Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions is a division of Multimatic Inc. that manufactures suspension components for the automotive industry. The Dynamic Suspensions manufacturing process includes extensive QA testing. Many of the company’s QA labs use complex custom-built torque test rigs. After many years of successful use, one such test rig was no longer working to the required level of quality. Multimatic used this as an opportunity to have Prolucid build a larger, more accurate and more reliable torque test rig to allow for testing on large components and improve test quality.
- New internal requirement to perform torque tests on larger components while maintaining the accuracy of the original unit for small components
- A need to obtain more accurate test results
- A need to improve and simplify the analysis of test data
- A desire to accelerate test time
- A desire to improve overall system reliability
- Designed and delivered a turnkey system complete with a larger motor and advanced motor controller providing the ability to drive at greater torque and velocity. This upgrade gave the customer the ability to test larger components.
- Selected and implemented a dual range torque transducer (0-5 and 0-50Nm) for precise lower torque levels and the range to hit the new requirements. Software was developed to enable an automatic shift between the torque ranges based on the current value. This improvement fulfilled the customer’s need to seamlessly shift between large and small component testing.
- Implemented automatic reporting and test selection filtering in LabVIEW to reduce operator workload, minimize required system knowledge and accelerate the overall testing process.
- Performed automated analysis using the customer’s internal algorithm to generate the required QA pass-fail. This improved and simplified the analysis process, which was originally completed manually.
- Designed the system to include two axial shift mechanisms. This minimized the effects caused by unavoidable misalignment in the system, which would produce a gradual wearing affect on the joints. This ensured that the joints would not loosen over time. Improvement to mechanical linkage removed backlash and provided more accurate test results.
- Upgraded the setscrew joints. Due to the levels of torque and constant torque direction change the setscrew was eventually ‘twisted’ loose. To improve, we moved to a drill and tap, and a chamfered, reinforced setscrew joint. This upgrade improved the long-term reliability of the system.
- Selected the National Instruments PCI Multifunction DAQ card with DAQmx drivers for data acquisition to provide a solution that not only covered all of the customer’s needs, but also provided some familiarity as this card was used in the current test rigs.
Prolucid’s project management, system design and software development capabilities resulted in the delivery of a turnkey torque tester that met the demanding project requirements. In addition to enhanced test capabilities, other optimizations including automated data analysis and improved mechanical design for long-term maintenance will result in a system that continues to save time and simplifies future support.