Melbourne-based APV Corporation has announced that they expect to launch the new APV FutureEdge consortium at the upcoming Land Forces expo, offering multi-domain defence research test and evaluation capabilities.
APV FutureEdge is a consortium that brings together research and test and evaluation (T&E) capabilities to support future defence programs, offering multi-domain T&E services across advanced research, advisory, simulation and product engineering.
The T&E offering will operate across the entire capability life cycle (CLC), enabling CLC and technical risk mitigation in hopes to help defence, the primes, industry and SMEs achieve enhanced T&E capabilities.
The consortium members include APV, APV subsidiary APV Engineering and Testing (APV-T), Friedman Research Corporation (FRC), RMIT and Memko.
According to APV, the companies are expected to deliver the following services:
- program management from APV;
- physical T&E from APV-T;
- aerospace, technical regulatory framework compliance and advisory support from Memko;
- research and experimentation support from RMIT; and
- research, advanced modelling and simulation from the Friedman Research Corporation.
“Physical test costs are significant, and the risk of failure can be high when validation programs are left late in the product engineering cycle,” Harry Hickling, managing director of APV Corporation, said.
“APV FutureEdge changes this with advanced research, modelling and simulation capabilities to bring virtual testing into the upfront product engineering phases. Systems integration issues are more easily tackled, and thousands of alternative test cases can be performed.
“With correlation against physical test results and the adoption of new test technologies such as digital twins, we now transform the traditional approach to testing into an exciting new digital T&E domain. Digital Twins and our library of simulation models allows APV FutureEdge to provide an exciting frontier for Australia’s Defence industry to support the design and development of products and systems that have not been easily validated and tested in the real world during their development cycle.”
APVT-T is a leading Australian vehicle safety and testing company, having provided safety services to a range of clients including Ford Australia, and conducting over 40 crash tests in the last year. Recently, the company supported the industry in system and component level testing, which included “a vibration test program to resolve wiring harness in-service durability issues”.
Currently, FRC is delivering advanced research and virtual testing services which will analyse blast, fatigue, vehicle mobility, safety as well as research and test programs across North America. Industries operated in by FRC include advanced manufacturing and hypersonics development.
Local company Memko delivers multidisciplinary aerospace engineering capabilities to international original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), primes and government departments, and has worked across product design, certification and compliance.
Meanwhile, RMIT is expected to support the consortium with their experience in defence spanning over a century across education, materials research, fatigue, durability, flight training and aerospace. It is hoped that RMIT’s collaboration with the DSTG on the Structures and Materials Research Program (SMaRP) will support their collaboration with APV FutureEdge, enhancing industry test and evaluation capabilities.
“At APV-T there is no job that is too big or too small — our mission is to work collaboratively with our customers in support of their vision to achieve success,” Hickling continued.
“We frequently provide equipment and resources to customer sites in support of their engineering and T&E teams. By working collaboratively with our customers and international T&E practitioners, we bring a level of international capability that would otherwise be well out of their reach. APV FutureEdge builds on this vision to bring like-minded T&E practitioners together in support of Defence, primes, industry, and importantly, SMEs.”
25th August 2022, Melbourne – APV Corporation’s (APV) vision is to partner with Australia’s Automotive and Transport Industry in support of their research, virtual and physical testing, evaluation and certification requirements. The company achieves this by collaborating with their engineering and development teams with access to world-class test and evaluation services and facilities.
This is exemplified by APV’s latest test program for Ford Australia, marking the successful completion of the most complex multiyear vehicle development crash test and evaluation program ever undertaken in Australia. The program was undertaken in collaboration with teams at Ford’s test facilities at Lara, including the testing and evaluation of prototype and development vehicles, and validation of final assembly vehicles. This culminated in final validation programs against a range of international standards to assure high levels of vehicle safety and quality.
“At APV we crash tested 22 vehicles and monitored the performance of the safety management systems and assessment of injury levels. This included the monitoring of the performance of the safety management system, vehicle sensors, accelerometers, airbag and restraint systems through to the fuel systems being shut down, as designed, during the crash event. Engineering data being sent back to the Ford engineering team was used to correlate test results with their engineering models to confirm that each vehicle met the safety and survivability requirements established by the design team,” said Harry Hickling, Managing Director of APV Corporation.
Many of the tests required more than 200 channels of data, recording at sample rates up to 20,000 samples per second for post-crash analysis, with 18 high-speed, high-definition cameras recording each test from over, under, outside and inside the vehicles. Metrology level scanning of the vehicles both pre- and post-crash enabled the Ford engineering team to assess deformation in critical areas of the vehicles and compare them to other simulation results. Investment by APV into new equipment, technology and resources exceeded $3m AUD with specialised equipment ordered from various parts of the world to ensure Ford’s high standards and expectations were met.
Planning for the program started in 2019 to allow APV to expand its test capabilities and achieve benchmarks for vehicle preparation, test execution and post-test analysis for Ford Ranger development vehicles. A capacity of no less than one vehicle crash test per week had to be met against some of the most complex test conditions ever undertaken in Australia.
Investment was made in capability upgrades and secondment of additional personnel for the program by APV. The APV Test Lab, Ford Campbellfield and the Ford Proving Ground collaborated closely through the program often sharing resources and test equipment.
Ensuring the successful, on-time completion of all testing to enable launch milestones to be met required dedicated collaboration across the entire design, manufacturing and supply chain to tackle any challenges as they arose – especially during a period of COVID-19 and international supply chain challenges.
“The Next-Gen Ford Ranger sets a new bar in vehicle safety within its class, and APV is proud to have collaborated closely with Ford to bring their vision to reality. Certainly, a story that we can all be proud off. There is a raft of exciting projects ahead to support the vibrant automotive and transport industry in Australia, with the release of new vehicles, accessories, and aftermarket products being developed by Australian industry.”
APV expanding its Test and Evaluation capability in support of Australia’s Defence and Transport seating manufactures
APV’s vision is to support Australia’s Automotive and Transport Industry manufacturers in their Research, Test and Evaluation requirements for Defence.
Harry Hickling, Managing Director of APV Corporation, states that “with our recent $3million investment into Test and Evaluation capabilities we are excited to see our latest offering in Seat, Restraints and Anchorage system testing coming on stream to support the Australian Transport industry and in preparation for the Defence Land and Aerospace programs”.
“We can now offer full Seat and Seat Anchorage testing with the latest state of the art mechanical test rig that supports ADR, ECE, FMVS, FiA and SAE related standards. This level of testing capability has not previously been available in Australia and can be performed to the latest FiA Formula 1 testing regimes. This means that we can support Australian seat manufacturers during the development of their seating solutions. It might come as a surprise, but we get a significant amount of enquiry for this capability in Australia. This ranges from Mobility Solutions for the Disabled, Vehicle Conversions and Van Fit-outs through to FIA Seat manufacturers. These customers will now have a Research, Test and Evaluation partner in APV to stand beside them through the product engineering, development, test, evaluation, and certification phases.
This new capability will also support Australian seat manufacturers during the development of energy absorbing seating for Aerospace and Protected Land Vehicles. Existing customers as well as new entrants in the market supporting the Land 400 Phase 3, Infantry Fighting Vehicle will now have a Research, Test and Evaluation partner in APV to stand beside them through the product engineering, development, test, evaluation, and certification phases.”
APV has a long history in testing seats and safety restraints to the latest international standards and this continues in 2022 with a new Mechanical Static Test Rig, developed by Aries in Spain, to APV’s requirements. While dynamic testing is, and remains, critical in proving the crashworthiness and functionality of seats and safety restraints, new requirements drive opportunities to invest and improve the offerings from APV’s world-class testing facilities
This $500,000 investment will meet a range of mechanical test requirements and will support testing (in both tension and compression modes) of motorsport seats to the new FiA 8855-2021, and for Occupant Restraint Systems to SAE J2292, ADR 4/06, ECE R14/08, FMVSS 207 & 210.
With load cells in each of the four hydraulic cylinders, 400mm of stroke supporting an actuator speed up to 150mm/sec, and flexibility in the configuration and angle for force application, other novel testing can be considered where loads of up to 20kN per cylinder may be required.
With the addition of this new equipment APV can offer comprehensive testing on all types of seating and restraints for aircraft, military vehicles, ships, ferries, trucks, buses, trains, forklifts and other special purpose machines such as mining vehicles, can all be catered for at APV.
“During 2021 we had some great examples of working with Australian Bus and Seat Manufacturers in a collaborative manner to resolve design issues and to pass the stringent Australian Crash / Dynamic Test and Evaluation requirements. We want to apply this same collaborative approach to support the Australian Defence and Transport industry.”
This fits perfectly with our vision of partnering with industry to mitigate risk and deliver world class solutions for our next generation platforms by being the partner of choice for advanced Research, Simulation, Environmental, Mechanical, Photography, Data Acquisition and Dynamic Engineering and Testing Services.”
The Defence Connect 2021 Special Edition features an interview with me that discusses APV's Defence Sovereign Industry Capability and what sets us apart within the Market. This was released for the June 2021 Land Forces Exhibition in Queensland.
The Question-and-Answer interview provides great insight into our Defence capabilities and the strength of APV in collaborating with Defence Industry to support their product development with Australia's most advanced Test, Evaluation and Certification services, and our partnering relationships with OEM's and Seat Manufacturers to engineer, manufacture, and test military occupant restraints to keep our troops safe in the worlds most advanced amphibious and land protected vehicles.
We are pleased to announce APV's strategic investment in expanding our Industrial Testing capabilities within the Test Centre and our corporate wide Cyber Security program.
This investment will provide enhanced capabilities to support our customers across all industries and demonstrates the importance we are placing on our response to the evolving Cyber Security landscape within the Global Supply Chain.
The investment increases the capacity of our existing testing services for our customers and the Cyber Security uplift journey is an essential element of our internal risk management and business continuity frameworks. This will remain an important element of APV's business strategy and direction moving forward.
Defense have recognized the importance of APV's contribution to Australia's Sovereign Industry Capability with the testing services we provide to Defense and Industry, as well as our positioning with the supply of Safety Critical Military Occupant Restraints, by awarding us two grants to support this program.
To see the latest Defense Connect coverage of the project: