Research & Development
Research & Development
Íhlins commitment to research symbolises its dedication to the future of racing. Íhlins has six design departments with more than 50 engineers. Every department has its specialist field and every engineer has unique spearhead competence. In-house projects seek to improve the performance of suspension systems and vehicle dynamics. In conjunction with external research establishments, in-depth analyses are made on behalf of worldwide motorcycle, car, truck and bus manufacturers.
At Íhlins Research centre in J÷nk÷ping, Sweden, a special four poster rig is used to simulate track conditions on behalf of international clients, while its Hendersonville USA plant affords customers use of a seven poster rig. Today, Íhlins busy R&D department is looking into a series of new shock absorber applications, while further projects are being considered on behalf of industry. The department has comprehensive measuring, data collating and simulation equipment, with which to test and prove its advanced suspension systems. A unique road/racetrack simulator is used to test the suspension on all four wheels simultaneously, and is presently being modified in order to counter the way in which a racing car's suspension is adversely affected by its wings and underbody. Meanwhile, in an increasingly environmentally conscious market, vehicles of the future are being designed to run on substantially firmer tyres, in order to save energy. This, of course, places increased demands on the ability of shock absorbers to cushion the ride. Similarly, much work remains to be done in terms of improving vehicles' road holding capabilities, and enhancing levels of comfort.
A prime example of the projects carried out by the development team is the production of a 2WD system for motorcycles, based on the incorporation of hydrostatic components. The system is self-regulating, which means that the front wheel can never spin faster than the rear wheel. In all, Íhlins 2WD affords riders increased control in all weather conditions, and on all road surfaces.
Our CES system (Continuously Controlled Suspension System) integrates the latest technology in hydraulics and electronics into a highly advanced suspension. The heart of the system is the CES valve, a hydraulic pressure controller specifically designed to fit the requirements for use in a suspension system. It combines a small size with a very wide working area and an extremely quick reaction time.
Use of the CES valve in a shock absorber removes most of the compromise between ride and handling found in conventional shocks. It enables the suspension to provide sportscar characteristics in cornering and lane changes while giving the ride of a limousine during cruising.
Íhlins has been active in semi-active suspension development since the late eighties. We have built in-depth knowledge about the valves, shocks, sensors, ECUs and software required to make semi-active suspension work. With our knowledge we can not only supply the valves but also the support required to build a full system.
The CES valve is in mass production since 2002 and today it is used by many automotive manufacturers among those Volvo and their Volvo's FOUR-C system and Audi's Adaptive Air Suspension.
Today there are more than 50.000 vehicles on the road equipped with CES. There are also development projects running with several car manufacturers on cars to be launched in the next two years.
We have the capability to supply CES valves in numbers from a few hundred per year up to millions. The CES valve and our semiactive suspension support are today only available for OEM customers.