Testing

Many new products are validated at our world class technical centres in Carpenedolo, Italy and Woodridge, Illinois, USA.

We have unrivalled research, development and testing facilities, enabling us to create customised wheel solutions to match specific equipment and operating condition requirements.

Working in close collaboration with customer and tyre manufacturers we can offer a consistent world-wide interface, regardless of customer location.

The company is approved to ISO 9001 and also adopts the principles of TS-16949 accreditation, the renowned automotive quality standard and apply to our business wherever possible, recognising the benefits they bring to any manufacturing environment.

GKN Wheels is one of the few organisations with the total engineering capability to offer:

  • Design
  • Simulation
  • Validation

We have made significant investments in both laboratory and field testing equipment. We have some of the most advanced purpose built, electronically controlled systems in the industry, including:

  • Rim durability testing
  • Disc durability testing
  • FEA modelling and simulations
  • Strain gauge testing and analysis
  • Field testing and data acquisition
  • Life expectancy/fatigue analysis

Our comprehensive facilities and approach result in:

  • Products with reduced weight and enhanced durability
  • Reduced timeline from design to production
  • Reduced likelihood of early system problems
  • Improved product reliability and dependability
  • Enhanced total system performance
  • Cost-effective design
  • Global offering

Wheels can be developed to enhance performance in any application. Designs must meet the requirements of the customer and application without adding unnecessary weight, which can impact on costs in terms of higher fuel consumption or reduced payloads.

Rigorous programmes will confirm reliability and sustainability, whatever the load and however hostile the environment.

GKN tests wheels with and without tyres, to ensure the durability of both rim and disc. Computers are used to measure strains caused by complex load combinations so that designs can be optimised.

The dedicated facility at GKN Wheels’ European Technical Centre in Italy is capable of testing sections of large multi-piece wheels more quickly than ever before. It has been winning the support of construction plant and machinery manufacturers across Europe. Since its installation in 2009, several manufacturers have used the innovative facility to test new or modified multi-piece wheel designs.

The process takes a ‘slice’ of each wheel and subjects it to a series of stress and durability tests, providing robust performance data that can be extrapolated for the entire wheel. The nature of the facility means that the tests can be completed in a much shorter time than usual, helping manufacturers to take design decisions quickly prior to placing orders for new or modified machinery.

Integrating the feedback and experience from laboratory testing, field tests, strain gauge data and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) enables us continuously to improve product designs and offer innovative solutions to customers.

Only when completely satisfied with test results will volume manufacturing begin. Total Quality Management (TQM) techniques ensure that every wheel matches the requirements of the original specification once designs go into production.