LMS Test.Lab Helps Streamline Body Design at Toyota’s European Technical Center

NVH group relies on advanced test system to shorten turnaround time and increase throughput

Leuven, Belgium — May 23, 2006 — LMS International today announced that LMS Test.Lab has been deployed as one of the primary systems for vehicle noise and vibration testing at Toyota’s European Technical Center in Zaventem, Belgium. The expanded center was recently inaugurated as part of Toyota’s initiative to localize its European design and engineering operations. LMS Test.Lab was deployed within the center’s NVH development team and supports the team in taking on full-vehicle NVH engineering responsibilities.

Based on worldwide Toyota platforms, the European Technical Center will develop upper bodies for European car models. They will test, select and develop these body parts intensively together with European suppliers. Development centers in Japan will continue to design vehicle platforms, including the chassis, engine, and suspension systems. Previously, vehicles were developed bumper-to-bumper in Japan and prototypes were sent to Zaventem for noise and vibration testing to ensure cars were in compliance with European market requirements. Design changes recommended by the European center were then confirmed and implemented by the development teams in Japan. By bringing investigation and implementation decision closely together, the new process is intended to shorten the development cycle, reduce the number of prototypes and expedite the hand-off to production. Benefits for Toyota will be a faster response to market demands and reduced product development costs by reinforcing Toyota’s relationship with their European suppliers.

The new process shifts an increased workload and new competency requirements to the European NVH group, which now must set design targets for the European versions, perform individual prototype tests in less time, and ensure high production quality levels within the European manufacturing plants — all in a compressed timeframe with existing staff.

To boost the efficiency of the group in handling these additional tasks, Toyota is broadening its implementation of LMS Test.Lab for noise and vibration testing while reducing the application of older measurement platforms. LMS Test.Lab enables Toyota engineers to perform analysis in real time, with results immediately displayed as tests are being run. This gives testing teams greater insight into sources of problems and possible remedies. By quickly determining the root cause of problems in this manner, for individual assemblies as well as the complete vehicle, engineers can more readily find the best solutions.

Efficiency is also increased because all necessary hardware and software are integrated into a single system, with no file transfers or data exchange required between separate equipment. Moreover, ease of use and process-oriented workflow features minimize training and enable more people in the NVH group to perform advanced analysis tasks, beyond the handful of dedicated operators previously required.

"By providing the capability to accurately pinpoint problem sources and quickly arrive at appropriate corrective actions, LMS Test.Lab enables our NVH engineers to work more efficiently in getting projects completed sooner with few prototype testing cycles," explains Stijn Peeters, Noise and Vibration Engineer, Toyota Motor Europe Technical Center. "Boosting our efficiency in this way is critical to the strategy of shifting upper body design work to Europe in order to serve the European market more directly."

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About LMS:
LMS is an engineering innovation partner for companies in the automotive, aerospace and other advanced manufacturing industries. LMS enables its customers to get better products faster to market, and to turn superior process efficiency to their strategic competitive advantage. LMS delivers a unique combination of virtual simulation software, testing systems, and engineering services. We are focused on the mission critical performance attributes in key manufacturing industries, including structural integrity, handling, safety, reliability, comfort and sound quality. Through our technology, people and over 25 years of experience, LMS has become the partner of choice for most of the leading discrete manufacturing companies worldwide. LMS, a Dassault Systèmes Gold Partner, is certified to ISO9001:2000 quality standards and operates through a network of subsidiaries and representatives in key locations around the world. Visit www.lmsintl.com for more information on LMS.

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