BorgWarner, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, has opened a high-tech laboratory at its Noblesville Technical Center located in Noblesville, Indiana, USA. The new 40,000 ft2 (3,716 m2) lab will be focused on the development of motors and power electronics for the light vehicle and commercial vehicle markets, and will be home to many newly-built electric components that will be used in both hybrid and electric vehicles.
BorgWarner states that the new lab expands its hybrid and electric capabilities by providing a space where real-world conditions can be generated, and updates can be made to progress the most advanced technologies in the industry in a much shorter time frame. Engineers will reportedly have the ability to build, calibrate, and test the heart of electric propulsion systems for quick feedback to design and analysis teams. The company states that housing the entire range of engineering and development disciplines together in the same location creates advantages for BorgWarner, including the reduction of downtime during the design process, while fostering greater levels of collaboration.
According to the company, the lab is designed to maximise space utilisation; all non-critical equipment such as high voltage cabinets, isolation transformers, and battery simulators have been moved to an equipment platform, reserving space on the main floor for additional test cells. The interior insulated walls are modular, allowing for quick and easy layout changes and an agile building infrastructure for the future.
BorgWarner explains that it has equipped the facility with the entire scope of motor manufacturing equipment, which enables the prototype phase to emulate the production process and uncover lessons that can be transferred to the manufacturing plant responsible for mass production. This equipment includes wire formers, slot liner insertion, wire insertion, laser welding, varnishing and end-of-line testing.
The opening of this new lab is said to be consistent with BorgWarner’s aim to strengthen its power electronics products and capabilities and scale to be a leader in electrified propulsion systems.
“Having engineering, testing and prototype together under one roof is a competitive advantage as we move toward a highly technical and electrified future,” stated Dr Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems. “The ability to streamline processes and improve design collaboration and responsiveness amongst engineering and prototyping will be reflected in future technologies developed at Noblesville.”