Vision Zero, the vision of accident-free driving, is one of the longterm goals of Continental Safety Engineering International GmbH, one of the largest engineering centers for vehicle safety in Europe. As part of Continental‘s Chassis and Safety Division, it focuses on technologies for vehicle safety and driving dynamics. Equipped with high-end technology and an experienced team, the company has operated since 1992 a proofing ground for vehicle safety testing in Alzenau. The test facility for vehicle crash allows real crash situations to be simulated under laboratory conditions.
Since 2006, Continental has been using AICON‘s ProCam system for fast and easy vehicle measurement before and after crash tests, as well as for structural deformation analysis. Since 2013, the team has also been working with MoveInspect DPS for online 3D dummy positioning. A complete solution from a single source!
ProCam in vehicle crash tests
From vehicle crash tests, sled testing through to airbag laboratory tests or static bodywork testing – vehicles weighing up to eight tons and speeds of up to 125 kilometers per hour are tested in Alzenau. To determine the deformations, they are geometrically measured with optical methods before and after the crash test.
Initially, the cars were checked with a mechanically-based coordinate measuring machine. Optical systems, in contrast, provide userindependent and reproducible results, responding to the increasing requirements of automobile manufacturers. To remain competitive on the market with regard to 3D measuring systems, Continental chose the ProCam to implement its structural deformation analyses. The system provides fast and accurate results even in poorly accessible points. Only one orientation (RPS transformation) is necessary for measurement of the entire vehicle. This is an enormous time and accuracy advantage, because „leap-frogs“ are avoided. The hand-held ProCam probe is configurable with interchangeable measuring tips with which the points to be measured are probed.
The preparation box in Alzenau is equipped as a ProCam measurement space. Test preparation and 3D measurement can thus take place in one room, where the entire vehicle is fitted with testing equipment and geometrically measured with ProCam: Body, structural and safety-relevant components, interior, dashboard, single points, determination of contours. The vehicle coordinate system for subsequent dummy positioning in the relevant door cut-out areas are marked with targets and their 3D positions are determined by the ProCam system. This saves time on the well-utilized crash track.
After the car crash, measurements are repeated with the ProCam system. The evaluation software AICON 3D Studio automatically creates a structural deformation analysis, which determines the individual deformations at the preliminary measurement points. In the measurement report, the deformations are clearly visualized in overview images with vectors, which can be broken down into individual components (X, Y, Z).
MoveInspect DPS used for sled and crash tests
The measurement system for online 3D dummy positioning is used at Continental for multiple applications, for example in full-size crashes with complete vehicles and in sled testing with car bodies or body-inwhite for component and airbag testing. The mobile system is simple to use at a variety of locations.
Its advantages include speed, since all the points marked on the dummy (head, H-point, knees) are simultaneously captured and deviations from the target position are displayed in real-time. Once the dummy is positioned, other relevant points, shortest routes/distances and angles are determined and recorded with the wireless probe. Since the vehicle coordinate system (reference points in the door cut-out area) has already been marked, dummies can be positioned immediately, ensuring minimum preparation time on the respective test facility and thus high savings potential. The relative movements between vehicle and measurement system are also automatically compensated thanks to the dynamic referencing function. Thus, the entire process is secure.
Everything from a single source
Customer requirements with regard to 3D measurement accuracy, repeatability and speed are continuously increasing. The ProCam and MoveInspect DPS systems form a powerful team at Continental, able to optimize the entire process. Klaus Hillenbrand, Head of Components Tests at Continental Safety Engineering International GmbH, is very satisfied with the AICON systems:
„The seamless combination of ProCam and MoveInspect DPS significantly reduces measurement efforts in crash preparation and offers new opportunities for workflows. We previously used ProCam in combination with a laser gauge , but that made measurements very cumbersome and slow. Now we can capture significantly more points at a much faster pace. Depending on task and scope of measurement, we can achieve between 70 to 85% time savings compared to the previous process. What’s more, the software is optimized so that measurement charts/templates can be created quickly and easily. This increases the quality of validation. We save time and money – a decisive competitive advantage. “
Many Continental customers also work with AICON systems. According to Klaus Hillenbrand, the compatibility of measurement results is another decisive advantage when exchanging information. For Continental that is reason enough to solve more measuring tasks with AICON systems in the future.