American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (AAM) has announced that it is nearing completion of its 37,000 square-foot Technical Center expansion.
"When AAM was formed in 1994, we made an immediate commitment to developing new products and providing the highest level of technology in our testing facilities," says Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO Richard E. Dauch. "Our Technical Center in Rochester Hills, Michigan opened in 1995. When the second expansion is completed later this year, we will have testing equipment for more than 75 functions and we will have reached the maximum allowed footprint on the property.
"The expansion will incorporate a state-of-the-art Road Load Simulator, which will be used to test and validate chassis and module assemblies and components. The road load simulator duplicates real-time vehicle proving ground inputs and is capable of testing complete vehicles, suspension subsystems, or individual chassis components. The new road-load simulator will allow AAM to compress six to eight months of track testing into two to three weeks of lab testing.
"The expanded Technical Center will provide both increased capability for future product requirements, as well as a 25 percent increase in testing capacity on our critical axle dynamometers. AAM will now be able to test two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive and steerable axle applications."
Additional new capabilities and testing equipment include: • Chassis and module durability equipment • Chassis and module development • Vehicle data acquisition • High speed and hi torque driveshaft durability testing • TracRite(R) differential development • High energy impact testing
"Our Technical Center is already one of the most advanced of its kind in the world," says AAM's Vice President, Engineering & Product Development John J. Bellanti. "In addition to our multi-faceted Product Test lab, we currently have a state-of-the-art Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) lab, which features a semi-anechoic chassis chamber for full vehicle testing as well as semi-anechoic driveline dynamometer testing chamber. And, our Corporate Materials lab contains some of the most sophisticated technical equipment available. This equipment enables us to conduct metallurgical, chemical and organic materials analysis as well as corrosion testing.
"The expansion of our Technical Center reinforces our commitment to providing our customers with high technology, new products and driveline systems, designed for manufacturability and developed to meet their current and future needs."
AAM is a world leader in the manufacture, design, engineering, and validation of driveline systems and related components and modules, chassis systems and forged products for trucks, sport utility vehicles and passenger cars. In addition to its 14 locations in the United States (in Michigan, New York and Ohio), AAM also has offices and facilities in Brazil, England.