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Briggs & Stratton opens engine testing facility

May 24, 2017 -  By
Photo: Briggs & Stratton

Photo: Briggs & Stratton

Briggs & Stratton Corp. opened its new Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) Lab, an engine testing facility designed to help engineers create and test new features.

The NVH Lab incorporates automotive-grade technology to accelerate testing and create high-performing, long-lasting engines, the manufacturer said. The lab allows Briggs & Stratton engineers to test noise and vibration levels in simulated real-world conditions, as well as conduct harshness testing, ensuring engineers can fine-tune the performance of each engine component.

The lab enables testing of the engine while integrated into the equipment, such as lawn mowers and construction equipment.

“Our team of engineers and application specialists are continually looking to improve productivity, engine performance and user comfort,” said Brett Birschbach, NVH engineering manager, Briggs & Stratton. “We put our engines through a rigorous testing protocol to ensure the quietest and smoothest running designs.”

The previous NVH lab helped engineers develop Quiet Power Technology. That technology is now the backbone of the company’s residential QPT Series engine, which is up to 60 percent quieter than other residential lawn mower engines, the company said.

The new NVH lab, located at Briggs & Stratton’s Milwaukee headquarters, offers testing chambers and an experienced team of acoustic engineers and senior-level technicians.

The new lab includes two sound-testing chambers: a standard chamber for vibration testing and detailed analysis and a larger chamber designed for certification testing, where Briggs & Stratton engineers test for domestic and international noise regulation compliance.

Briggs & Stratton uses the large chamber to conduct comprehensive tests with the engine mounted to a piece of equipment, allowing engineers to better replicate actual operating conditions. Extensive indoor testing is possible because of an advanced air handling system that exchanges 100 percent of the chamber’s air every minute.

In both sound chambers, data is gathered using a dynamometer isolated in a sealed area below the floor. By isolating the dynamometer, noise from the device cannot interfere with engine noise. Dynamometer sound testing is done not only to measure volume but also to help engineers design engines with a more pleasing tone and pitch, which improves operator comfort and lessens noise concerns when working in residential areas.

Briggs & Stratton’s NVH lab also conducts two primary vibration tests. The first uses an accelerometer to measure the degree to which an engine’s vibration will transfer to a piece of equipment. The second tests for potential component failure using an electro-dynamic shaker to replicate real-world, application-specific conditions.

The electro-dynamic shaker test is conducted to determine product life expectancy for specific parts and components. It also makes it possible for engineers to replicate the effects of 1,000 hours of real-world operation in only 300 hours.

“At the center of all Briggs & Stratton innovations is the voice of our customers, whether that’s professionals or homeowners, and the No. 1 thing they want in engines, along with reliability, is less noise. This is an area where we have made significant strides thanks to great engineers and the NVH lab,” said Rick Zeckmeister, vice president of marketing and planning for Briggs & Stratton’s Global Engines & Power Group. “We’ve led the way in NVH testing since the early 1970s, and I’m proud that we continue to implement the latest testing equipment that helps us push the industry to new heights.”



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