Vehicle Testing at DEKRA Lausitzring

Jan 22, 2021
The Technology Center at DEKRA Lausitzring is split into a total of five departments. Apart from Administration and Logistics, the other departments actually work on the vehicles. Steffen Hladik’s team deals with the vehicle as a whole. Also based at the site is the Exhaust Emissions department, which focuses on aspects such as measuring emissions behavior and energy consumption. The Passive Safety department carries out everything from strength and slide tests through to crash tests.
High demand for emissions measurements is also the reason why the Whole Vehicle team relocated to another part of the huge DEKRA Lausitzring site at the start of 2020. Two new exhaust test stands were urgently needed in order to perform complex emissions tests in line with the WLTP standard (“Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure”). “We are responding to strong demand among our customers by doubling our capacities in this area,” confirms Volker Noeske, Head of the Lausitzring Technology Center.

Greens and Grays

Anyone who comes to DEKRA Lausitzring will be met by a motivated, well-functioning team. When construction work to enlarge the emissions testing area began in July 2018, the technicians of the Whole Vehicle department, led by Steffen Hladik, moved their workshop to the pit lane of the racetrack. 20 office work-stations were set up in a small yet air-conditioned group of portable buildings, right in front of the workshop and near the multipurpose area. The new functional testing building at the test oval was completed in March 2020.
The vehicle tests at DEKRA Lausitzring are the result of teamwork. The only difference between staff members is the color of their uniforms: the technicians wear green, whereas the engineers are clad in gray. But this has nothing to do with hierarchy. “In fact, we only achieve good results by working as a team,” comments engineer Denny Weiser. And the spectrum could hardly be any broader.

We only achieve good results by working as a team.

Denny Weiser
Vehicles range from trucks and heavy-duty 18 t tractors through to motorbikes, cars, and electric scooters. EC type approvals and series/individual vehicle inspections are carried out at the Center, as are inspections of components ranging from mirrors to brakes. Electric, self-driving rapid-transit vehicles – known as “people movers” – are accounting for an ever greater share of the test schedule. They are sent to DEKRA Lausitzring for assessment of their compliance with construction regulations, testing of the functional safety of the vehicles as a whole, and for real-life journeys to test the automated driver function. A small bus is about the same length as a mid-sized car, measuring roughly five meters in length and two meters in height and width. Alongside inspection services for electric ve-hicles, the complex issue of driver assistance systems – e.g. lane departure warn-ing assistants, emergency braking assistants, and turning assistants – is becom-ing a key area of focus.

Humans and Machines

Each technician at DEKRA Lausitzring has their own specialty. Thilo Nickolaus, for instance, knows how to handle big beasts. He is currently getting to grips with a Kirovets K-700, a mighty 18 t tractor with over 400 hp. He is carrying out the final inspection for an individual approval. This mammoth vehicle’s driving dynamics are breathtaking; its specialty is its articulated steering. But a lot of meticulous work needs to be done before the practical test. All parts on the test schedule have to be clearly identified. This is followed by the fitting of sensors and other measurement/inspection equipment. Whether brake performance, signaling equipment, steering, or noise emissions, each and every aspect is examined and documented. Thilo Nickolaus: “Things got interesting when we simulated a failure of the steering hydraulics. Even then, it still has to be possible to maneuver the vehicle with its tires over a diameter of 1.80 meters. You need more than elbow grease.” The test was successful. The small apparatus flange-mounted to the engine did its job.
Tino Schlachter is dealing with a much more delicate vehicle. Fully kitted out, he heads to the specially developed test circuit on an electric scooter. Karsten Werner is also fully kitted out, but is sitting on a motorbike – and is about to carry out a brake test. Thresholds must be met in all conditions – with rider, fully loaded, wet, dry.
In short, each member of the Whole Vehicle team has their own personal specialty when it comes to testing, based on their knowledge and skill set. Together, they form a team that passes the test with flying colors!