What happens when a physical system or component needs to be tested for performance or durability? The developer sits down and figures out the requirements of the test system:
- What variables must be controlled
- How to input detailed test sequences
- How to collect the necessary data
Many times, these variables – such as linear force or position, rotary torque or speed, and fluid flow or pressure – must interact or even change during an automated or semi-automated test sequence. The level of complexity quickly rises if the test system needs to be flexible enough to accept future iterations of the unit under test (UUT).
When putting together such a test system, building separate sub-systems for data collection and PID control is often the default path of choice. However, this method can quickly add unneeded costs and complications. For example, it may require operators to use two different software platforms and synchronize data from the two systems – a very cumbersome or nearly impossible task.
One Head Is Sometimes Better Than Two
The best case scenario is to have a single, fully integrated system with one controller in charge of running the data collection and PID control in synchronization. An even better solution would be finding a cost-effective, off-the-shelf tester that has the flexibility and capabilities to meet all your basic testing needs so that you can get back to focusing on product development and improvement.
Front and back views of the Rapid II test cell controller
As a long-time systems integrator for custom test systems, Genuen is very familiar with the most common test requirements that customers need. Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software utilities, we created the Rapid II test cell controller to provide a budget-friendly, “one box” solution for many applications that need up to four open or closed loop analog command outputs and resident I/O for analog and digital signals (with easy I/O expansion if needed). A user PC (with preloaded NI VeriStand and INERTIA test software) is included that allows operators to easily build custom graphical user interfaces (GUIs), set alarms and conditionals, tune PID loops, and create automated test sequences.
Rapid II is well-suited for performance and endurance test stand applications such as:
- Dynamometers for engines, motors, driveline components, and small consumer goods
- Hydraulic pump or motor test stands when tested under fluidic load
- Single or multi-axis loading fixtures with linear or rotary actuators
- Custom test stands with combinations of all of the above
For more information on the Rapid II test cell controller, visit our main product page.