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April 1, 2019

Test World looks to recruit more suppliers and OEMs

Test World says it is focusing on securing more suppliers and OEMs to its northern Finland facility given the stable nature of weather conditions offered by its new indoor site high in the Arctic Circle.

By Rhodri Morgan

Test World says it is focusing on securing more suppliers and OEMs to its northern Finland facility given the stable nature of weather conditions offered by its new indoor site high in the Arctic Circle.

The Millbrook-owned test facilities, one outdoor area right by the airport at Ivalo and the second indoor site a few miles away, increase Test World’s capacity and capability for year-round cold weather testing, allow for simultaneous, controlled and repeatable testing on snow, ice, and wet and dry asphalt, 365 days a year.

The indoor facility comprises an asphalt track, totalling 410m in length, with wet and dry braking and longitudinal aquaplaning areas. This brings the total length of Test World’s indoor test tracks to 1.6km.

They allow speeds in excess of 100km/h, and offer independent control of surface temperature and air temperature. In addition, a series of cold boxes with direct access onto the test tracks can be used to soak vehicles to -40°C prior to testing.

“We have more than 100 customers here,” Test World MD, Janne Seurujärvi, told just-auto at the Ivalo indoor area, 600 miles north of Helsinki. “We are a tyre specialist, but we have focussed [since the acquisition] on getting more vehicle and component manufacturers because Millbrook is very strong in vehicle testing.

“You need to have a certain type of climate for winter testing and the climate here is very stable with [a] long winter season. This is one of the most popular test areas in Finland [and] we have an international airport very close. Customers coming to the airport proving ground ask how do we get there? We say, just walk in.

“The local municipality has been very supportive from the beginning [Ivalo’s Mayor was also at the Test World opening], for example, land acquisition, the municipality played a big role in this [as well as] environmental permit processes, administration processes.”

Test World offers a range of vehicle testing opportunities, including powertrain driveability, vehicle system operability, braking, traction systems and tyre testing capabilities.

The facility has its own test team, which carries out evaluations for customers, from tyre manufacturers to vehicle manufacturers and industry suppliers. The team also travels the world to support customers with summer tyre testing at various locations.

In addition, Test World’s facilities are available to customers wishing carry out their own test programmes.

“The opening of our brand-new indoor test facilities has added a whole new dimension to the testing we are able to offer,” added Seurujärvi. “By maintaining a full range of winter environments throughout the year, we ensure customers can avoid any seasonal restrictions they may encounter elsewhere.

“As all test surfaces are in one place, they can save time and money on unnecessary travel and complex logistics to other parts of the world. Ultimately, this allows customers to benefit from shorter development cycles and to launch their products to market sooner.”

The indoor winter facilities at Test World consists of :

  • 410m of snow and ice for acceleration and braking work, snow ingress tests and EV performance evaluations
  • 350m closed-circuit snow track for cold driveability and handling tests
  • 410m indoor asphalt track which contains:
  • 100m of wet braking surface, conforming to UN/ECE Regulation No 117 (R117) for tyre testing
  • 100m of dry asphalt for brake noise testing and tyre development
  • 100m aquaplaning trough with 8mm water depth for tyre development
  • Integrated climatic chambers operating down to -40°C for cold start tests, EV battery thermal management measurement and cabin heating performance evaluations
  • 12 workshops, many with direct access to the indoor winter test facilities, managed by Test World’s team

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