Technology

Product Development

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Innovation and technical improvements account for 60% of sales

Innovative by nature, Suspensys has highly specialized professionals working on the development of new products with the aid of advanced tools in creating parts, tests and simulations. The metric measuring innovation in the company over the last years is above 60%, a percentage that corresponds to the revenue of new products or from significantly improved products. On average, the Engineering Dept. works with 80 concurrent projects at different stages of priority.

In order to provide the market with lighter, more durable, and higher load-capacity products, Suspensys makes important investments in the training and expertise of its Engineering team, including professional exchanges with Meritor`s units in the United States, England and India, where the most advanced research centers and suspension testing facilities are located.

The company works in synergy with its American partner, making use of established procedures in creating and testing, such as cutting-edge computer resources in all stages of development, in addition to using its own software. Three Engineering Department work concurrently: Trucks, Buses and Road Equipment, always bringing about innovations that are totally adapted to legislation and to the Brazilian roads, and to the roads of other countries as well, where Suspensys` products are sold.

Virtual Tooling

What sets Suspensys` Engineering apart is its ability to manage important virtual tools in product development, resulting in time and money savings. During design and simulation phases, the company uses the latest software such as the ProEngineer, for dynamic simulations: ADAMS, TRUCK SIM; SVT-Suspension Virtual Truck; NASTRAN/PARTRAN of MSC and Abaqus for structural analyses; FATIGUE for evaluation of life span, and MSC Nastran for analysis of product topology..

Comfort for users

By fully mastering these technologies, Suspensys is able to develop new concepts and products and predict what will happen with the vehicle in the field on different types of roads, even before tests are made with prototypes. The data collected by Engineering begin with product behavior and the sensations caused to the driver. For example, it is possible to establish how long the driver will support to drive on unpaved roads just by doing an analysis on motion impact on human organs. Such refined information is crucial, since working with suspensions implies bringing comfort to the user and load through a high-performance and lower weight suspension, in addition to excellent cost-benefit ratio.

Patented products

The technology used by Engineering also identifies new materials and achieves greater flexibility in the study of parts geometry, reaching the highest possible lightness, and ensuring safety and durability.

The constant pursuit of innovation sets Suspensys products apart. One of the criteria to avoid copycat is by applying for patents in Brazil and in the world. Over 40 patents for suspensions and components have been applied in Brazil, of which ten have been achieved and others have been required by South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Chile, United States, The Netherlands, Mexico and Turkey.

Engineering professionals

Daring in its actions, Suspensys` Engineering shows that it can meet customer needs through a technical body who thinks and develops innovative solutions or technical improvements beyond customer's expectations. Today, the technical body consists of 60% of professionals specialized in Automotive Engineering, with focus on commercial suspensions. Suspensys` goal, however, is to reach an average above 80% in a short time through investments made by the company in training.

An example of this is the presence, every two years, of the Research professor emeritus from the University of Michigan (USA), Thomas Gillespie, in Caxias do Sul, to give courses exclusively to the engineering of Suspensys and Randon Companies. He is one of the most renowned industry experts and author of the book "Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics", which has sold more than 40 million copies and is among the most respected scientific publications of the automotive segment. While he is here, Suspensys professionals have the opportunity to deepen the correlation between theory, virtual simulation, and practical experiments.

Robotized welding

When it comes to welding, Suspensys has the latest robots, both American and Japanese. Since they have been purchased, Suspensys increased its capacity to reproduce welding processes, as compared with other traditional methods. Another significant gain was increased precision.

In field tests, for example, it has been demonstrated that a product with a high degree of complexity in welding has its durability extended when welded by robotized procedures.

Robotized welding features other advantages such as increased speed and greater robustness and flexibility, which makes of it a great competitive edge.

Robotized welding can be used in simple or highly complex parts, large parts and in situations where the welding energy applied is too high or demands complex ergonomic positions (which slows down the human action) in high-volume production.

For each new application, field and lab tests, welding macrographic and micrographic analyses have been carried out from the development of specific physical and chemical parameters.

The whole process meets the standards AWS D 1.1, ISOs and specific customer standards.

Proving Ground

The proving ground of Randon Companies offers quick answers to the demands in terms of development and launch of new products in the automobile industry. Meeting the needs of all Randon Companies, the proving ground is located in an area of 87 hectares in Farroupilha, RS, and has 18 different types of test tracks, totaling 15 kilometers.

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Proving Ground

Facilities: 2,000 m² building which houses a garage for instrumentation and preparation of vehicles, and a laboratory for structural testing with a seismic base of 94 m² and seven servo-hydraulic actuators ranging from 5 to 16 tons.

The tracks allows you to test the durability of light vehicles, heavy vehicles, implements and their components such as the friction materials, brake systems, coupling systems, mechanical and pneumatic suspensions used in trucks, trailers, and semi-trailers, in addition to specialty vehicles, simulating the actual conditions of roads and cargo. The tracks are for high and low speed, off-road, noise measurement, coefficient of friction measurement, circular track, ramps, in addition to special tracks: cobblestones, Belgian blocks, body twist, chuck holes and pot holes, washboard, and slalom test.

The Proving Ground offers reliability in testing, extra safety and standardization, and evaluation in special tracks, meeting the demands of Brazilian and international laws.

  • 1- Unpaved road
  • 2- Ramps (asphalt and unpaved road)
  • 3- Pass-by noise level measurement
  • 4- High speed
  • 5- Circular track
  • 6- Slalom track
  • 7- Cobblestones
  • 8- Belgium blocks
  • 9- Chuck Holes and Pot Holes
  • 10- Washboard
  • 11- Body twist
  • 12- Inverted bump
  • 13- Lab
  • 14- Belvedere
  • 15- Seedling nursery

Labs

In dynamic simulation and fatigue tests in labs, experimental Engineering's own resources, constantly under improvement , are used, in addition to outside laboratories, both in Brazil and abroad. Tests are performed on cutting-edge equipment using dynamometers and specific benches in Suspensys` developments.

Suspensys has labs simulating the behavior of suspensions under the same conditions of use on truck. All efforts suffered by the suspension are measured and controlled.

The laboratories are equipped with the latest equipment in dynamic simulation, such as the seismic base, which allows to assemble a trailer/semi-trailer on it for test conduction.

The company can also use labs in the United States, England and India, where suspensions and components are regularly sent for testing purposes.

SPS

The primary purpose of SPS (Suspensys Production System) is to refine production so as to achieve operating excellence. To this end, the company is working on the implementation of the system in eight interrelated circuits: Quantities, Assistance, Lead Time, Flexibility, Quality, Industrial Innovation, industrial Costs and Safety. The principles governing the SPS are::

  • Inspired people working with joy;
  • Pulled production;
  • Quick response;
  • Quality Production;
  • Customers come first;
  • Satisfaction with internal stakeholders;
  • Simple solutions;
  • Correctness begins with me;
  • Standardization;
  • Continuous Improvement;
  • Waste continuous reduction.

PDP

In product development, Suspensys uses the PDP (Product Development Process), which integrates all areas of the company, creating a single flow in product creation. Technical improvements and innovations arise from the product portfolio management which maps the market in a joint action between Engineering and the Commercial Area, in order to identify opportunities for business and products.

The first step consists of creating the concept and submitting it to a technical evaluation for feasibility purposes. Then, the development phases of the product begin, followed by dynamic and virtual tests, manufacturing of a prototype, and physical tests in specific labs. Once approved, the product is subjected to running tests on a vehicle. The last step is the plant deployment for the production stage.

The PDP was designed to meet the life cycle of a product (PLM). The first stage is Advanced Engineering, which works on conceiving a product based on market demand. Before moving on to the next stage, all areas of the company assess the feasibility of the product to ensure that the plant is ready for the production of the new product. The next phase is the Application Engineering, which scales, details and approves the product. The last stage is the Customer`s Engineering Dept., which monitors the product at customer`s facilities and feeds it with data related to new needs in terms of innovation and development.

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Technology,development,products,Robots,Engineering