Australian-First Crash Test Dummy Simulator Collaboration with NRMA & Big Kahuna Imagineering

FPES (Excel Hydraulics) was part of an Australia-first project which could influence our future road toll statistics for the better. The test crash dummy simulator was developed by Big Kahuna Imagineering for the NRMA Insurance Research Centre’s hands-on Crashed Car Showroom, and FPES (Excel Hydraulics) provided the hydraulic systems.

“I have known Kevin McCaffrey and Excel Hydraulics for many years and he has a reputation for delivering outstanding service. They assisted us on past projects with fluid power and they still work faultlessly. I know that Kevin has over 25 years experience in the hydraulics industry but it is his ability to understand and solve a challenge which I wanted even more”, said Big Kahuna Imagineering’s Will Colhoun.

“The NRMA Insurance project took us into a new realm of hi fidelity simulators”, adds Will, “Kevin brought a sense of understanding of exactly what was required. He explained the custom design of the hydraulics and the integration we would require with areas such as programming and IT support. Kevin was able to adapt the technology to my requirements. I saw how his profound knowledge of hydraulic hardware and systems gave him a lot of options to help us out. This ability to immediately understand my needs and come up with a reliable and cost effective solution gave me a real sense of confidence. This is why I enjoy working with Kevin and I’m looking forward to working with him again in the future.”

The project involved creating a customised hydraulics system and fitting it to a damaged late model Commodore so that it shook and moved abruptly to enhance the virtual reality experience of the human “driver”. The driver wears a heads-up display which shows a realistic 3D simulation of the car driving at aggressive angles and hitting a concrete barrier. The hydraulics manipulate the car with split-second timing which coincides with the visual experience.

Kevin enjoyed the challenge, “Obviously this was very different from the typical work we do involving hydraulics on cranes, crushers, rams, vehicles and plant equipment and I appreciated it because I always like a new challenge. We designed the whole package using Parker Hannifin components. Excel is a Premium Parker Distributor and we knew that they had the best parts to turn our design into a working system.”