Use of a Repeatable Car to Improve Intra-Lab Variability of Emissions Tests
A Repeatable Car (REPCA) program has been developed at the Environmental Protection Agency's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) as part of an ongoing effort to improve the precision of fuel economy and emissions measurements. This concept of using a repeatable car as an integrated system diagnostic tool is not a new idea in the emissions testing field; however, our statistical analyses and organizational approach may be different from what other laboratories are using. Furthermore, given the NVEFL's role in automotive emissions testing, we felt it appropriate to provide related industries a detailed account of our standard laboratory practices, both for informational and comparative purposes. In order to separate vehicle and measurement variability in a relatively simple manner, a process was developed to track REPCA data based on Statistical Process Control principles using the calculation of individual site offset values from two week moving averages.