Alongside other products, Link Engineering Company produces dynamometers for testing brakes and chassis, primarily for the automotive industry, but also for airplanes, trains, and wind turbines. Brüel & Kjær’s complete NVH data acquisition and analysis system is entirely integrated into each dynamometer, which have been sold to customers ranging from aircraft brake system suppliers to a research group in China working on brakes for high speed rail applications.
The relationship began when Link Engineering Company’s Jim Thompson needed a quick solution to a customer problem, and Brüel & Kjær were able to fully integrate PULSE data acquisition systems with Link Engineering’
Link Engineering Company’s Joe Burchill received the award from Lars Rønn, the Managing Director of Brüel & Kjær, at the latter’s headquarters in Nærum, Denmark.
Giving the award to Mr Burchill, Lars Rønn said, “I am very pleased to recognise the fruitful partnership between the two companies, and look forward to seeing what this valuable synergy will produce in the future – both from a product development and a market segment point of view.”
For Mr Burchill, the good fit between the two companies is a result of a common heritage.
“Like Brüel & Kjær, our company culture was forged in engineering and creating everything ourselves, which leads to a level of control and attention to detail that is vital to making quality products,” he said.
Link Engineering Company, like Brüel & Kjær, provides both systems and services to OEMs, giving valuable flexibility to customers that includes the option of outsourcing specific expertise to those who do it best.
“When we list Brüel & Kjær products on the specification sheet, our customers know they’re getting the best, and that no one will question the validity of the data,” said Mr Burchill.
In Link Engineering Company’s case, the result for the end-user is a simplified interface that coordinates and reports all of the different factors, combining them with the NVH data measured by PULSE – which works behind the scenes of the comprehensive GUI. The operator’s desk has just a simple start/stop button and a computer screen for simple user-friendliness, and once begun, the tests are left to run for days at a time without supervision, making reliability a vital factor here.
Typical systems have 6-channels, but systems with additional channels are available, as specified by the customer. These bespoke solutions are highly flexible, and often offer Brüel & Kjær modal analysis systems incorporated into them. Link Engineering Company also buys a calibrator, microphones, and accelerometers with each package as standard.
Mr Burchill sees a healthy future ahead for Link Engineering Company, as brake noise is a hugely important aspect of automotive quality, accounting for 50 percent of warranty issues.
According to him, “Brake noise can be very alarming, and with both traditionally powered and electric and hybrid vehicles producing less noise overall, brake noise, and noises from other vehicle components are increasingly noticeable. Even the noise from the brake booster – which was rarely noticed before – is becoming an issue.”
Link Engineering Company’s flagship test-stand, Link Model 3900 Brake Noise Dynamometer, was designed to incorporate the SAE J2521 test Standard. This Standard was developed by the US working group on Brake NVH, in response to which, Link Model 3900 was used to provide General Motors with a means to meet their own proprietary test procedure. Since this Standard has been widely adopted throughout the industry, Model 3900 has become an industry standard for suppliers and manufacturers alike.
New challenges for Link Engineering Company include upgrading older test-stands to meet the new standards, and adding new capabilities to them that match the shifting demands of the users. Re-commissioning older machines so they can perform other uses such as material testing is just one example of the innovative approach they take, in order to keep their built-in longevity profitable.
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World-leading manufacturer and supplier: sound and vibration solutions for environmental noise measurements, building acoustics, vibration measurements and quality control for use in the automotive, aerospace, consumer industries, local authorities