Actronika, a pioneer in haptic technology in France, turned to Mecalectro to meet the needs of its partner, Novares, a global supplier of plastic solutions, and the designer and manufacturer of components and complex systems serving the automobile industry of tomorrow.
The purpose of this three-way collaboration was to develop an electrodynamic actuator for use in touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) controls for a demonstration vehicle.
A look back at this partnership that has enabled the emergence of a new, sophisticated technology for use in the latest-generation vehicles.
The emergence of a new technology to overcome the lack of solutions on the market
In its user experience-focussed innovation approach, Novares develops components that are designed to bring new and realistic sensory experience perspectives to the car cockpit.
One of its most recent projects is the creation of a high-definition haptic feedback surface for human-machine interfaces, which allows multiple configurations depending on function, driving mode, brand, user profile, etc… and which give the user personalized tactile feedback.
To achieve this result, the interface must call on a haptic solution that includes an electrodynamic actuator. However, no actuator technology present on the market precisely met the group’s needs and requirements.
In fact, the current offer does not allow for meeting the expectations and criteria for success desired by Novares.
In order to achieve the expected result, i.e. realism and optimum calibration, Mr Vincent Barborini, Product Innovation Leader at Novares, turned to its partner, the French start-up Actronika, in order to jointly design a specific solution.
Mr Pierre Comot, Chief Operating Officer of Actronika, wanted to see the development of its actuator design, an essential component of haptic systems, by turning to a specialist in electromagnetic actuators.
The choice of an essential operator in electromagnetic solutions
Marked by over 70 years’ experience, Mecalectro has a unique and multi-disciplinary expertise in the design and manufacture of electromagnets, holding devices, electromagnetic locks and electrodynamic actuators.
The years spent developing specific solutions for the most demanding markets (Aeronautics, Defence, Medical, Energy, etc.) in compliance with standards EN 9100 and EN 9001 allow Mecalectro to position itself as the perfect partner for developing build-to-spec solutions.
“Mecalectro was selected due to its expertise in manufacturing electromagnetic actuators, because its production means are in France and for its integrated design office”, said Pierre Comot, Chief Operating Officer of Actronika
Creation of an optimum solution subject to specifications
A project team, comprising an R&D project engineer, a sales representative and the business development director, was deployed to efficiently respond to Actronika’s request in the best possible timeframe.
Subject to specifications, Guillaume Garzino, R&D Engineer, optimized the Actronika prototype to make it a miniature electrodynamic actuator, characterized by extremely high precision, frequency control and fast vibration in order to modulate the sensation intensity.
After the study, manufacturing, test and control phases, the final version of the actuator was validated following its compliance with the requirements, for integration into the haptic mechanism.
Assistance with the success of this project was supported by the sales representative, Julien Debock (Mecalectro), Pierre Comot (Actronika) and Vincent Barborini (Novares Group), who, thanks to their ability to steer and monitor this project with quick responses, enabled this collaboration to be a success.
A haptic system for the vehicles of tomorrow
Before its deployment, this new haptic mechanism was revealed as a preview for the main car constructors, in a Beta version in the Nova Car eXperience programme from Novares.
“Based in the prototype supplied and the technical specifications, Mecalectro designed an actuator in compliance with the defined deliverables. Furthermore, Mecalectro was able to bring into play the various skills sought for this initial industrialization phase, namely :
- conducting an initial simulation stage in order to validate the theoretical performances,
- conducting a design stage in order to improve the design and render it more mature with a view to mass production, to finally continue the manufacture of an initial run of functional actuators. “
Chief Operating Officer
“From the request made to Mecalectro with our partner Actronika, we have been able to have our product developed, so that this moved from the “unit” prototype stage to the functional prototype stage that could be integrated directly into our demonstration vehicle (AKA Novacar) and closer to an actuator that we could imagine in mass production. And this while maintaining good performances thanks to Mecalectro’s knowledge of electromagnetism.”
Product Innovation Leader