Over the past eighteen months, we have created and implemented a new test bench for the development of fuel filters in the Industrial Filtration business unit.
Until now our fuel filters were ‘only’ tested in the laboratory, as required by international standards. The product was not tested in the field until it arrived at its final destination with the customer. Understandably, results from both these tests can vary, as everything in the laboratory is fixed and defined, but in the field there are a large range of variables. After all, construction and agricultural machinery is subject to extreme environmental and working conditions. The factors affecting a fuel filter system in a real life situation are very different to those found in the laboratory.
There was no suitable test bench, so we developed our own
The new test bench is intended to broaden the laboratory tests to more closely resemble actual field conditions. The aim is to be able to observe the behaviour of fuel filters under certain conditions even before the field test takes place. Within our particular niche there was no suitable test bench available on the market, so we developed our own. We can now set various parameters and immediately observe the resulting effects, for example on the performance and efficiency of our fuel filters.
This is the first test bench of this type and functionality at MANN+HUMMEL. Some bachelor’s and master’s students currently writing their theses are working with the test bench to simulate various operating conditions. The results will be discussed with the employees working on fuel filters in Ludwigsburg in order to define the next development objectives.
First results from the new test bench
Everyone involved in this process was very pleased when, after eighteen months of preparation, planning, and construction, the test bench was finally ready, and the first results were reported. This successful result has provided motivation for future projects. The ever-changing nature of customer requirements and technical progress ensures that those working in development are never bored. A high degree of innovation and lots of new ideas are required. Employees must enjoy this challenge and the constant change. At MANN+HUMMEL, it is not enough for those of us working in development to simply meet standards. Instead, employees can, and must, follow new and unconventional paths.
Martin Postel has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has worked at MANN+HUMMEL in a variety of roles since 2004. In January 2013 he took over the ‘Fuel filter development’ department in the Industrial Filtration business unit.