Jackson Enterprises test rig will save lives with Jonel design

If one of Jackson Enterprises’ customers is unfortunate enough to run their vehicle into a brick wall at 100 kph, they may well have good reason to be thankful to Enerpac hydraulic technology.

Because the New Zealand van seating and interior specialist – which is involved in the conversion of standard vans into specialist passenger transport vehicles – has put a premium on safety by designing its own test rig that can suddenly impose more than three tons of force when trialling seat structure and seat belt anchoring points.

Forces such as this translate into more than 20G – or 20 times the force of gravity.

“There was no such test in New Zealand so we made our own test rig,” said Managing Director Peter Jackson. “The only other option was to send each conversion to Australia for testing.”

“We wanted to impose 2250kg at the occupant centre of gravity and about 500kg at the seat frame centre of gravity. The ram load would be required to reach a peak of as high as 3100kg within between 0.5 seconds and 1.0 seconds and maintain it for a minimum of one second,” said Mr Jackson,  who called in hydraulic  specialist and Enerpac distributor Jonel Hydraulics to assist with the project.

“We convert a lot of vehicles – Toyota HiAce, Mazda E2000, Nissans, Ford Transits, VWs, Mercedes Vito – so we wanted it to be versatile and accurate. Not only do we do minibus vehicles such as airport buses, but also we do major conversions on wheelchair vehicles for the disabled, so safety is always at a premium.

“In the interests of our customers, we also wanted to ensure the seats and mountings were properly engineered – neither under-engineered, leading to failure, nor over-engineered, leading to excess weight , complexity and cost.”

Working with Jonel Hydraulics Enerpac Product Manager, Jackson Enterprises engineered a test rig incorporating  a rugged 1.12 kW Enerpac ZE4 electric pump of a type typically subjected to heavy service demands around factories and mine sites.

This was coupled to an accumulator through a manifold and controlled via cartridge valves so that a surge of force could be delivered to the two high force cylinders  especially designed by Jonel Hydraulics for this task of simulating about 20G of force. The control system had to be able to accommodate pressure and load while accommodating a travel of 300mm during the test (assuming no outright failure).

“We deal with a lot of seat types from Europe and Asia, so it is very useful to have this tool on site so we can do a wide range of our own tests. Jonel worked on it progressively with us to build up its versatility to achieve our test objectives and ensure the right engineering and optimum safety for our customers.

“It wasn’t a straightforward job, and it required someone with the technical knowledge and the commitment to our operations to understand what we wanted and to translate that into reality. Jonels did this very well – the rig is becoming very versatile in service.”

Jackson Enterprises Limited can be contacted on 64-9-274 4427. The company has specialised since 1979 in the supply of van interior conversions for Minibuses – including standard and wheelchair accessible, commercial and trade person’s vehicles.

Compliance with safety regulations is overseen by an Independent Registered Engineer. This ensures work complies with New Zealand Safety Standards. Jackson Enterprises is committed to continuous improvement of products and standards and is accredited to the internationally recognised quality standard Telarc registered Q-Base. The company is a member of the Bus and Coach Association and VANZ Group.