Along with 300 personalities from the world of industry and politics, Audi launched last week a new test center dedicated to engines in Neckarsulm (Baden-Wurttemberg).
With a total of 57 test benches and an investment of 100 million euros, Neckarsulm is one of the largest global infrastructures for the development of engines. The benches engines allow you to test indifferently of engines to transverse or longitudinal architecture without a corresponding change of the test cells is necessary. This flexibility allows you to reduce the time or the engine test bench is not used between 2 engines tests, ensuring a gain certain productivity.
The engine benches can welcome also several petrol engines as well of diesel engines. Infrastructure are also planned to test alternative fuels from renewable sources. Each engine bench reproduces the same conditions of pressure and temperature. These conditions are controlled and configured from a central control room. This is a big advantage to compare test results between them.
Several adjoining rooms are provided for mounting motors with specialized cells to mechanical operations, electrical and electronic. Offices are integrated in the same building for development engineers to facilitate communication between test teams and development teams.
On the other hand, the building of the test center meets the most stringent standards in terms of noise, which helped to significantly reduce noise to nearby residential areas.
The test center is also fitted with an air conditioning system with heat recovery: up to 86% of the kinetic energy of the exhaust gases is recovered and for controlling the temperature of the premises. The water used as coolant and liquid cooling as a closed circuit: the water circuit is only necessary to compensate for fluid loss due to evaporation.
In terms of staff, the engine test center is occupied by 230 development engineers and 120 skilled technicians to control the benches. In addition to the testing center, the site of Neckarulm has a production site that hosts the production of many models of the brand (A4 Sedan, A5 Cabriolet, A6 sedan and wagon, A7, R8 Coupe and Spyder). It represents an annual production of more than 250,000 vehicles and employs approximately 14,500 people.