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78 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 Shaughnessy: Do you think the flex standards are keeping up with innovation, or is that even possible? MacFadden: Considering the breakneck pace of technology development, industry standards and guidelines will always be a step or two behind. But they serve an invaluable role for us as the industry-accepted baseline reference and to ensure standardization of materials and performance among our suppliers. Shaughnessy: What advice would you give someone who is moving from rigid board de- sign into flex design? MacFadden: Leverage the expertise of your sup- pliers. Engage them early and often in the up- front development phases for advice on mate- rial selection, bend configurations, and panel- ization to ensure the most reliable and cost-ef- fective solution. We often build early dummy boards in form factor for simple continuity testing to make sure the conductors will sur- vive the tight bends. Shaughnessy: Thanks for your time, Todd. MacFadden: Thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate it. FLEX007 Electric vehicles are widely regarded as the future. But while bold targets are in place for the UK and the EU to transfer its transport fleet to electric propulsion by 2035 or 2040, there needs to be substantial evolution of the technology before we get there. MAHLE Powertrain has recently opened a facility specifically for the testing and development of electri- fied powertrain battery packs and modules. The aim of this new facility, which is based at the compa- ny's Northampton UK head- quarters, is to expedite the validation and testing of new battery technologies, parts and assemblies and therefore reduce the time and cost of the development process. One established meth- od of accelerating the test- ing procedure is to be able to precisely control the test- ing environment, rapidly cycling the temperature and humidity within a test cham- ber. As these climate-con- trolled chambers are key to the success of the operation, MAHLE Powertrain turned to expert Unitemp, who is the exclusive UK distributor of Espec environmental test equipment. For this battery cell evaluation project the Espec Platinous Series PL-3J test chamber was selected. This chamber, like all others from Espec, meets the (Eu- ropean Council for Automo- tive R&D) EUCAR level 6 stan- dard. This means that it will withstand fire, gas venting and 'energetic release of ma- terials', which is reassuring when dealing with new bat- tery chemistries that have unknown and potentially dangerous behaviours when subjected to the real-world type testing simulated in the environmental chambers. Be- yond meeting these strin- gent requirements, the Espec chambers were also selected for their energy-efficient op- eration and the large amount of test space available in re- lation to the footprint of the machine. (Source: Unitemp) Right Climate for Battery Testing Espec Platinous Series PL-3J Chamber Series Cabinet

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