Moog Inc. and Piedrafita Systems have unveiled a test rig, enhancing the design of armoured vehicle suspensions. 

The collaboration, fuelled by Piedrafita’s vision for technology, yields a system capable of simulating intense vibrations crucial for assessing shock absorbers and suspension systems in combat scenarios.

Moog Inc. has partnered with the Spain-based company to introduce a test rig. The catalyst for this collaboration was Piedrafita’s quest for technology capable of delivering forces up to 500kN at a speed of 8m/s and up to 200Hz.

This isn’t the first time Moog and Piedrafita have worked together. Moog supplied a fatigue test system to Piedrafita. The test system is important for the development of a new shock absorber designed for military ground vehicles operating in extreme conditions.

Piedrafita, backed by a grant from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, initiated the SRB project, focusing on developing a hydropneumatic rotary suspension for armoured vehicles. The newly installed test rig plays a role in this project.

Juan Carlos Molinero, project manager and engineering leader for simulation test at Moog, highlighted the collaborative process: “Piedrafita asked if this new system was feasible. After our study and performance tests, we again collaborated with Piedrafita to develop a concept that could test an armoured vehicle’s suspension.”

The test rig, designed to simulate the passage of armoured vehicle tracks over undulating terrain, produces vibrations crucial for evaluating shock absorber resistance and suspension system performance in combat scenarios. 

Vanesa Recio, head of communication and marketing for Piedrafita, emphasised the new system’s capabilities: “Our engineers can test wheel stations under very demanding profiles for main battle tanks such as the Abrams, Challenger, Leclerc, and Leopard.”

The Moog-Piedrafita test system, encompassing a Moog test controller, hydraulic actuators, an HPU, and a power cabinet, is an alternative to traditional proving ground tests. “The high-performance test bench minimises costs and enables tests in a controlled manner rather than driving over a proving ground, thereby protecting a crew who would otherwise have to be on board a vehicle,” added Recio.

This collaboration benefits Piedrafita but allows manufacturers like General Dynamics and KNDS to leverage the advanced test system for evaluating their vehicles’ suspensions.

Moog Inc. reported record sales for the second quarter of 2023. The company experienced a 9% increase in net sales compared to the same quarter the previous year, reaching $837m. 

In March 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an expansion of Moog Inc. in Western New York, investing $25m to create 500 new jobs in the aerospace industry. This project involved adding high-tech manufacturing equipment.