Engine Cold-Test Characterization

Outboard Motor
Phase Two Production Interface

Phase Two Production Interface

Phase One Characterization Interface

Phase One Characterization Interface

Final Production System

Final Production System


DMC worked with a large manufacturer of outboard boat motors to develop a test fixture that detects defects during production. Partially-finished motors are tested using a variety of sensors to measure torque, pressure, alternator output, and ECU timing.

Customer Benefits

  • Defect detection prevents wasted production effort leading to higher yields and lower production costs
  • Less-frequent warranty service incidents and higher life expectancy
  • Accuracy to the tenth of a degree allows for precise calibration of engine timing


  • NI LabVIEW
  • NI TDMS File Format
  • NI PXI Chassis
  • Baldor Vector Servo motor
  • Torque Sensors
  • Pressure Sensors
  • Optical Distance Sensors


DMC collaborated with the company's internal resources to meet a very aggressive development schedule. The project was accomplished in two phases. Phase one involved building a system that was flexible and logged data for review and characterization. After the completion of this system, internal engineers ran over 1000 test cycles on motors with a variety of known defects to determine ideal testing conditions and establish a baseline for defect identification.

Phase two involved replication of all hardware in the first system and creating a production-floor interface that used baseline data for defect detection. The phase two system was modified for optimal reliability, ease of use, and interfacing to the rest of the production floor. At the conclusion of phase two, the system was crated and shipped overseas to the company's production facilities.

Posted in Consumer Goods, LabVIEW Programming, Test and Measurement, Test and Measurement Automation

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