An auto worker looks out from a window at the Ford assembly plant in Melbourne. (Photo : Reuters)
Ford Australia is throwing open the doors to its $20 million Advanced Centre for Automotive Research and Testing (ACART) at its You Yangs Proving Ground near Geelong. This is according to a article posted on The Auto Channel.
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The Environmental Wind Tunnel facility is being made available to VASA, the national group representing automotive air-conditioning, electrical and cooling technicians of Australasia.
"We're very pleased to be able to assist VASA with their Wire and Gas Convention 2012," ACART Environmental Wind Tunnel supervisor, Steven Pohlner, said. "Our facility is world-class and we're keen to promote its features beyond Ford."
ACART has only opened the doors once before for the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia (SAE-A) and Ford Australia is working to spread the word about the facility among other suppliers and industry groups.
"Not only does it help build Ford's capability as an innovative and progressive manufacturer, we have the facilities to help external customers too," Pohlner said.
The development of a multi-fuel emissions cell, an environmental testing laboratory and an engine dynamometer facility provides Australian automotive companies and suppliers with access to world-class facilities that were previously unavailable to them in Australia.
ACART was officially opened in 2009 as a collaboration between Ford and the University of Melbourne. The Environmental Wind Tunnel is one of three ACART facilities in Australia which also include an Emissions Facility and an Engine Dynamometer Facility.
The ACART Environmental Wind Tunnel was utilized extensively in the development of the new EcoBoost Falcon for the testing, tuning, calibration and thermal management of the powertrain and calibration of the climate control system in the vehicle.
The largest of the three facilities, the wind tunnel at Ford's Proving Ground is one of the leading technically capable facilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
The state-of-the-art laboratory can replicate conditions ranging from -40ºC to +55ºC and wind and road speeds of up to 250km/h. The facility also has the capability to simulate solar loading of up to 1200W/m² and generate humidity up to 95%.