Outdoor retail company expands testing facilities

Thule Group, with its headquarter based in Malmö, Sweden, is an outdoor and sport retail company. The company has selected Moog to supply a second Moog Hydraulic Simulation Table for its test lab in Hillerstorp, south Sweden. The test system will be used to simulate conditions its products face when fastened to a car, travelling along any type of road. Thule’s safe and stylish products for transporting gear include racks for bikes, luggage, skis and surfboards.

In 2008, Thule Group invested in a Moog Hydraulic Simulation Table and now 6 years later expands its testing capacity by ordering a next-generation Moog Hydraulic Simulation Table that can achieve test frequencies up to 100 Hz. The new turn-key test system consists of a high performance Hydraulic Simulation Table plus associated equipment such as a seismic mass (solid concrete block with air suspension), hydraulic infrastructure and a facility safety system. The system includes a data acquisition set-up, test controller and operator test software. Thule Group’s decision to select Moog is based on the reliability and performance of the current simulation table, the level of service provided over the years and Moog’s technical expertise.

Eric Gustavsson, Thule Group test manager, said the test system has proven to be very successful: “We simulate ‘time history files’ to accurately replicate any specific road conditions needed for the tests. The system itself is very compact and because of its lay-out provides excellent accessibility to our lab personnel. Our lab’s productivity is optimised by Moog’s software and the fast and simple iteration process. We use it very intensively, running it constantly, 24 hours per day. Due to Thule Group’s growing product portfolio and our continuous focus on product safety our testing needs have increased and so a second system was required.”

As the company’s testing know-how has increased over the years, engineers have been able to take full advantage of the test system’s potential. Gustavsson explained: “Different customers demand different types of tests and different test profiles. The Moog system allows us to simulate a wide range of car types and sizes in different road and terrain conditions. It really enables us to simulate the most extreme conditions with high accuracy, within a short test set-up time. This is of vital importance to our product development and qualification process, for which Thule is so well known.”

Marie-Laure Gelin, marketing manager at Moog said: “We are very pleased that the combination of our high performance system and our technical support over the years has led Thule Group to choose Moog again to satisfy their need for increased test capacity. We are proud that Thule’s products used to transport people’s gear in a safe and stylish way have been thoroughly tested by a Moog system.”

The Moog Simulation Table can be either an electric or a hydraulic design. The configuration used by Moog is the optimum design to achieve test acceleration, attain force or displacement inputs, and reproduce data collected on the test track or proving grounds. It can support heavy loads up to 680 kg (1,500 lb) while requiring only a minimum of space in the test lab. Moog’s proven expertise is incorporated into the performance of Moog Test Actuators, Servo Valves and Test Controllers and is essential to providing Thule with a long-lasting solution to meet challenges of today and tomorrow.

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