ATA was selected by a new client to build a turn-key Oil Pump ECT system to benchmark the performance of existing and future pump models. The client was a premier international manufacturer of powertrain automotive components.
Industrial Durability Proving Ground.
ATA has proven to be successful in providing industrial focused Ensure™ test systems to many tier-1 suppliers. We often receive requests for off-highway oil pump applications. Recently, we underwent a project focused on durability testing.
All sub-components were designed to maximize reliability while minimizing cost and maintenance. Examples of this include protective capillary tubes on pressure sensors to shield them from high temperatures and pulsations.
The data acquisition interface was devised to be modular and scalable by adding spare I/O channels, such that the client would easily be able to add and configure additional sensors. The software suite was designed to allow the manufacturer to collect data in a simple and straightforward way, with the highest degree of reliability.
predefined pump test profiles and sequences
custom test profiles to measure temperature, speed, pressure, etc.
custom sampling frequency
sensors for intelligent monitoring to prevent test machine damage
automatic email or pager options in case of system alarms
extractable reports from automatically generated test data
After selecting the type of durability test to be run, such as constant speed, ramping profiles, cyclic acceleration, etc., the client was able to specify the total time duration or number of repetitions for each test.
Learn more about pump testing.
Our comprehensive presentation explains how we developed and delivered this solution to our client on-time, on target and on budget. The included data sheet will help give a sense to the specific solution implemented. Get both by clicking the button below!
Many OEMs are battling to improve vehicle durability, increase efficiency and reduce noise, but are struggling to find the answers. Unfortunately, many of the recent design trend are forcing higher aeration levels, and far too many OEMs are unaware.
In the pursuit of greater efficiency, many OEMs are making design decisions that may amplify the effects of oil aeration. Air bubbles may seem benign, but they can detrimentally affect the performance and durability of engines, drivelines and hydraulic equipment.
Increasing electrification of traditionally mechanically-driven components in the automotive industry has been visible in many segments of the vehicle subsystems, such as lubrication circuits and cooling circuits. Some of the components include electric oil pumps, electric water pumps, electric coolant valves, etc. As the parts evolve from purely mechanical components to a combination of mechanical and electronic hardware, the methods used to validate the components have also evolved.
To test these components, the equipment needs to be able to simulate both environmental (air) temperature and humidity, as well as the fluid temperature. In pressurized coolant circuits, temperatures as high as +135°C are required, whereas in lubrication systems oil temperatures as high as +150°C need to be achieved. On the low end, temperatures as low as -40°C are required for both. Rates of change vary depending on the required tests, but can be anywhere between 1-15°C/min average.
Many of the test standards used today for validating the durability of the electrified automotive components originated from the electronics industry. In the electronics industry, the traditional approach has been the use of thermal chambers to create the desired ambient conditions for temperature and humidity. To a large extent, the industry so far has adopted the use of this equipment as well and tried to leverage its performance capabilities in the standard form.
One of the challenges with transferring this test approach to automotive components is the fact that these parts make use of fluids as well. This means that in addition to validating the device under test, supporting systems are needed to recreate the conditions that these parts would see in the field (system pressure, circuit resistance, etc). As thermal chambers are designed to be able to regulate the temperature of air inside a specific volume, the introduction of any additional hardware adds two main layers of complexity: the added thermal inertia that has to be heated/cooled, and the low heat exchange power due to air acting as a heat transfer medium.
The first challenge affects the chamber’s ability to meet the advertised rates of change. The second challenge affects the ability to control the fluid temperature at a rate that is comparable to the air temperature.
The second challenge has resulted in the use of low-temperature mechanical refrigeration chillers. These devices are used in tandem with thermal chambers, but are used specifically for being able to control the temperature of the fluid. This equipment usually carries a very high capital cost, as well as a long lead time.
Control and data acquisition systems are needed to control these units, as well as interfacing with the device under test, which increases the complexity. There is no guarantee that when all these components are put together that they will operate properly as a system.
ATA Horai™ technology was developed to solve these challenges, by optimizing the subsystems required to deliver the test results. Ensure™ is designed to meet the test standards for components in the most efficient way possible.
Horai’s technology is built into our Ensure test systems. The centralized control eliminates the need for interfaces with each individual piece of equipment, and their dedicated controllers. This reduces control software effort and complexity. It eliminates redundancy and additional overhead of multiple electrical panels, frame structures, protective enclosures, etc.
Horai™ is a technology that enables automotive Tier-1 suppliers and OEMs to efficiently validate and verify new electrification components for lubrication or thermal management without the costs, delays and misses that come from a custom engineered or home-brewed test system. It is a dedicated solution, rather than a combination of generic tools.
As a result, ATA’s solution has yielded the following benefits:
More effective fluid temperature ramp rate, enabling faster testing
More devices-under-test in the machine, enabling more throughput
Reduced footprint with the integrated solution, allows for better use of test facility floorspace
Service and support is centralized, as there is no need to reach out to multiple manufacturers based on which part of the system is not behaving as expected.
Same system for heating and cooling; no risk to damaging mechanical refrigeration hardware when heating.
As with any other automotive powertrain component, the Design Verification (DV) and Production Validation (PV) program includes checking the performance and durability characteristics of these valves. The detailed procedures may have certain aspects that are specific to the OEM, but at a high level there is a set of tests which are fundamental to being able to properly characterize the coolant valve characteristics.
As the global interest for clean energy alternatives increases within the automotive industry, so does the requirement of efficiently storing electricity. The latest trends in electric vehicle technology have led to the development of high-voltage storage solutions, all backed by the need for increased efficiency and quicker charge times.
Apart from the ingress of debris, the greatest danger to any design of a pump is cavitation. The phenomenon can be found in centrifugal (i.e. impeller) or positive displacement (i.e. gear, gerotor or vane) pumps, in both oil and coolant applications. Excessive cavitation can lead to erosion damage. It is important to understand how cavitation occurs as there are some misconceptions and confusion on this topic.
Chiller systems operating below freezing usually come with a significant initial investment, but may only be used during thermal cycling durability testing of new R&D projects. Purchasing a large system like this could tie up a capital budget that could be used for other investments to help win more business.
Components handling fluids (i.e. pumps, valves, etc.) are increasingly becoming electrified. Extreme ambient temperatures, combined with the engine's influence and need for a specific operating temperatures can create significant thermal fatigue.
In our latest post, we explore the common electronic component temperature test standards and the solutions to meet these demanding requirements.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you want to increase efficiency and capability but your testing equipment scope is compromised by a yearly budget. It can be frustrating, but there are other options and here we will discuss one of them. Let’s explore the benefits of outsourcing your component testing and whether it makes sense for you.
Calibration is a requirement for anyone hoping to produce accurate data from a measurement device. That said, calibrating the measurement devices (i.e. sensors) on a test bench alone is not enough. What will be far more effective in assuring the points mentioned above is a full system calibration. Here is why…
As we know, testing is imperative to ensuring that powertrain components perform to the expectations of the end consumer. That said, this is not always a safe process.
Machines used to verify component performance are quite powerful and can present safety risks along with them. As a manager, you don’t want to see any members of your team hurt. As an operator, you want to make it home every night as healthy as you were when you left. This is why we are highlighting the most important safety functions to have built into your testing equipment.
In a world where development cycles are moving faster than ever before, OEMs are simultaneously pushing some of the biggest engineering initiatives automotive has ever seen. This is why having the right testing solution is so important. The first question arises: whether or not to build internally, custom engineer or order a turn-key test system.
We started with two questions: Are automotive companies researching and testing additive manufacturing? If so, then what steps are they taking to implement this into their projects going forward? UW's Lisa Brock informed of the several industry-leading companies that are currently conducting case studies and even implementing additive manufacturing to their portfolio.
"The automotive industry will see more change in the next 5-10 years than it has in the last 50," said GM CEO Mary Barra during her 2016 CES keynote. Why is this relevant to you? Well, if you are responsible for manufacturing engines and/or the components within it, then it means many modifications, not a lot of time to implement them and new forms of testing.
ATA, a leading international component test solutions company, today announced the Ensure product line of test systems. These systems are designed to benchmark performance and capture the unique failure modes of specific thermal/hydraulic components (i.e. pumps, valves, heat exchangers, etc.), accelerating the product development cycle and helping to ensure the reliability of components on the road.