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Controller balances reliability, value and features in automotive test labs

Controller balances reliability, value and features in automotive test labs

Moog has developed a new 1–32 channel, modular test controller for auto-motive test lab managers, to improve the quality of test data, speed up test setups and decrease the time it takes labs to complete tests. Moog engineered its new test controller to satisfy lab managers’ desire for an easy-to-use product that delivers exceptional value with a wide set of features.

“Our new Moog Test Controller is a modular system for controlling simple and complex hydraulic and electric test systems that managers can use for simple component fatigue tests to highly integrated full-vehicle, road vibration tests,” said Craig Lukomski, solutions commercialisation manager for simulation and test at Moog.

As part of a recent survey administered by Moog, test lab managers identified the primary needs for test controllers: they had to ensure the safety of any test specimen; be easy to fix or troubleshoot; and be quick set up for tests. In response, Moog’s newly developed Test Controller offers lab and project managers phased control to all the channels in a test system, along with the functionality to save the setup parameters and test profiles for later use.

Moog’s Test Controller provides advanced control loops for improved feedback control and on-the-fly, ‘bumpless’ transfer from one control mode to another (for example force to position control). Moog also eliminated the need for an external program generator to manually change command signals during a test, ensuring quicker set up so the designated test can start faster.

The Moog Test Controller’s built-in data acquisition for control-loop signals or connected transducers delivers lab managers real-time monitoring, too. With more digital data available via the Test Controller, lab managers can check the health of their test equipment and specimen throughout a test, which prevents downtime and unplanned maintenance.

“For two decades we’ve worked with aerospace and auto test labs,” said Lukomski. “Historically test labs purchased servo-controllers using analogue electronics with PID control loops. These devices gave good control but were limited in the feature set to the available knobs. Now this latest solution offers our customers the performance and ease-of-use that will solve everyday test challenges.”

Using analogue controllers with external command systems improves control and data. But the Moog Test Controller gives phased control to all channels in a system, which saves setup parameters and test profiles for later use. These increased control features including advanced control loops and sequenced tests, make this upgrade useful to the user saving time and resources.

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