How customised vehicle movers improve automotive testing efficiency

How customised Stringo vehicle movers improve automotive testing efficiency

Whether it’s a crash test lab, dyno test cell, EV testing facility, or ADAS calibration center: by using a vehicle mover customised for your specific environment, you’ll improve both testing efficiency and staff safety. Explore some of the most popular customisations used by automotive testing frontrunners today, and find out how these solutions help tackle top challenges in the industry.

The usage of electric vehicle movers within automotive testing differs quite a bit from, say, end-of-line operations. In the latter, the vehicle mover is mainly a stand-by tool to handle non-starters. In a testing setting, the machine is an integral part of the day-to-day routine, since driving isn’t an option. Either because you don’t want to compromise the testing data, or because the manoeuvring space is too tight. Or simply because the vehicle is too damaged from the test.

 Moving cars in a dyno cell or crash test lab setting also tend to require more powerful machines.

 "Our heavy-duty models, like the S5 and the 4WM, are particularly popular in the testing segment”, says Magnus Grafström, CTO of Stringo.

How are Stringo’s vehicle movers adapted to testing environments?

Over the years, Magnus and his R&D team at Stringo have developed a wide range of customisations and add-ons specifically designed for automotive testing. Most of these alterations affect the front section of the vehicle mover. “For example, during emissions tests, the attached testing equipment often adds quite a bit to the length of the car. To accommodate this, we’ll extend the front part of the Stringo,” Magnus explains.

Popular customisations in 4 automotive testing settings

What do these customisations look like in practice, and how do they cater to the specific needs of different testing environments? Below, Magnus shares some game-changing examples from projects he’s been involved in.

1. Dyno test cells

Moving cars in and out of dynamometer test cells requires a machine that’s customised to the exact properties of your particular test chamber. To get the specifications right, you need answers to questions such as:  

  • Are there two or four dyno rollers in the cell?
  • How far apart are the rollers?
  • What’s the floor like–for example, a smooth surface or a metal grid?
  • Are there any obstacles leading up to the cell entrance?
  • How wide is the entrance–and the slot of the sliding doors? 

“At Stringo, we always visit the facility to examine all relevant properties and make sure we can adapt the vehicle mover accordingly. This includes the height of the machine, as well as the dimensions and position of the wheels. In some cases, we’ve fitted the Stringo with an extra set of wheels in case the main ones should temporarily lose contact with the floor.” Magnus also mentions that the Stringo 4WM model is fitted with a camera and can be operated remotely. These features are helpful for manoeuvring the vehicle efficiently in and out of the cell, as well as positioning it correctly inside. 2. Crash test labs

After a crash test, the car is usually not in drivable condition. To help move severely damaged cars, Stringo has developed the following features:

  • A crash plate mounted on the front section of the Stringo, reaching all the way to the floor, allowing the car to be pulled onto the machine even if the front wheels are missing.
  • A remote controlled winch that helps lift the car securely onto the machine
  • Steel rollers on the press arms, instead of plastic, to better withstand the wear and tear of rough edges

However, Magnus points out that there are situations where a Stringo is not the best option, even with these customisations:

“A demolished electric vehicle can become conductive. In those cases, we recommend using a truck with isolated forks as a safety precaution.”

3. EV testing

The risk of thermal runaway is the main safety hazard during the EV testing process. With the S5 Thermal Runaway 4WM model, Stringo provides a tool customised for quickly and safely extracting the vehicle from the testing cell at any indication of increased battery temperature. Features include: 

  • Thermal protection for the machine’s electronic and hydraulic components, reducing the risk of breakdown caused by heat exposure.
  • A polycarbonate shield to protect the operator.
  • Remote control operation to allow manoeuvring with minimal human interaction.
  • Emergency mode to override any fault codes created during the extraction.

“This solution is in very high demand right now, as it addresses a highly prioritised challenge in the automotive industry,” says Magnus.


4. ADAS calibration

As the technological development of cars continues, there’s also an increased demand for tools that support the testing and calibration of various advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). These calibrations require the vehicle to be very precisely positioned, which tends to be a time-consuming process.

“Our new product platform, launched with the S5 model, has an open CAN bus architecture. This brings new opportunities to connect the Stringo to other systems, including those used in a dyno test cell. We see a lot of potential ahead in using this to speed up the process of positioning the car correctly”, Magns concludes.


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