Outdoor Power Equipment

July 2017

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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14 JULY 2017 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com Briggs & Stratton Corporation recently opened the doors on an innovative engine testing facility designed to help engineers create and test new features that meet consumers' demands. The new Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) lab incorporates automotive-grade technology to accelerate testing and create high- performing, long-lasting engines for residential use, as well as the Vanguard commercial engines that help professionals tackle some of the biggest jobs around the world. The lab's capacity and capabilities allow Briggs & Stratton engineers to test noise and vibration levels in simulated real-world conditions. The lab also allows for harshness testing, ensuring engineers can fine-tune the performance of each engine component, to guarantee products withstand the most rigorous commercial applications. "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 NVH lab will continue to play a critical role in bringing to life innovations based on customer feedback. For instance, 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 lawnmower engines. The new facility enables Briggs & Stratton and Vanguard to evolve and advance technologies like QPT and continue to develop groundbreaking solutions for consumer and commercial needs. The new NVH lab, located at Briggs & Stratton's headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., not only offers state-of-the-art testing chambers, but also an experienced team of acoustic engineers and senior- level technicians. The team of seven, led by Birschbach, has more than 140 years of combined experience. Birschbach has more than 15 years of NVH experience with direct experience in NVH testing in the automotive industry. The enhanced NVH lab exceeds the testing capabilities of other small-engine manufacturers by extending beyond simply testing the engine alone. The equipment and software used in the new facility is sourced from the latest technology developed for the automotive industry. The lab enables testing of the engine while integrated into the equipment, such as lawn mowers and construction equipment. This provides valuable data on the engine and allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to expedite their path to market. In some cases, testing can be completed in just 30 percent of the time it would take with industry-standard equipment. The reduced time required for testing decreases costs for OEMs and, in turn, their customers. The new lab includes two sound- testing chambers: a standard chamber for vibration testing and detailed analysis, as well as 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. This allows 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 INDUSTRY NEWS Briggs & Stratton Corporation completes state-of-the-art lab

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