Signal.X applies a combination of software platforms, machine design concepts, system integration, and NVH knowledge to provide a range of solutions for automotive and rotating machinery end-of-line testing. We are involved in any one or all of the stages from proof-of-concept through an entire machine build, and work with our machine builder partners and end customers to find the right path to a complete solution.
The following examples illustrate the breadth of our experience with solutions for many different types of components. Contact us if you have questions about your own unique challenge.
Electric powertrain testing at the end of line represents a blend of traditional axle/powertrain requirements with added complexity and new components. Like traditional EOL axle machines, many of the defects are related to gear mesh, backlash, and order-synchronous phenomena. However, electric powertrains exhibit new electrical defects, require more intimate control of the part under test, and require massive amounts of power flowing to the part under test, which could be palletized. From tooling to isolation to data acquisition, Signal.X knows how to build a successful machine. To read the project spotlight about our Electric Brake Motor Dynamometer, click here.
- Integrated battery simulators with industrial drive capabilities for powering inverters
- High-horsepower absorber motors with exacting tolerances and isolation from the machine base and torsional dynamics
- Integrated inverter/motor control over CAN/LIN/Ethernet for consolidated machine and part functions
- Integration of NVH measurement with traditional performance-based defect detection
An automotive powered seat adjuster is one of the first mechanical sounds that a new car buyer hears. It must convey a sense of quality and precision. A seat adjuster is also a complex mass-produced assembly that is heavily optimized for low cost and light weight. The result is that powered seat tracks are 100% tested at the end of line for noise and audio perception. To read the project spotlight about our Seat Adjuster Track Tester, click here.
- Metric development and refinement using pragmatic and physically meaningful signals and characteristics
- Unique processing of current signatures from motors for RPM evaluation in the absence of hall effect sensors
- Integrated control and acquisition using our STAX platform
- Large-scale data management on a high-volume line (9 stations) that generates 500+ GB per day of NVH data, managed by Trove
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
EPS test systems are some of the most sophisticated machines in the manufacturing environment today. There is a unique combination of control systems which each have their own algorithms, and the customer’s part is a complex blend of electromechanical systems and sensors with its own software. An end-of-line test system must blend these control systems together while acquiring and processing high-speed data to make pass/fail decisions at high volume and low cycle times. To read the project spotlight about our STAX and Shield Production Test Machine, click here.
- Integration of machine and part data from analog and digital sensors for a single synchronized source of truth to make pass/fail decisions
- Tooling and part-handling concepts for manual and automatic loading, minimizing influence of the plant environment on the data
- Integrated control and acquisition using STAX and Shield for a single-box solution built on LabVIEW Real-Time for maximum reliability that is configurable on the plant floor
- Diagnostic communications for flashing the ECU, calibration, and traceability
Signal.X was launched in 2004 by providing our Shield software and NVH expertise for an axle end-of-line NVH test system in concert with a machine builder. In the automotive industry, traditional axle assembly is driven by cost and cycle time pressures that impact design. With these pressures, axle NVH testers are constantly being refined to improve quality and throughput while staying in the bounds of cost and space. To read the project spotlight about our Universal Axle Dynamometer, click here.
- Signal.X can provide complete machine concept and design solutions in concert with a machine builder partner
- FEA analysis to manage machine resonances in the frequency ranges of interest, including both base/motor design and driveline dynamic analysis
NVH and performance requirements continue to work their way down the supply chain, and into components which would typically not require complex tests. Signal.X has worked with numerous suppliers that are introducing active elements into previously passive parts. To read our article “When a PLC isn’t enough” as published on ControlDesign.com, click here.
- Custom control algorithms can be developed using LabVIEW and integrated into STAX threads for configurability at the plant
- Time and frequency based analysis for defect detection in Shield can accommodate almost any processing necessary
To achieve variable valve timing in an internal combustion vehicle, cam phasers are used to provide relative rotation between the cam and crank in an engine. These components are widely used to provide greater performance and economy, especially with the advance of hybridization and start-stop technologies. Cam phasers are highly precise hydraulic rotary actuators, and require sophisticated end-of-line testing while also being subjected to the cost and timing pressures of a lower-margin component. To read the case study about our High-Volume Automated Production Test with NI CompactRIO, click here.
- Integrated control and acquisition with complex part handling and clamping
- Long-term involvement over a decade to improve production quality and cycle time as volumes ramp up
- Integration of Trove for long-term data retention