By Jenni Wirtz | 24 October, 2017

For more than 100 years, Borg & Beck has been a byword for premium products, which is why brand owner First Line, continues to invest and update its quality control and test equipment in its bespoke technical centre for the extensive Borg & Beck clutch programme.

Located in Banbury, Oxfordshire, the technical centre features several testing stations and contains a range of specifically designed equipment. The Borg & Beck technicians work tirelessly to ensure that all the company’s clutch components are of the highest quality.

In order to stay at the forefront of product development, Borg & Beck engineers have designed some precision measuring equipment for the clutch quality control process to ensure they can continue to accurately check clutches and provide a premium product for each and every customer.

The state of the art precision machinery is designed to ensure consistency of quality and specification across the clutch range through unique software developed to meet the company’s stringent requirements when testing for characteristics such as, torque capacities and cushioning elements of driven plates, and the new automated test rigs to check the full functioning characteristics of clutch cover assemblies. The equipment is also used to provide solutions for manufacturers or companies where the original clutch is no longer available or a solution is required for a unique vehicle problem, emphasising Borg & Beck’s technical excellence.

The previous apparatus had to be used manually, requiring engineers to operate with Windows NT, which could only create relatively simple graphs. Now, with the latest technology, these new additions can carry out lengthy cycle tests and produce a detailed graph for every cycle to monitor consistency and wear patterns.

In addition, the digital sensors/transducers on the machines produce highly accurate specification data and characteristics, giving the engineers the benefit of a quicker process with more information, which allows them to check clutches with greater precision than previously. With a larger capacity to store information, they also provide more accessibility, as both feed through a central database to give engineers the specific details of every clutch in the Borg & Beck range, with each team member having access at their workstation.

As a result of the company’s investment in its facilities and engineers, Borg & Beck has the knowledge and ability to take its clutch specialism to a new level as it has, for example, adapted the driven plate equipment to be able to test dual-mass flywheels (DMF) up to 260mm. This enables Borg & Beck to guarantee that its single-mass flywheels (SMF) can match the DMF specification as closely as possible.

Besides approvals and batch testing, the equipment allows the team to fully inspect and examine warranty returns to ensure the clutch is performing to specification, across a range of test criteria.

In many modern vehicles, manufacturers have replaced certain components, such as the release fork, pivot ball and bearing retainer, with a hydraulic concentric slave cylinder (CSC) release system.

To reflect this development and further demonstrate its testing expertise, the Borg & Beck tech centre has a bespoke heat testing chamber for CSC’s. The chamber simulates the operating temperatures and puts the CSC through a lifecycle test to ensure the seals all perform to specification. With the capability to complete pressurised seal testing at 140 degrees, each unit is put through more than 100,000 cycles – the standard measure for original equipment (OE) manufacturers.

Having such a comprehensive test facility on site, allows Borg & Beck to underpin its reputation as a leading clutch specialist, committed to the values of the brand and the needs of its customers. In so doing, it is helping them to future proof their businesses in an ever-changing market.