When GreenMot started its activities in October 2010, it chose neither a “comfortable” market nor a simple path. The market for the testing of engines has a large number of actors with well-established leaders. At the time, this market had experienced several crises, particularly in the automotive sector. And GreenMot didn’t take the easy way in order to break into this market; it decided to start from scratch, without taking over an existing company, and hence having to develop its complete client portfolio. But its founder and president, Stéphane Londos, has vast experience and he chose an approach that would quickly enable the company to hold its own: he focused on precision tests, and if the necessary sensor did not exist, he developed a custom sensor in order to adapt it to the structure to be tested, and not vice versa.That is how GreenMot uses its in-situ sensor directly integrated into the engine to measure the torque of the tested engine. This sensor has been specifically developed in order to be adapted to the mechanical and environmental stress of the engine. HBM is at the heart of this strategy. As a technological partner from the very beginning, HBM supplies the complete instrumentation chain, for the majority of GreenMot’s applications. Both companies benefit from this privileged partnership: GreenMot is able to distinguish itself from its competitors while HBM consolidates its know-how in engine applications and uses its experience and knowledge to develop new products.
“This test equipment is unique in Europe,”comments Sébastien Ferragne, an engineer specialized in test engineering, sensors, instrumentation and methodology, as it combines climatic test equipment (from -46°C to +55°C) and high-power mechanical equipment (600 kW).
“We focus on precision tests, and one of our great strengths is the repeatability of our tests. When we measure consumption, for example, we can achieve a 0.1% accuracy, putting us ahead of our competitors and allowing us to distinguish between very small-amplitude phenomena. Starting from there, it is possible to redefine tests, or to use new types of test in order to investigate potential areas of improvement,”continues Sébastien Ferragne. To achieve this, GreenMot has developed a robot driver. Beyond the control and command, there is the complete measurement equipment that is essential here and elsewhere. The classic method of measuring the torque generated by a vehicle is to use roller dynamometers and to measure the torque at the rollers driven by the vehicle’s wheels. This is an indirect measurement method, however, with intermediate elements that impair precision and repeatability. In order to improve measurement accuracy, GreenMot measures directly the torque at the wheels using HBM torque transducers. To go even further, GreenMot offers to use specific torque transducers directly at the engine output shaft in the vehicle. It also has to have sensors capable of being integrated into this environment. In order to overcome the mechanical stresses (dimensional and environmental), the company uses custom torque transducers developed in partnership with HBM. In the beginning, HBM had been chosen for its capability for carrying out precision measurements and developing special sensors. Representing only a small business volume at that time, GreenMot was surprised by the interest shown by the German engineering company. This immediately created a climate of trust, and the relations have not ceased to deepen during the course of the developments.