MIRA to open world-class connected & autonomous vehicle testing facility

Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, has given the green light for the Trusted Intelligent Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) consortium - known as TIC-IT - as part of the national strategy to establish the UK as a global-leading centre of excellence for the development, testing and commercialisation of CAVs


he TIC-IT consortium, led by HORIBA MIRA - a in advanced vehicle

engineering, research, development and testing, in partnership with Coventry University, a leading institution in the fields of cyber security, engineering and automotive design - will receive grant funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to establish a critical piece of testing infrastructure, which will form part of the world’s most effective CAV testing ecosystem. TIC-IT is one of four projects that will

enhance the UK’s capabilities for the development of CAV technology. Collectively, the projects represent a total of £80 million co-investment by industry and government through Meridian; a partnership between the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), Automotive Council and the Advanced Propulsion Centre - with £51 million coming from government. The TIC-IT facility will be built on

HORIBA MIRA’s Proving Ground and will create a purpose-built realistic, safe environment for testing CAVs up to the limit of their operability; a critical activity to ensure consumer confidence in the technologies. The test environment will enable a wide range of CAV driving scenarios to be tested. The emergence of CAV technology is set to generate unprecedented levels of disruption and change, not only within the automotive industry, but the mobility sector, and with the testing ecosystem in place the UK is set to become a globally- leading centre of excellence for the development and commercialisation of this transformational technology. Business and Energy Secretary Greg

Clark says: “Combining ambitious new technologies and innovative business models to address social and economic challenges lies at the heart of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. Accelerating connected and


“Meridian will work with HORIBA MIRA to help develop the sophisticated vehicle testing

capabilities needed for the UK automotive industry to thrive in the future.” - Jim Campbell, launch director, Meridian

autonomous vehicle technology development is central to achieving this ambition and will help to ensure the UK is one of the world’s go-to locations to develop this sector. These projects, backed by Government, form part of a globally unique cluster running from our automotive heartlands in the West Midlands, down through our innovation centres in Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes, through to London, Europe’s only megacity.” Dr Geoff Davis, chief strategy officer at

HORIBA MIRA says: “Not only does CAV technology bring huge benefits to society, but it also creates substantial opportunity

for inward investment. In order to turn this opportunity into reality, the UK must accelerate the development, deployment and commercialisation of CAV technology; something we are delighted to be supporting with this development. “Developed in partnership with

Coventry University, the new facility will bring a unique testing capability to the UK, allowing us to increase the level of activity required to develop CAVs to ensure they are safe and secure for real- world environments.”

HORIBA MIRA T: 02476 355000


o check the integrity of its cardboard packaging, Recochem - a manufacturer of household

chemical products and automotive fluids - used to extract boxes from the production line for destructive testing to establish if the hot melt adhesive had been applied in sufficient quantity and accurately. It was a time-consuming and expensive task but, thanks the Flir thermal imaging, quality control is now fully automated and only sub- standard boxes are scrapped. In its search for an efficient glue monitoring

system, Recochem initially tried single-spot IR sensors to pick up the thermal information from the hot glue spots. As sensor positioning proved difficult and the method could only detect glue applied on open flaps, the decision was taken to explore thermal imaging. To prove the suitability of the technology, the company initially purchased a Flir TG165, a hand-held device that bridges the gap between a spot thermometer and a fully fledged thermal imaging camera. “We used the Flir TG165 to have a look at some of the boxes coming off the production line and the camera clearly showed the location of hot glue spots,” explains Adam Wolszczan, Recochem’s plant engineering manager. “What’s more it was able to ‘see’ through the cardboard to check the pattern and size of the applied hot melt adhesive. This meant that it was no longer necessary to destroy boxes for inspection.”

Next step was

to explore a Flir thermal imaging solution optimised for automated inspection and the decision was made to invest in a Flir AX8, fixed mounted thermal imaging camera. This is now set-up to look at pre-defined areas of the flaps where the glue should have been applied and to verify the size of glue spot and its temperature. Thanks to its compact size, the Flir AX8 can be

installed in such a way as it could look at the bottom of the box and the acquired video images can be viewed by an operator on a dedicated screen. If the glue gun is delayed there is a corresponding position shift of the hot spots, so the operator instantly knows when something is wrong. Wolszczan continues: “It’s very straightforward and effective, enabling us to spot quality problems much faster. We are not only able to offer a better product to our customers, we also save a lot of time. If you consider that previously, our operators needed to destroy a box every 10 to 15 minutes and that our production line is operational five days a week for most of the year, you realise the time and cost savings are significant.

Flir T: 01732 220011


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