Promoting young talent and innovations

New development in transport at ATESTEO as part of the final project work at the technology school in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

Challenges are opportunities to develop new things, initiate processes, and produce innovations. ATESTEO has always acted in tune with this motto as a problem-solver and innovator from the start. The result is, often enough, innovative new developments which are later adopted by the entire sector. These projects also often serve to promote young technical talent. This is also true of the new transport rack for electric motors that ATESTEO designed and created along with the students in their last year of school at the Technical College in Mönchengladbach.

ATESTEO is the leading drivetrain testing specialist in the automotive sector. Everywhere in the world where transmission development takes place, ATESTEO supports automobile manufacturers by testing at an early point in time during the development of new transmissions and drive units. In e-mobility, as a field of the future, ATESTEO offers a wide spectrum of drivetrain testing for electric and hybrid drive systems, including endurance tests, functional tests, efficiency tests, and environmental simulations.

For testing projects, it is often necessary to transport large electric motors from point A to point B. This could be to the various ATESTEO sites or to the electric motor manufacturer for technical service. In rare cases, transport can cause damage to the roller bearings of the motors. This is usually not immediately noticeable, but in the long run it causes higher wear and thus a shortened service life up to sudden total failure and thus high consequential costs. To avoid this in advance and to ensure the high quality of ATESTEO’s services, ATESTEO identified this possible problem and looked for solutions in good time.

The cooperation with the Mönchengladbach technical college offered ATESTEO the opportunity to take on a task independently of daily operations and implement a solution. When the path to the outstanding result, both in technical and economic terms, can be combined so well with the promotion of young talent, we are extremely pleased and motivated to consistently continue on this path.

Helmut Klemmer, Division Manager Design and Prototype Workshop at ATESTEO

Promote young technology specialists – drive innovations forward.

So that the valuable electric motor is effectively protected from impacts and vibrations, ATESTEO staff thought of constructing a variable transport rack for e-motors so as to cushion against the exposure to impacts during transport. Not only to gain new ideas, but also to give young talents a chance, the assignment was offered as project work to participants of the graduating class of the technical college in Mönchengladbach. As part of their training to become state-certified technicians for mechanical engineering, three students completed the development of the transport device for ATESTEO, in addition to completing written and oral examinations. Tnd this much can already be said: The project work was the best of their graduating class.

“The project work offers everyone involved the opportunity to combine theory and practice in special way. In addition, the graduates acquire a high degree of independence and a sense of responsibility. The teachers involved also repeatedly gain important insights into operational practice, which they incorporate into their instructional work. With the company ATESTEO, we had a highly motivated partner that optimally supported the group. We would be pleased to continue our successful collaboration.”

Bernhard Fleischer – Area Manager, Technical College, Engineering

From theory to practice: project work between school and industry.

The first step in industry and school working together was getting to know each other and exchanging letters. Besides a tour of the Alsdorf location, where the young technical specialists got to experience drivetrain testing at ATESTEO live on the test bench, ATESTEO engineers worked out requirements for the transport device in the form of a product requirements document (requirements specification) and forwarded this to the students.

Requirements for the transport rack.

1 = Variable pickup in x-direction
2 = Variable pickup in y-direction
3 = Securing of the e-motors
4 = Damping of the e-motors
5 = Securing the transport device
6 = Transport by industrial trucks and cranes
7 = Independent transport/space-saving storage

Within five weeks, the transport rack for e-motors was then planned, designed, and further developed by the budding technical specialists on the team. For the students Marc Becker, Matthias Braun, and Marcel Coenen, this project work was not only an important part of their examinations, but also a good opportunity to apply what they had learned in the last two years at the technical college to a concrete problem in the automobile industry. ATESTEO worked closely together with the Mönchengladbach Technical College. To provide the students with real-world conditions for project work in the industry, at the request of the college, ATESTEO merely defined the design requirements. The solution and the way to it were then devised and implemented by the three future technicians themselves.

“Our project work with ATESTEO provided us not only with valuable insight into the real world of professional work, but also with the opportunity to apply what we have learned at school in a practical manner. That is fantastic because we didn’t just think of something theoretical that landed in a desk drawer somewhere. Our project work is being used today at ATESTEO and helps to protect valuable goods.”

Marc Becker, member of the project team at ATESTEO and successful graduate of the technical college in Mönchengladbach

Your career at ATESTEO

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The journey is the destination: from an idea to an innovation.

The assignment for the three technology students consisted of constructing a variable transport device for electric motors that compensates for impacts and vibrations so as to avoid bearing damage. For this purpose, the boundary conditions such as transport sequence, transport route, and transport means were determined together with ATESTEO. The causes of bearing damage during the transport of electric motors were identified by consulting bearing manufacturers. Dimensions, weight, and tasks of the new transport device were determined. In a brainstorming session, various approaches to solutions were developed. Resulting sketches of the principle were discussed and evaluated with ATESTEO. Subsequently, the supervising teachers Bernhard Fleischer and Stefan Erlei examined the selected solution in order to eliminate possible weak points and to consider suggestions for improvement. The student project team then presented its basic idea for the transport device in an intermediate step with a true-to-scale design.

The transport rack is designed such that electric motors of various weights and sizes can be secured variably and impacts and blows can be dampened during transport. The rack itself has devices for fixed securing in a lorry (truck). The transport rack can be moved by both cranes and industrial trucks (such as forklifts). The advantages: The clamping rails with T-slot in the x- and y-direction combine the partial functions of variable mounting and securing of the electric motors. Several dampers are integrated into the fixture, which are removable, thus allowing adjustment to the motor weight.

As part of the project, several variations were created, including one with compressed air springs. However, we established for that alternative that the requirements for the various loads were not achieved and the solution would have created high costs. The final implementation with wire rope dampers absorbs the vibrations caused by transport and at the same time takes over securing the load. It was fun for me to carry out a real and at the same time demanding project together with both the company and the college.

Matthias Braun, member of the project team at ATESTEO and successful graduate of the technical school in Mönchengladbach

Implementation and realisation of the transport rack for e-motors

“The project work for ATESTEO was an unbelievable experience for us. We were handled and respected like professional colleagues and full-fledged technicians. We learned so much about technical work and teamwork in the automobile industry. That really helped us go forward – and gave us the best project work of our graduating class during our final examinations.”

Marcel Coenen, member of the project team at ATESTEO and successful graduate of the technical college in Mönchengladbach

The cooperation between ATESTEO and the technical college is a complete success.

The transport rack for electric motors, which was the result of collaboration between seasoned engineers and young technical talent, is now regularly used at ATESTEO when electric motors need to be transported. The design has proven itself in practice. The transport device is safe, efficient, resilient, and compatible, as it also offers the possibility of transporting other sensitive goods. Materials and workmanship ensure a long service life and high ease of maintenance. The rack is used so often that ATESTEO has already made a second transport rack. Customers have also already expressed interest in the transport device. It is a new innovation from ATESTEO for the industry. For Marc, Matthias, and Marcel personally, the project work with ATESTEO was also a complete success. After the three presented it at the technical college in Mönchengladbach, it was chosen as the best practical final project of the year’s graduating class.

“Working together with these young, eager-to-learn, motivated young talents was amazing and inspiring for both sides. ATESTEO was so excited that we will conduct even more projects together with the Mönchengladbach Technical College and thus pave the way for young technical talents to have a technical career in the automobile industry.”

ATESTEO employee Mr Matthias Busch, Certified Engineer Test Bench Design

Development time: 5 weeks

Dimensions when unfolded: 1,600 x 1,200 x 1,720 mm

Dimensions when folded: 1,710 x 1,200 x 580 mm

Weight: 450 kg

Minimum service life: 10 years

About the Author: ATESTEO

With over 200 test benches in Germany and China, along with representations in Japan, ATESTEO is the leading specialist for drivetrain testing combined with component validation, vehicle measurement technology, and engineering services. The company is among the top partners of the automotive and automotive supply industries around the globe—also in e-mobility testing.