Adient’s Sound & Vibration Lab ensures vehicle seats don’t just look and feel good – they sound good, too
Sound has a profound impact on consumer perception – perhaps more than you think.
For example, did you know that most complaints about new car seats – 65% to be exact – are sound-related? So, when consumers make noise about sounds they don’t like, automakers listen. At Adient, we do, too.
That’s why we created the Sound & Vibration Lab at our Solingen, Germany site. Some of the world’s finest acoustic engineers work with highly advanced testing and monitoring systems. Those systems are so precise and globally networked, our experts can pinpoint the root cause of virtually any sound flaw on any seat in any production line anywhere in the world – without having to see the actual seat. They’re precisely right a remarkable 98% of the time, which makes our ability to eliminate those flaws so effective.
The science and art of sound design
Evaluating sound to produce what consumers expect in a high quality automotive seat - and eliminate what they don’t want – is both science and art.
Here’s some of the science:
• We developed our own sophisticated software and hardware for acoustical design, testing and measuring and calibrate them for utmost precision.
• From our lab in Solingen, we continually monitor test benches at our manufacturing facilities around the world.
Here’s some of the art:
• We use our psychoacoustics know-how to analyze what sounds good – and not so good – to consumers.
• We also understand differences in consumer expectations when it comes to sound – for different classes and brands of vehicles.
Here’s where science and art come together:
• Our equipment precisely measures the acoustic values of the seat.
• Our engineers have a great ear for sound subtleties, and they listen.
• We build every new test bench in duplicate – one to analyze data from technical measurements and the other from what our engineers actually hear.• Only when results from both match each other do we approve the test bench.
Pleasing the consumer is a sound idea
Adient’s Sound & Vibration Lab is unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in the industry – or the world. Automakers depend on it. The German Society for Acoustic Quality Assurance even proposed adopting our system and data format as an international standard for acoustic quality assurance.
We appreciate the recognition. But our goal is to please the car buyer – and sound is an enormous factor in consumer satisfaction. It’s not easy creating an automotive seat that really sounds good. Why? The seat is one of the most complex elements of the entire interior – with gears, rails, springs and electric drives that all make noise. They key is to eliminate noises consumers don’t like and keep the ones they do – such as the satisfying hum when they press a button to adjust their seat height.
That’s exactly what our Sound & Vibration helps us do. It’s where the right approach, technology and know-how come together in precisely the right way to produce the sound of quality.