Ford invests $200 million in wind tunnel complex

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March 7, 2017

To enhance fuel-efficient designs and tweak performance vehicles, Ford Motor Co. plans to build a new, $200 million wind-tunnel with a rolling road and climate control system. The complex will sit on 13 acres next to Ford’s current Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park, Michigan. Construction starts this year.

Dennis Paige, lab manager for Ford’s Driveability Testing Facilities, says advanced features, development, and innovation require advanced testing and verification technology.

A five-belt, rolling-road conveyor system will optimize fuel efficiency by assigning each wheel of a vehicle its own belt. A massive fifth belt runs under the center of the vehicle, allowing up to 155mpg airflow around the vehicle. A crane will switch tests between the five-belt and single-belt systems. Operating up to 200mph, the single belt is for performance/race vehicle testing.

Simulating airflow with speeds from 155mph to 200mph will enable engineers to validate vehicle designs at a higher quality and repeatability. The climatic chamber can get as low as -40°F, and as high as 140°F. The entire wind chamber will be oversized to accommodate vehicles as large as F-Series Super Duty pickups. www.corporate.ford.com

MPIF selects James Adams as executive director/CEO

James P. Adams is the new executive director and CEO of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) and APMI International (APMI), succeeding C. James Trombino who has retired.

Adams has worked in the powder metallurgy industry for more than 30 years following graduation from Hennepin Technical College in 1985. He began his career with MPIF in 2004 as director of technical services, working closely with the MPIF Technical Board, where he has been responsible for Federation publications, professional development programs, and conference technical programming. Under his direction, the Metal Injection Molding and Additive Manufacturing with Powder Metallurgy conferences were developed. He has also served as administrative director for APMI International, and the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology (CPMT).

Adams has been administrative director for the Powder Metallurgy Parts Association (PMPA), Metal Powder Producers Association (MPPA), Powder Metallurgy Equipment Association (PMEA), and Isostatic Pressing Association (IPA), all MPIF affiliated associations. He has also represented MPIF for the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

“Jim Trombino has left MPIF positioned for the future, and I look forward to serving the current industry while advancing emerging technologies,” Adams says. www.mpif.org