Global construction equipment specialist Bobcat has reduced the effects of vibration on operators of tracked vehicles, with a complete structural analysis system for assessing and improving its vehicle design.
Bobcat is a provider of compact equipment for many industries, including construction, agriculture, government and mining. In recent years, the company's compact track loader has become increasingly popular, but posed a challenge to user comfort due to vibration from the metal tracks it runs on.
To improve operator comfort, Bobcat's engineers approached Brüel & Kjær to improve their understanding of vibration by assessing its causes and transmission. Brüel & Kjær worked with its strategic consulting partner, Sound Answers, to create a system for Bobcat to assess the structure of an entire vehicle and use the results to improve the design of its machines.
The system consists of a 40-channel data acquisition and analysis system, accelerometers, and PULSE Reflex post-processing software. The team also trained Bobcat's engineers, while demonstrating the system in use on a test vehicle, in a project to characterise a T630 compact track loader.
Bobcat engineer, Patrick Stahl says: "Being able to test an entire machine has been helpful to determine the critical components. Just reviewing the mode shapes was useful."
Patrick continues: "This project gave us the beginning that we needed, providing the spark that began the investigations we are now continuing on our own."
The full structural analysis system case study is available to read on Brüel & Kjær's website at www.bksv.com.