Thursday, August 21, 2014
The test labs that the Wineman Technology Sales Engineers encounter on a daily basis vary as much as the number of products being tested in today’s marketplace. We are increasingly finding that throughout the years that each lab has grown, processes have changed and test stands have been added, but rarely do lab managers have the time to take a step back and take a fresh look at the “big picture” of how his or her lab and processes are running as a whole.
Figure 1 - Is your test lab available for an audit?
One service that we at WTI can provide our customers is a Test Lab Audit. This offers an independent, “outside-looking-in” aspect of your lab operations and test stands, and can highlight several key items that may go unnoticed form the daily operational standpoint. Our varying audits may include many different targeted areas such as: utility usages, data acquisition, data management, electrical/fluid power control schemes, mechanical operations, testing throughput (processes and automation), system operation, areas of cost savings, system accuracies, and many more. The object of this blog is to outline some of the available – or possibly never-before-considered – Servo Hydraulic Test System Audits that are available.
Heating and cooling can be combined from one lab to another or from one stand to another to provide an as efficient use of utilities as possible. The heat rejection from one stand can be used to heat another, and the cooling capacities can also be transferred. Many times this expended energy can be stored for use at a later time or for a different testing process.
Resizing, combining, or just updating your hydraulic system’s components can also reduce energy consumption. Newer pumps require less dead-head horse power and may have less bypass leakage, while newer valves require less solenoid current draw and may have lower pressure drops. Energy monitoring/energy conversation circuits can also create greater energy efficient systems within your lab.
Increasing Lab Capacities with Lab Automation
Many test systems today have been adapted from earlier test stands with added-on controls or subsystems. Control test steps, which are now being done manually, can be automated, allowing your technicians to concentrate on processes rather than babysitting a test. The addition of automated controls, modular fixturing, data acquisition, or simply updating system components can provide as high as 90% less technician input time per test run.
Figure 3 - Audits can indicate areas where costs can be cut while profits are increased
Many older stands still utilize manually operated flow, pressure, and speed control valving which require daily, if not hourly, adjustments. The addition of closed-loop control valving can greatly reduce the required set-up times and accuracies of your systems.
Faster Test Frequencies – Higher Accuracies – More Flexibility . . . .
What else needs to be said?
Contact WTI for Your System Evaluation
Wineman Technology has years of experience in upgrading and automating not only existing test stands, but entire test cells. We also offer the market-leading expertise required for the addition of data acquisition and control systems to your requirements. Systems can be totally upgraded, onsite or offsite, or be engineered to be upgraded in “add-on” modules or phases. In this way, the cost for a total system upgrade can be spread out over several budget cycles.
Figure 4 - Schedule your WTI Audit today!
For more information on hydraulic servo-based test systems and the addition of Impulse Testing Upgrades, please contact Wineman Technology for a system audit and recommendations today.