Electrical component test systems often need industry-specific components to complete the test system.
Low-power components can often be tested with straightforward signal conditioning for connections to data acquisition hardware. For example, testing battery or fuel cell stacks up to a few 10s of volts can be handled with isolation modules which offer common mode rejection.
For high-power components, the signal conditioning can involve some potentially large and expensive components. Furthermore, safety considerations become paramount via both proper component selection, guarding, lockout-tagout procedures, and possible shutdown control schemes. These high-power situations also often call for careful design of signal grounding and shielding to reduce noise on the measurement signals.
We develop custom automated test systems to test electrical components and systems.
From high-voltage power supplies, to industrial-grade UPSs, high-power capacitors to electric motors, from power meters to fuel cells, and from power conversion switches to regenerative blowers, we’ve tested a lot of different electrical products.
How we can help: our capabilities & expertise
Design and development of complete hardware & software systems, including instrumentation, data acquisition, software, and panels/enclosures
Knowledge of IEC-61000 standards
Power conversion (AC/DC, DC/DC, AC/AC, DC/AC)
FPGA-based algorithm development
Common mode and high-voltage isolation custom signal conditioning circuit board design
Synchronized data acquisition – even for distributed systems (TSN & GPS)
Modeling (including digital twin)
Customization of inverter/motor controller algorithms
Want more proof points? Check out these case studies:
The client already had an existing manufacturing test system in place. They wanted Viewpoint to enhance the tester due to an increase in production volume demand. Viewpoint reviewed the existing test system and noted 3 areas for improvement:
- Automation available in the measurement instruments – most of the test equipment was automatable, via some combination of serial, GPIB, or Ethernet interfaces. Furthermore, some equipment, such as an oscilloscope, had the ability to store and recall setup configurations. The test operators already used these configurations to decrease setup time for the next test step. Most test equipment did not have automated setup.
- Operator time spent on each test step – the client had been through a Lean assessment and had already done a good job of timing operations. However, we specifically noted that the operator was manually connecting to the test points and manually transcribing to paper the measurement results from instrument displays.
- Automating the connections – many types of product models were being tested at this test system. Connecting the test equipment to all sorts of products would require either 1) many types of test harnesses and connectors or 2) a redesign of the products to make test connections simpler and quicker.
The enhanced automated test system included automation of instrumentation interfaces, a test executive to run the test sequences, automated test report generation, and automated test data archiving for the electronic UUT.
- Reduced total test time across several products by an average of ~25%.
- Time to create paperwork was reduced by ~2/3 due to automated data collection.
The enhanced test system included the following updates:
- Test sequence automation
- Automated test report generation
- Automated test data archiving
- Automation of instrumentation interfaces
- Configurable automated test steps associated with each type of measurement instrument. The test operators would create a sequence of steps to setup each instrument and record the resulting measurement. The sequence of steps could be saved and recalled for each product to be tested, so the instruments could be used automatically.
- New programmable meter – integrated the new DMM meter with a programmable interface to replace the one that was not automatable.
- Foot switch integration – Since the connections to the test points were manual, a foot switch allowed the operator to take the measurement and advance to the next step.
The StepWise platform managed the multiple test procedures created for the different products. StepWise also handled creation of HTML reports for every part tested.
|Test Data Archiving|
|LabVIEW RT – for managing the microcontroller functions and overall data collection and safety monitoring|
|Microcontroller application – to provide precision pulsing of the batteries|
|Communicate to the host PC – to both receive pulsing instructions and configurations and to return pulse waveforms for each battery tested.|
|MAIN HARDWARE COMPONENTS|
|PXI chassis & controller|
|PXI analog input modules|
|SCXI multiplexing switches|
|INTERFACES / PROTOCOLS:|