News & Events

LINK Installs LabLINK Laboratory Information Management System at FCA’s Testing Facility in Chelsea, Michigan

Sep 19, 2019

LINK installed LabLINK at FCA's testing facility in Chelsea, Michigan.

In mid-2018, the team at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) vehicle testing facility and proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan was searching for a laboratory information management system (LIMS) that could effectively manage test operations for 24 chassis dynamometers in their mileage accumulation test facility. FCA’s goal was to improve the efficiency of their lab, while also streamlining lab management processes for their team.

Link Engineering Company was approached to demonstrate the efficiencies and functionality that our LIMS program, LabLINK, could offer. Following a successful “live” demonstration in which LINK connected 3 of the 24 mileage accumulation dynamometers to a demo LabLINK system, FCA chose LINK’s solution and began preparations to implement the software.

LabLINK was initially developed to improve the management of LINK’s internal laboratories. Specifically designed to optimize and streamline the lab management process, LabLINK is a comprehensive and modular LIMS, and is now available worldwide. Customers have the flexibility to choose which modules best fit their lab’s needs, whether that is the entire system or one or two specific modules.

Through customizations, LabLINK is compatible with most existing ERP systems or business databases. Built on a secure browser-based application that can be viewed on a desktop, smartphone, or tablet anywhere in the world, LabLINK furthers the accessibility and visibility of operations within a lab. LabLINK enables users to streamline testing, create test requests, schedule resources, and monitor asset utilization in real-time.

Given the flexibility of the software, LINK and FCA worked hand in hand on this project to create a tailored program that optimally meets FCA’s needs. Jerry Curtis, LINK’s Director of Quality & Business Systems and in-house LabLINK expert, worked on-site with the FCA team. His goal was to facilitate the installation and adoption of the new system in a way that respects the needs of the end-users.

“We’re thrilled with the implementation. LINK truly set out to develop a system to meet our specific needs. We dedicated a full-time headcount for two months to find a LIMS that would match our requirements, and none of them were up to the task…until we found LabLINK. Looking back, we were visiting LINK for a non-related concern and discovered a LabLINK generated report used regularly at LINK’s Dearborn test facility. It was a report we produce all the time in a very painstaking, labor-intensive process. LabLINK does in seconds what takes us hours. We immediately realized our search for a LIMS was over.” – Steve Pliska Jr – FCA Group

LabLINK currently operates in every LINK testing laboratory around the world, interconnecting each of our laboratories in China, Germany, Korea, Brazil, Italy, and the United States. Operating through a single system which is easily accessible, LabLINK enables us to monitor and manage our global testing operations in real-time.

To learn more about LabLINK, email j.curtis@linkeng.com.

Learn more about LabLINK

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Brakes

Type of TestTest HighlightsEquipment UsedExample Procedures
Chemical TestingMeasurement of copper, asbestos and other elements in brake friction materialsICP-OES / PLMJ2975
Materials TestingPhysical properties including quality control for friction, wear, compressive strain, shear strength, corrosion resistance, swell and growthChase Machine / Compressibility Machine/ Shear Machine / Corrosion Chamber / Environmental Chamber / OvenJ661, ISO 6310, ISO 6311, ISO 6312, ABNT NBR 9301, ABNT NBR 5505, ABNT NBR 5537, ASTM B117
Frequency ResponseComponent Frequency ResponseLaser Vibrometer Test StandSAE J2933, J3001, J2598, L-4375
Structural Fatigue and
Durability
Breaking strength, cyclic fatigueServo Hydraulics, Torque FlexJ2995, C419, C441, GMW18022
Caliper FingerprintingCaliper characteristics such as knockback, rollback, fluid displacement, deflection...Caliper Test Bench / Brake DynamometerL-4177, PF.90257
Brake Drag and DTVResidual drag, disc thickness variation, brake feel and vehicle fuel mileageOff Brake Drag Stand / Brake DynamometerJ2923, GMW14926, GMW14351, PF.90257, L-13080
PerformanceHydraulic, air and electric brakes, friction levels, stopping distance, corrosion, cleanability, brake torque variation, rotor cracking, regulation, stability control, coastdownBrake Dynamometer, Model 4000 DASJ2784, J2928 IS026867, GMW14985, PF.90210, PF.90244, L-405, FMVSS 121, FMVSS 122, FMVSS 105, FMVSS 135, FMVSS 126, FMVSS 136, ECE R13H, AMS
WearRotor wear, drum wear, lining wear, DTV, durability, city traffic, suburban trafficBrake Dynamometer, Model 4000 DASJ2707, USCT, L-423, PF.90244, Los Angeles, Detroit, Phoenix, Birmingham, Marquette
NVHBrake squeal during drag and decel events at different temperatures, pressure and torque levelsNVH Brake DynamometerJ2521, L420, 1430, GMW17427, PF. 90244
Brake EmissionsBrake dust particle size, count, concentration and massBrake DynamometerWLTP, CARB, Duty cycle

Hubs/Bearings

Type of TestTest HighlightsEquipment UsedExample Procedures
Wheel BearingWater intrusion and durability when exposed to mud and saltBearing Test StandLINK Hub and Bearing, GMW16306, GMW16310
Passenger car, sport/performance and open bed vehicle wheel bearing spallingBearing Test StandGMW16311, GMW16308, GMW16309
Brinelling resistance validates long-term reliability/durabilityBearing Test StandGMW16305
Rotary fatigue lifeRotary Fatigue MachineGMW16325
Wheel HubRotary bending fatigue life characteristicsRotary Fatigue MachineGMW14249
Hub/BearingEvaluate hub and bearing performance, durability, seals and NVH when exposed to extreme environmental effects such as temperature and mud/salt solutionBearing Test Stand/Rotary FatigueTIP-000037A, LINK Hub and Bearing, SAE J1095, LINK Impact
Hub FatigueHub fatigue using biaxial loadingBiaxial Test StandSAE J2562

Wheels

Type of TestTest HighlightsEquipment UsedExample Procedures
ChemicalEvaluates filiform corrosion on painted aluminum wheels and painted aluminum trimICP-OESASTM E3061
Wheel Corrosion and CoatingsEvaluates filiform corrosion, tape adhesion, degree of rusting on painted aluminum wheels and painted aluminum trimCorrosion ChamberSAE J2635, ASTM B368, ISO 9227,
ISO 2409, ASTM D3599,
ABNT NBR 11003, ASTM D610,
ASTM D1654
Wheel FatigueLoad simulation test of aluminum alloy wheelsBiaxialBMW QV36026, SAE J2562, FORD
L-307, GMW14340
Dynamic Cornering Fatigue and Dynamic Radial Fatigue - Steel wheelsEccentric Mass and RadialABNT NBR 6750
Rotational fatigue, Radial load fatigue and biaxial load fatigue of steel and aluminum wheelsEccentric Mass, Radial and BiaxialABNT NBR 6751
Dynamic Cornering Fatigue and Dynamic Radial Fatigue and Impact resistance of temporary use and normal highway use aluminum wheelsEccentric Mass, Radial and Drop TestABNT NBR 6752
Wheel Radial FatigueRadialGMW14909
Wheel ImpactWheel Inboard Rim Flange Vertical ImpactDrop TestGMW15321
Wheel radial impactDrop TestCETP 04.04-L300
Wheel Lateral ImpactDrop TestGMW14910, SAE J175
Wheel StiffnessFrequency Response Function (FRF)Frequency ResponseGMW14876
Deformation of the wheelServo HydraulicsJ2315
Center cap heat
resistance
Center Cap deformation under elevated temperature conditionsBench TestBrake Heat Center Cap

Tires

Type of TestTest HighlightsEquipment UsedExample Procedures
Parking ForcesAllows proper sizing of power steering componentsForce and MotionLINK Parking Forces
Tire FootprintDetermines the contact patch geometryForce and MotionTire Footprint
Tire Modeling
Determine tire inertia which is then used Ftire and other models and simulationsInertia MachineLINK Tire Inertial Properties
On-center parking effort test for Ftire inputForce and MotionSWP
Determine static stiffness (X, Y, Z, Alpha) for Ftire inputStatic Stiffness MachineSAE Static Stiffness
Determine how the tire envelopes an obstacleCleat MachineJ2731
Measure the forces and moments generated at a high frequency response spindle when the tire impacts a cleatCleat MachineJ2730
Braking and Cornering PerformanceDetermine the straight line braking performance of a tireForce and MotionJ2673
Determine the free rolling cornering properties of a tireForce and MotionSAE TIME, J1987, SWP
Measure the combined cornering and braking performance of a tireForce and MotionJ2675
Tire StiffnessMeasure rolling vertical stiffness of a tire at speedRolling Vertical Stiffness
Rolling ResistanceMeasure tire rolling resistance using a drumForce and Motion, Rolling ResistanceJ1269, J2452
Tire WearAssess tire wear in the labForce and MotionLINK Wear Test
Tire NVHTest tire sizzle, cornering noise, pass-by noise, steering wheel dither, freeze crack impacts, high speed uniformity and imbalance sensitivityForce and Motion, Dynamometer, Model 4000 DASNoise, Vibration, Harshness