Signal.X Engine Cold Test Systems

An internal combustion engine is a very complex machine, both to design and to manufacture. By the 1980s, engine testing became increasingly important in the assembly plant to ensure defect-free, quality products. However, the technology of the time focused on hot test, which is running the engine with fuel and spark to mimic in-vehicle conditions. Hot test methodology requires significant infrastructure within the facility for safety and containment, and has limited capability to capture component defects.

In the 1980s, engine cold test was pioneered as a new way to test engines in a manufacturing setting. The primary methodology is to use an electric motor to spin the engine without igniting the fuel. The infrastructure required diminishes significantly, and more sensors can be installed to analyze assembly defects in much more detail. This technology has replaced traditional hot test for many high-volume light-duty applications, and is becoming more prevalent in larger diesel engine applications.

Signal.X just finished up commissioning another engine cold test system, so we thought this was a good time to recap what cold testing is, and how Signal.X has been involved in this methodology. One of the big advantages that cold testing provides is higher fidelity dynamic signatures that can provide new insights and better defect detection. High-speed data acquisition of pressure pulsations for each cylinder, torque required to turn the motor, vibration, and speed can provide very detailed analysis of the engine.

One of our earliest projects was providing NVH acquisition using Shield for a medium-duty diesel engine cold test. Since then, we have been involved in engine cold and hot test stands, both using Shield and our own control systems for a complete test solution. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.