Nowadays, plain testing capability is only a small, if important, part of what a test station offers. The most important characteristics determining performance are the more advanced issues of user-friendliness, ergonomics, screen layout, clarity and coherence. Plus, there are the secondary features...
Such secondary features which enhance the inspection functionality, make it easy to evaluate acquired test data and are necessary for maintaining a reliable inspection procedure.
...what changes have been made, when and by whom?
Depending on a test station’s field of application, its measurement cycles are of various durations, during which the inspection parameters may be altered by project collaborators. For instance, it may be necessary to change a customer’s tolerance specifications, or to make changes reflecting new knowledge about the inspection or development process. As a result, one has n inspection files associated with inspection parameter set 1 and m inspection files associated with inspection parameter set 2. In subsequent analysis, the question arises of which file used which set of parameters? imc Motor Diagnostics manages all inspection parameter information and records the associations of measured data, providing you with 100 % traceability of test data and inspection parameters. Thus, even years later you will know exactly which inspection parameters pertained to which test data.
...but exactly how exact is the measurement?
Test stations can be regarded as basically a measurement instrument carrying out fixed measurement routines. Like any other measurement instruments, test stations are subject to wear and tear, and aging. These effects mean that the test station manufacturer’s calibration, valid when commissioned, needs to be periodically checked and readjusted if necessary. Due to the complexity of the measurements involved, calibration of a test station is generally more complicated than calibration of a simple multimeter.
For this reason, imc Motor Diagnostics comes with an integrated adjustment program which enables partially-automated calibration of your test station. A menu-driven procedure then guides you through a variety of adjustment routines. The adjustment is carried out according to internal instructions specific to the particular test station, so that the calibration conforms to reproducible standards. The adjustment program can be used both to carry out control measurements and to perform calibration routines while generating new adjustment values. Before newly computed adjustment values are saved, a plausibility check is performed and a backup file generated, so that a comparison between old and new calibration factors can be drawn at any time.
...protects your investments from losing value
Investments in high-quality test stations need to be protected against obsolescence and knock-on costs (minimization of the cost of ownership). Regular inspection and maintenance keeps the cost of ownership as low as possible, thus ensuring low inspection costs per unit for the manufactured product. imc’s Maintenance Manager helps in planning the servicing of your test station by making suggestions for maintenance work to be performed. Such service work is recommended on the basis of the system’s actual condition to eliminate the performance of any unnecessary or redundant work.
Maintenance notifications can be triggered by the following circumstances:
- A maintenance notification is issued upon elapse of a specified time frame (e.g., verification of test station adjustment).
- Test count-based
- After performance of a specified number of tests, the maintenance notification is issued (e.g., replacement of contacts or protective caps whose mating cycles have been exceeded).
- Operation hours-based
- Upon elapse of a specified number of operating hours (system activated), the desired maintenance notification is issued (e.g., replacement of fan filter pads or inspection of climate control modules).
Warning messages are displayed using as differently colored pictograms. These distinguish among advance notice (green), warning (yellow) and exceeding of tolerance (red). The advance notice is issued before occurrence of the actual event. The system switches to the warning stage when the pre-defined event (e.g. defined number of mating cycles has been reached). When the warning stage has been exceeded by more than 10% of the specified period, the third stage begins.
The imc Maintenance Manager provides you with an open interface for enhancing the system by creating custom entries, and is configured as per consultation with the customer before shipping.
...find out about your test station’s condition
Downtime is one of the largest risk factors affecting the calculation of the test station’s cost of ownership. In case of a hold-up, repair work should begin as soon as possible, for which purpose the appropriate contact persons must be informed directly. Particularly with stand-alone endurance test systems, reliable notification procedures even on weekends are crucial for preventing costly development time from passing by uselessly.
imc Motor Diagnostics uses the eMail / SMS manager to provide an adaptable notification tool. When a triggering event specific to your test station (error message, limit violation, etc.) occurs, a corresponding alarm message is sent via the desired interface. The respective recipients and message contents are under the user’s control.
...the test station posts your own error messages
Visualization of test results can contribute to an effective test design minimizing consequential errors. One fundamental property of an inspection system should be the ability to freely set error texts and their associated error numbers, which means that custom error numbers and texts can be adopted. With increasing globalization and the associated offshoreing of test facilities to foreign cultures, the ability to select different language versions of error texts is becoming a necessity.
With its tool imc Error Mapper, imc Motor Diagnostics provides this capability. In the Error Mapper, you can specify your own error numbers and define two different language versions of an error text for each one. The error numbers can then each be separately assigned to a tolerance monitoring function. This gives you the ability to have an error number and the associated text you defined posted in the language of your choice in response to violation of a limit in either direction. The error statistics generated and represented in a Pareto diagram are identified by their respective error numbers and texts, so that your production monitoring process references a unique identifying parameter.
...easy calculation of derived quantities from physical measurement data
During the development of new products, the process requirements and data to be measured frequently change. imc Motor Diagnostics meets this challenge by offering an open interface to imc FAMOS. Using the Bridge to imc FAMOS, you can compute derivative data sets from the measured physical data, or extract individual values to be entered into tables. The values are saved together with the measured data and are available for subsequent analysis. Re-calculation as part of the analysis is also possible.
Thus, if you measure a motor’s current, voltage and torque, you could have the plot of the RPM and current over the torque, the mechanical and electrical power, and the efficiency factor calculated. If you happen to wish to know the torque at the maximum efficiency, appropriate imc FAMOS functions can be used to find it.
In this way, the inspection system can be enhanced with a large number of analysis options, without needing to intervene in the test stations basic software. You, the system purchaser, are not dependent on us as the manufacturer, but can implement your own wishes by using the open interface to imc FAMOS.