column angular positions and tie rod excitations using electrodynamic, pneumatic, and/or acoustically-quiet linear and rotary motor technologies. These are direct-drive and do not use gear reducers or other mechanical power transmission means that can add to test equipment noise and torque variation.

SMTS test rigs do not use hydraulics so there is no high-pressure oil, no risks of leaks and maintenance headaches, no negative environmental impact, and much lower equipment noise levels. While not a durability rig, the SMTS can condition or wear a steering module to varying stages of useful life within the SMTS equipment limits.

MB Engineering Services have been found useful to develop steering-specific test procedures and test processes, to perform test planning and results evaluation, for accelerated learning of the technology, and for data acquisition and analysis.

NEW! Steering Module Test Simulator (Non-Hydraulic): Download PDF
Driver Simulator
: Download PDF
Steering Rack Rattle Detection System: Download PDF

Applications & Test Jobs-to-Be-Done

OEMs and suppliers of steering systems and components have many rattle, NVH, functional, and performance tests to perform during design, development, test and evaluation. MB’s mission is to innovate and deliver quiet test technologies to help address these applications and jobs that test and development engineers need to do, including:

  • Test for annoying rattle and running noises due to road-excited stimuli and customer-actuated driving maneuvers to diagnose & fix root causes
  • Apply full range of forces (static and dynamic) over full range of tie rod end positions (any position between lock to lock, nominally 200mm p-p) and over full range of tie rod angular positions: jounce, rebound, fore, aft
  • Condition or wear gears and other components in the lab to accumulate accelerated customer-equivalent kilometers (life cycle assessment), then assess rattle and NVH performance on the same test equipment
  • Use various static & dynamic loads from the wheel/tire/road interface (measured on tie rod loads) and applied by Rack Load Simulator in combination with steering wheel positions and driving maneuvers applied by Driver Simulator to assess steering and EPS performance
  • Use physical tests to validate and correlate math models and model-based development of electric control system performance algorithms
  • Quietly produce accurate, controlled, repeatable inputs to the in-vehicle steering wheel to enable acquisition of acoustic data and wheel motions during zero-vehicle-speed and simulated parking maneuvers to characterize in-vehicle zipper & other steering noises
  • Evaluate effect on warranty costs & customer satisfaction of EPS algorithms that neutralize and cancel driver-perceived wheel oscillations due to wheel and rotor imbalance and other driving conditions over prolonged periods
  • Evaluate stick-slip, lash, torsional stiffness, and hysteresis performance characteristics of I-shafts, inner tie rods, columns, couplings/isolators and combinations under environmental, wear and various boundary conditions
  • Discriminate between steering technologies and supplier offerings, based on their propensity to rattle, cause other annoying noises, plus other driving-dynamics metrics
  • Benchmark competitor steering gears, I-shafts, columns, etc.
  • Fulfill the following steering test procedures: GMW16216, GMW17112, GMW14479, GMW17207, GMW15599, GMW17422, Ford CETP 01.01-L-407, Ford CETP 11.04-E-400, Ford ESECPC-3C529-A4 III.B.1.5, Ford ESECPC-3C529-A4 III.B.3.1, Ford ESECPC-3C529-A4 III.C.1.6, Ford ESECPC-3C529-A4 III.C.1.8, Ford Engr Spec III.C.1.13, and Ford ESAE5C-3280-AA