Ulsan Technopark’s Automotive Parts Innovation Center provides test services for its customers who are mainly manufacturers of components, both Tier 1 and Tier 2. Brüel & Kjær’s PULSE platform, LDS shakers, arrays and transducers are all used at the facility for automotive NVH vibration testing, environmental testing and material testing.
The Ulsan Technopark (UTP), established in 2002, is jointly owned by the Korean government and the Ulsan City Authority. Its goal is to situate resources such as universities, businesses and research institutes in one place, and become the centre for technological innovation, providing building facilities and equipment for research, testing and production.
The Automotive Parts Innovation Center
The Automotive Parts Innovation Center (APIC) located at Maegok-dong, Buk-gu, Ulsan, is Ulsan Technopark’s automotive research facility. It fosters technological innovation, quality improvement, and business establishment support for automotive-parts companies in the Yeongnam region of Korea. The facility, covering an area of more than 55,000 square metres, has a total floor space of over 19,000 square metres, and cost KRW 124 billion for the infrastructure and KRW 48 billion for the equipment. It has more than 60 employees, all with university degrees. Its main focus is to provide test services for its customers, who are mainly manufacturers of components, both Tier 1 and Tier 2. In addition, UTP also works for Korean automotive manufacturers including SsangYong Motor Company, Hyundai Motor Company and Renault Samsung. Today, UTP places a strong focus on Hybrid Electrical Vehicles and Electrical Vehicles, and is aiming at becoming the Korean competence centre in this field.
Andrew Kim, the Test and Reliability Chief Manager at APIC, worked for Hyundai Motor Company for ten years before joining UTP in 2004. With a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Pusan National University, and currently working on a doctoral thesis, Andrew was highly influential in the design and commissioning of UTP’s state-of-the-art test facility. The facility includes a semi-anechoic chamber with a cut-off frequency of 125Hz and a background noise level of less than 20 dBA, four climatic chambers, a state-of-the-art crash test facility, a hydraulic road simulator and a multi-axle hydraulic system for durability testing.
Andrew said, “Before joining Ulsan I worked for Hyundai Motor Company for ten years and used Brüel & Kjær products and solutions almost exclusively. At UTP we have a high focus on automotive NVH vibration testing for life-cycle and environmental tests.”
Andrew is very influential in advising customers when choosing test and measurement systems. As he said: “In fact, it is not uncommon for our customers to purchase solutions that have been used for their projects.”
UTP currently has two PULSE systems that were bought four years ago – a 17-channel C-frame and a 34-channel D-frame – and they have plans to invest in more. Andrew continues, “I’m especially impressed with the PULSE platform, both hardware and software, and we are now moving forward to use PULSE Reflex Core and Modal for post-processing. We’re also very interested in Brüel & Kjær’s unique expertise in array technology.'
UTP has a non-stationary Spatial Transformation of Sound Fields (STSF) array with a scanning robot, and a circular array for noise source identification and sound power measurements in a semi-anechoic chamber.
Other Brüel & Kjær products include an Impedance Tube for material testing, microphones, accelerometers and power amplifiers. LDS shakers are extensively used – a V875 for durability/life-cycle testing and a V9 with a climatic chamber for vibration testing (both for R&D and durability/life-cycle).
Product quality is vital to UTP. As Andrew explains: “The purchase price of Brüel & Kjær products and solutions is high but the quality and reliability are excellent, and therefore together with accurate data, far outweigh the initial cost.” He goes on to conclude that, 'In fact, UTP also has systems from one of Brüel & Kjær’s main competitors, but our test engineers much prefer the ease of use and functionality of PULSE.