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Detail designs – vehicle dynamics development at Ford

For over 15 years, Ford of Europe has been working on optimization of steering, ride, handling and, increasingly, ESC with a dedicated vehicle dynamics development team. Norbert Kessing, Ford of Europe’s manager of vehicle dynamics (photo), explains: “The key thing we’re always working toward is attention to detail”, but also “to look on functional harmony”. To achieve these goals, Ford’s team relies on two major assets. The first is a stable team of experienced testing, tuning, and CAE engineers who work closely together. The second is to increase the objective approach, and make use of the elements which can be measured to better describe the vehicle upfront and shorten the development time.

This necessitates a lot of full-vehicle and system measurements as well as a great deal of CAE work. Kessing’s team uses different simulation software programs, especially ADAMS in combination with TESIS veDYNA: “It’s (veDYNA) not as complex in terms of kinematics, but it’s much more capable in including controls stuff, it’s much quicker, and it allows hardware-in-the-loop applications”, explains Kessing. “We use veDYNA a lot to do pre-work for the ESC tuning.”

Learn more about the methods employed by Ford of Europe to optimize their vehicle dynamics development, published in Vehicle Dynamics International 1/2009.

Further relevant articles on the Vehicle Dynamics International website.