High consumer expectations are leading automakers to demand higher quality components from their suppliers. The testing equipment industry, in turn, is coming up with faster and more accurate methods of certifying automotive components.

England-based Anthony Best Dynamics Ltd. recently unveiled a new system for measuring vehicle suspension characteristics. The Suspension Parameter Measurement Machine (SPMM) checks suspension components on both axles while controlling bounce, roll and pitch of the body. Many current machines, says the company, measure one axle at a time with body kinematics limited to bounce and roll.

The SPMM evaluates suspension rates and hysteresis, bump steer, roll steer, roll stiffness distribution, longitudinal and lateral compliance steer and steering system characteristics.

One of the new machines is in operation at the Motor Industry Research Assn. (MIRA) in the U.K. as part of its new kinematics and compliance facility. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will take delivery of an SPMM this summer. Vehicle manufacturers and filter suppliers are spending millions of dollars to ensure that the air breathed by vehicle occupants is free of any harmful, irritating or otherwise disagreeable particles or odors. Fluid Technologies Inc. (Fri) is willing to collect some of those funds for a new air filter efficiency test stand designed to perform tests required by the SAE J726 Air Cleaner Test Code, SAE J1669 Passenger Compartment Air Filter Test Code and other standards.

The test procedure essentially consists of circulating air through the filter, introducing contaminants into the air stream ahead of the filter and counting the number of contaminant particles upstream and downstream from the filter.