Manufacturing Systems Inc.


  Test and Measurement Projects

This picture represents a whole family of projects where a mechanical test fixture, a control cabinet for the instrumentation, and a PC are all combined to form a “Test Station”. 

A number of “test stations” have been designed and built for various clients.  The picture above was for a small elastomer part.  The Client's requirement was for the part to produce a certain force at specific amounts of deflections.  To accomplish this, the fixture displaced the parts via numerical control and then through the use of  strain gauges measured the various forces.  The data was captured and saved in a database for future analysis. 

Another example which falls into this same category of projects was to measure the deflection of a show board.   Because of the potential damage to the instrumentation upon possible failure of the boards, a different approach was proposed and ultimately built.  Instead of the classical stress/ strain approach of measuring the force at various deflections.  This project was designed around the concept that a series of known forces were applied to the boards and the displacement was then measured.  This technique not only produced very nice results but was very tolerant of physical abuse and thus proved to be quote reliable.  The software was designed to provide the flexibility to set up test for various parts.  The number of test points and the specific pressure for each could be designated.  This allowed for tremendous flexibility, including the opportunity to pre-flexing the boards before the actual measurements were acquired.

One more example of a test station that was completed was the inspection of a “drum maintenance drawer” for a printer.  To begin with, placing the drum maintenance drawer into the fixture was a mechanical functional test that ensured that the drawer would fit into the printers out in the field.  There was also a number of actuators and electrical measurements that were taken to ensure that the drawer assembly was functioning properly.  The most critical measurement was to evaluate the profile of a critical surface.  This was accomplished by “sweeping” a LVDT across the surface with a stepping motor.  This allowed a series of “Y” measurements to be plotted across the “X” axis.   Once the data was captured, 12 analytical tests were performed by the software to determine that all good parts passed as “acceptable” and that all of the bad parts failed.  This was a very successful test station.  Once the data was captured and stored, the software provided for the data to be “exported” into an Excel format for easy analysis.

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