Case Studies

0

Quality Assurance Test Lab for Aerospace

Posted in Aerospace and Defense, LabVIEW, Test & Measurement Automation

Summary

DMC's client runs tension and torsion tests for a series of parts that it manufactures. The company requires 100% inspection, which had formerly been conducted manually with significant operator involvement. The test stands utilized for inspection use an MTS 407 servo-hydraulic controller, and the customer wanted a fully automated system where a LabVIEW PC application could send commands to and control the MTS 407 controller. Previously, an obsolete MTS function generator was used to send a control signal to the 407 controller telling it to apply load on the part. If this function generator ever failed, there would be no way to replace it. The device also prevented the client from running tests fully automated. They also required a complete user interface for running, viewing, and managing tests.

The customer lacked enough LabVIEW programming experience to complete the necessary upgrades to this system in a timely fashion, so they called on DMC to step up to the challenge.

Solution

DMC worked closely with the customer to determine the upgrade requirements required for their test system. To replace the MTS function generator, DMC used an NI Multifunction DAQ card in order to send an analog signal to an MTS controller. The test is now fully automated, and the client can load and apply settings directly to the MTS 407 controller as well. Further, tests can be initiated by the operator from the LabVIEW software. For each particular test, a profile of the load that is to be applied is used to set the analog signal from the NI Multi-Funciton DAQ card for the duration of a test. Once the test is complete, the user can view and print the results in order to verify that the part is within the specified tolerances.

DMC implemented the following:

  • Recipe system for managing test configurations
  • Main user interface for displaying the current job/recipe/part that the system is running
  • Part Selection screen to display list of available part recipes
  • Part/Recipe editing screen
  • Fault screen for ease of debugging and providing information to the user

DMC provided engineering resources to develop and test the new Material Properties test system and verified the system performance on different part tests.

Customer Benefits

  • Operator user error is minimized by converting to a fully automated test system
  • Tests can be started and managed more quickly and efficiently with new Test Recipe System
  • Improved business resumption with off-the-shelf replaceable components

Technologies

  • NI LabVIEW
  • NI Multifunction DAQ card
  • MTS 407 servo-hydraulic Controller
  • NI-DAQmx for channel scaling and calibration