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News

Car Test Hinges On Precision Control.

10/03/2011

Car tests hinge on precision control

When industrial control expert Superior Systems was approached by a leading Tier One automotive components supplier to develop a test rig for car door hinges, essential requirements were reliability, simplicity of operation and provision for straightforward transfer of test results to a mainframe computer system. Mitsubishi Electric automation products proved to be the key to meeting these requirements efficiently and cost effectively.

The test rig designed and produced by Superior Systems is used in the development and evaluation of a new generation of car door hinges. It essentially comprises an arm which is attached to the hinge under test and which engages with a platen that runs around a curved track of 1 m radius. Weights can be added to the arm as required to simulate the load that the car door will impose on the hinge.


This arrangement allows the arm to be moved through any required angle, up to the maximum dictated by the design of the test rig, and for the speed of the movement to be accurately controlled between one metre per minute and one metre per second. A second similarly equipped platen is provided to increase the versatility of the test rig.

To control the servomotors used on the platens, Superior Systems chose MR-J3 series servo drives from the Mitsubishi Electric range. In addition to their compact construction, these units offer enhanced auto-tuning to ensure maximum precision and to simplify setup, combined with ultra-short positioning times and versatile networking options. The T-range variants used in this application also have a built-in positioning function.

Overall control of the hinge test rig is provided by a Mitsubishi Electric Qn series programmable controller (PLC), which was chosen for its versatility, value for money and ease of programming.

"Two big attractions of the Qn PLC were its support for Ethernet connectivity, and its ability to run Mitsubishi's MX Sheet software package," said John Ferris, Proprietor of Superior Systems. "MX Sheet is an Excel communications support tool that made it easy for us to collect the data produced by the test rig and format it for use by the end-user's mainframe systems, while the Ethernet connectivity provided us with the means to transfer the data to those systems. Its data formatting and transfer were very straightforward to set up, and no complicated programming was needed."

To satisfy the end-user's requirement that the test rig should be straightforward to set up and operate, Superior Systems equipped it with a type E1070 colour screen HMI terminal, which has an integrated keypad.

A typical test sequence for a hinge that is being evaluated involves pre-exercising it for a number of cycles at a comparatively high speed, then operating through a single cycle at a lower speed while detailed measurements are made of its performance.

With the aid of the HMI terminal, all that the machine operators need to do to set up a test is to enter the speed and angle of travel for the exercise cycles and the number of cycles required, together with the speed and angle of travel for the measurement cycle. The test is then initiated at the touch of a button, with the results automatically collected by the PLC and transferred to the site mainframe systems via the MX Sheet software.

The keypad associated with the HMI terminal is also used to access ancillary functions provided by the test rig including, for example, facilities for manual jogging as an aid to mechanical set up. Additionally, while tests are in progress, the HMI screen displays a graphical representation of the results in real time.

"All of the individual Mitsubishi Electric products we used offered specific advantages relating to this project," said John Ferris, "but these were not the only reasons for choosing the company's equipment. The products are also very easy to work with - the programming systems are, for example, powerful and versatile yet intuitive - and, over the many years we've been using products from Mitsubishi, we've found them to be phenomenally reliable."

"These benefits are complemented by their excellent value for money and, on the rare occasions it's needed, the consistently high quality of Mitsubishi's service and support. Overall, therefore, we were very confident from the outset that these products were the best for the job, and our experience in building and commissioning the hinge test rig has amply confirmed this point of view."

The automation products used in this project are no more than a small selection from the extensive Mitsubishi Electric range, which offers equipment to suit applications of all sizes and types at all levels of complexity. As Superior Systems has discovered, therefore, when the success of a project hinges on the performance, reliability and flexibility of its automation system, products from Mitsubishi Electric are the right solution!

Articles

Hinge Testing Machine

16/08/2017

CAR TESTS HINGE ON PRECISION CONTROL


When industrial control expert Superior Systems was approached by a leading Tier One
automotive components supplier to develop a test rig for car door hinges, essential requirements
were reliability, simplicity of operation and provision for straightforward transfer of test results to a
mainframe computer system. Mitsubishi Electric automation products proved to be the key to
meeting these requirements efficiently and cost effectively.


The test rig designed and produced by Superior Systems is used in the development and evaluation of a
new generation of car door hinges. It essentially comprises an arm which is attached to the hinge under
test and which engages with a platen that runs around a curved track of 1 m radius. Weights can be added
to the arm as required to simulate the load that the car door will impose on the hinge.


This arrangement allows the arm to be moved through any required angle, up to the maximum dictated by
the design of the test rig, and for the speed of the movement to be accurately controlled between one
metre per minute and one metre per second. A second similarly equipped platen is provided to increase
the versatility of the test rig.


To control the servomotors used on the platens, Superior Systems chose MR-J3 series servo drives from
the Mitsubishi Electric range. In addition to their compact construction, these units offer enhanced autotuning
to ensure maximum precision and to simplify setup, combined with ultra-short positioning times and
versatile networking options. The T-range variants used in this application also have a built-in positioning
function.


Overall control of the hinge test rig is provided by a Mitsubishi Electric Qn series programmable controller
(PLC), which was chosen for its versatility, value for money and ease of programming.


"Two big attractions of the Qn PLC were its support for Ethernet connectivity, and its ability to run
Mitsubishi's MX Sheet software package," said John Ferris, Proprietor of Superior Systems. "MX Sheet is
an Excel communications support tool that made it easy for us to collect the data produced by the test rig
and format it for use by the end-user's mainframe systems, while the Ethernet connectivity provided us
with the means to transfer the data to those systems. Its data formatting and transfer were very
straightforward to set up, and no complicated programming was needed."


To satisfy the end-user's requirement that the test rig should be straightforward to set up and operate,
Superior Systems equipped it with a type E1070 colour screen HMI terminal, which has an integrated
keypad.


A typical test sequence for a hinge that is being evaluated involves pre-exercising it for a number of cycles
at a comparatively high speed, then operating through a single cycle at a lower speed while detailed
measurements are made of its performance.


With the aid of the HMI terminal, all that the machine operators need to do to set up a test is to enter the
speed and angle of travel for the exercise cycles and the number of cycles required, together with the
speed and angle of travel for the measurement cycle. The test is then initiated at the touch of a button,
with the results automatically collected by the PLC and transferred to the site mainframe systems via the
MX Sheet software.


The keypad associated with the HMI terminal is also used to access ancillary functions provided by the
test rig including, for example, facilities for manual jogging as an aid to mechanical set up. Additionally,
while tests are in progress, the HMI screen displays a graphical representation of the results in real time.


"All of the individual Mitsubishi Electric products we used offered specific advantages relating to this
project," said John Ferris, "but these were not the only reasons for choosing the company's equipment.
The products are also very easy to work with – the programming systems are, for example, powerful and
versatile yet intuitive – and, over the many years we've been using products from Mitsubishi, we've found
them to be phenomenally reliable."


"These benefits are complemented by their excellent value for money and, on the rare occasions it's
needed, the consistently high quality of Mitsubishi's service and support. Overall, therefore, we were very
confident from the outset that these products were the best for the job, and our experience in building and
commissioning the hinge test rig has amply confirmed this point of view."


The automation products used in this project are no more than a small selection from the extensive
Mitsubishi Electric range, which offers equipment to suit applications of all sizes and types at all levels of
complexity. As Superior Systems has discovered, therefore, when the success of a project hinges on the
performance, reliability and flexibility of its automation system, products from Mitsubishi Electric are the
right solution!


Issued by
Bob Dobson, BDL Matrix Marketing, High Bank, River, Petworth GU289AX, Tel 01798 861677