In this article, we will take you through one of the final steps before a ROUSH vehicle goes into production. This process is called the Design Verification Plan and Report. Our engineering team recently took our 2021 ROUSH F-150 out to complete this process as we are nearing its launch date. Some other topics include:
• 2021 ROUSH F-150 off-road testing
• Comparative testing of outgoing ROUSH model (2020 ROUSH F-150) to new-generation model (2021 ROUSH F-150)
• Data analysis and verification of ROUSH components
• Engineering sign off to move forward to assembly line production
In our previous article, we showed you a behind-the-scenes look into the design process of the 2021 ROUSH F-150. The next phase of the vehicle launch process is the Design Verification Plan and Report phase. In this phase, our engineering team tests and verifies that all the components and systems meet our quality and durability tests.
ROUSH Performance engineers took one of the 2021 ROUSH F-150 engineering vehicles to an off-road facility to put our new vehicle through several tests. They tested the body components, such as the wide-body fender flares, fender heat extractors, front grille and exhaust system. The suspension was also rigorously tested to check for ride quality harshness using a 3-axis accelerometer.
During this testing process, we had our outgoing 2020 ROUSH F-150 on-site to comparatively test it with the 2021 ROUSH F-150. Both vehicles were equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer to measure the ride quality of each vehicle. The engineering team made passes through the off-road facility to collect data and also give their non-subjective opinion on how each vehicle handled the off-road terrain.
To gauge performance enhancements, we use data logging software to gather data from various components on the vehicle, as well as personal, unbiased, opinions on how the vehicle responds to different driver inputs and conditions. Each vehicle is driven on the same course, at varying speeds and the overall ride quality and performance is documented. The data is then compiled and compared to our initial expectations. If the vehicle and components do not meet our expectations, changes to the design are then implemented to meet our design and functionality expectations.
We outfitted the 2021 F-150 with several ROUSH body components such as the ROUSH Front Grille w/ accent lighting, wide-body fender flares, lower bumper cover and clearance lighting. All of these body components are production-ready parts that need to be rigorously tested before they can be checked off for final production. The wide-body fender flares, ROUSH grille and fender heat extractors were tested for fracturing, seal alignment, clip dislodgment and various other tests to make sure no issues occur when our vehicle makes it into the customers' possession.
Now to some of the fun stuff! After the suspension ride quality testing was completed, we took the 3-axis accelerometer out of the vehicles and found some aggressive terrain to push our 2021 ROUSH F-150 suspension system to the limits. Our engineers articulated the suspension system to check for clearances of any components within our design limits. This takes into account the temperature of components near the exhaust system, wire harness movement, tire clearance zones, and other various design clearances we have developed.
After our team has completed and collected all the testing data, they analyze the components and data to verify fitment and give their final engineering sign-off on our ROUSH components. If every component meets or succeeds our requirements, we begin to produce pilot vehicles to make sure everything can be installed on the assembly with no issues. Installation fixtures are used to verify repeatability for quality control and ease of installation. If any changes are required for the fit/form/function of the components, they are revised and retested prior to production start. After this process is completed and engineering has signed off, the vehicle production process can begin. Look for an upcoming article that will cover this process.
Learn more about the 2021 ROUSH F-150