What is a test bench?
Depending on the area of application, test benches are stationary or mobile devices or equipment used for the reproducible testing of technical objects. In a decoupled environment, test benches make it possible to test components or assemblies under measurable, controlled loads or under environmental conditions. A test bench comprises a mechanical holder for the test objects as well as sensors and controls adapted to the object. Through the interaction of the individual components, the properties to be tested can be generated and at the same time measured values can be recorded and logged. Test benches are used to measure and record mechanical, electrical or optical variables. Test benches are divided into two different types.
1) Development test benches
Development test benches support designers in checking designs and ideas during the development phase. Tests on test benches can reduce product life cycles to a few days or weeks, which leads to faster product development that can also be reliably documented with data. The following test methods are commonly used on development test benches:
- Testing the service life of components over a predefined cycle.
- Testing combustion engines for compliance with emissions regulations.
- Behavior of the object to be tested under environmental conditions such as heat, cold or humidity.
- Testing the mechanical strength of components under vibrations or mechanical loads.
2) End-of-line test benches
End-of-line test benches are used to monitor the required technical specifications at the end of a production line. The end-of-line tests can focus on the overall system, but also on subsystems and components. End-of-line test benches can be used to identify defective or insufficiently dimensioned components and are therefore primarily used for quality assurance. The English term "test benches" comes from the spatial positioning, usually at the end of production or assembly lines. In practice, end-of-line test benches are used, among other things:
- Functional tests that check all relevant functions of a product before delivery to the customer.
- Power measurements that record the power output of a product, such as a motor, and determine whether the specified power is actually achieved.
- Optical measurements that record deviations from the actual dimensions or detect optical errors.
- Acoustic tests that detect disturbing noise when using technical products.
Automating test benches - with solutions from Delphin Technology
Test benches can be used to test the properties of technical objects in a repeatable and verifiable manner. Test benches are widely used in the automotive industry, in mechanical and apparatus engineering and in household appliance technology. Delphin Technology is the competent, experienced partner when it comes to the automation of test benches. From optimized control systems, precise measurements and data logging to individual test bench development, Delphin Technology offers the right technical solution for every test bench!
For which areas and components are test benches available?
Test benches are available for a wide variety of tasks. The widely used test benches include, among others:
- Home appliance test stands for testing household appliances for safety, energy efficiency, quality and reliability.
- Heating test stands for the standard-compliant testing of heating appliances and heating systems.
- Engine test stands for the development phase and series testing of drive motors with regard to electrical and mechanical properties, temperature behavior or overload operation.
- Pump test stands for reliable testing of small metering pumps, garden pumps, vacuum pumps or large pumps.
- Battery test stands for testing electrical energy storage devices, batteries and accumulators.
- Switch test stands For testing switching points, bouncing processes or closing and opening times of switches
- Valve test stands for the functional testing of valves.
- Endurance test stands For testing products in long-term operation and a defined service life
- Component test stands For the testing of all types of components during development and production
- Luminaire test stands for safety and reliability testing of electrotechnical luminaires.
- Gearbox test stands for measurements during development or acceptance tests in the production of gearboxes.
- Vibration test benches for testing products under vibration and oscillation.
- Climate chambers as a "test bench" for environmental simulations.
How does a test bench work?
Even though test benches are equipped with extensive technology, the actual function and mode of operation is very simple. Parameters are defined on the test bench by the operator, which are interpreted by a computer system and implemented by the test bench. However, continuous monitoring and control of the set parameters by hardware and software is essential. This is the only way to compensate for system-related fluctuations in the test process in real time - resulting in meaningful, reliable test values.
Automation of test benches
If several test benches are to be operated in parallel or test procedures are to be carried out in unmanned shifts, automation of the measurement and evaluation processes is the ideal solution. The Delphin products enable fast, effective and simple automation of test benches, even without additional interfaces. In many cases, test benches are connected to a PC. This is where the Delphin Expert Key devices a simple automation upgrade with an excellent price-performance ratio. With full Office compatibility, simple data and graphics export and interfaces to SQL and ODBC applications, the Expert Key device automates extensive measurement tasks. For long-term measurements that need to be carried out independently of a PC, the message devices from Delphin offer measurement, automation and evaluation functions in a compact system. In combination with ProfiSignal Klicks, individual test bench applications can be created. For complete turnkey solutions, Delphin offers its own application development for durability tests, endurance test benches, environmental simulations or sequence controls.
Who builds a test bench?
Each test stand is precisely optimized for the respective test tasks - accordingly, there are no prefabricated test stands "off the shelf" in the industrial or commercial sector. The interaction of mechanics, hardware and software is handled by specialized companies. Delphin Technology does not build its own test benches, but with its extensive product range is the specialist when it comes to the automation of test benches. With Delphin hardware and software solutions, test benches can be operated highly efficiently, economically and with an impressive degree of automation. The Delphin solutions are used in test bench construction in the areas of control, measurement, automation, data acquisition using DAQ software and data logging. At the customer's request, Delphin also offers the development of special test benches in close cooperation with partner companies. Please contact us about our possibilities, we will be happy to advise you in a personal meeting!
Software for test benches
In addition to a precise PC-based controller or a PLC that regulates and controls the sensors, measuring devices and mechanics of the test bench, a software solution is also required that records and saves measurement data and makes it available to other programs for further use, such as visualization or evaluation. Delphin Technology provides tailor-made software for the control, data acquisition and forwarding of test benches.
With the platform-independent ProfiSignal 20 software users receive comprehensible, logically structured software with a versatile range of functions and first-class operability. The measurement technology software can be used on desktop PCs as well as on measuring computers. With a powerful measured value display, extensive visualization options at the touch of a button and modern interfaces and operating concepts, ProfiSignal 20 offers both beginners and experts the optimum performance for automated test benches.
With the Delphin Data Center, measurement data from test benches can be stored, analyzed and monitored centrally. The Data Center is a centralized measurement data management system that archives measurement data in a valid and traceable manner and provides access to the stored data within seconds, regardless of location. As a DAQ solution, Delphin's Data Center is optimized for loss-free data compression, long-term archiving, specific data pre-processing via software channels and the automated export of measurement data or characteristic values. In the latest 2022 version, the Data Center offers optimized processing of up to 100 million data records per second, 64-bit support, an OPC UA interface and secure data transfer thanks to SSL encryption.
What is a hardware-in-the-loop test bench?
In the automotive sector, hardware-in-the-loop test benches are used to test coupled electronic systems within a vehicle. A hardware-in-the-loop test bench consists of a computer that can meet the real-time conditions of the application to be tested as well as digital and/or analog interfaces. In the procedure, an embedded system, for example a mechatronic component or an electronic control unit, is connected to a hardware-in-the-loop simulator via the available inputs and outputs. The simulator is a replica of the real environment of the system. In the case of vehicle development, for example, the simulator can represent the system to be controlled - the car. Recurring processes are usually simulated on hardware-in-the-loop test benches. Among other things, the test procedures enable a new version of the tested component to be tested under the exact same criteria as its predecessor. This makes it possible to prove with high precision whether a fault that was once present has been eliminated or is still present. Delphin devices support the high requirements in the field of hardware-in-the-loop test benches with powerful hardware and software.
Test benches in the laboratory
High demands are placed on test benches in the laboratory. On the one hand, the devices used must be easy and intuitive to operate, while on the other, in many cases highly specialized measuring and testing tasks must be performed. Physical sensors must record temperatures, pressures, forces or torques in the laboratory and the measurement data obtained must be reliably stored in databases and visualized in a way that is accessible for evaluation. With hardware and software solutions specially adapted to the needs of modern laboratories, Delphin Technology is the competent partner for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries or universities. With preconfigured and mobile test systems and options for detailed implementation of verification and documentation obligations, Delphin solutions meet the increased regulatory requirements in the laboratory environment. The connection to higher-level systems such as LIMS or the easy connection of laboratory equipment from different manufacturers is realized through interfaces to Modbus, Profibus or SQL databases as well as the support of open standards such as OPC DA and UA. All Delphin systems can be customized for every task in the laboratory.
The right software for your measurement and testing solution
Data acquisition and analysis
With ProfiSignal Go you can display online data from the Message and Expert hardware in diagram form. Numerous analysis functions, such as zoom, cursor, movable axes, flags, ASCII export and calculation channels, enable fast display of measured values and post-processing.To the product
Operating and monitoring
ProfiSignal Basic combines the functions of ProfiSignal Go with operating and monitoring elements of process visualisations, e.g. digital and analogue displays, switches, buttons and signal lamps. With Basic, you can create everything from simple visualisation diagrams to complex visualisation systems.To the product
Automate and control
ProfiSignal Klicks supplements ProfiSignal Basic with functions for process automation. Structural diagrams for mapping the process as well as a script language (completely operable with the mouse) enable even the non-informatician to create complex test stand and automation applications with automatic report generation.To the product
Visualisation and operation
With ProfiSignal 20 Basic you can create individual diagrams using a wide range of operating and monitoring elements. Both continuous processes (e.g. production data acquisition) and discontinuous measurement tasks (e.g. test measurements) can be visualised, operated and monitored without any programming effort. You can create the operating and monitoring diagrams by assembling and configuring the prefabricated elements.To the product
Fast project planning and analysis of measurement data
With ProfiSignal 20 Go you can visualise your measurement data in just a few steps, both online and offline, in various diagram types, monitor, analyse, archive as a measurement file or export directly in the appropriate file format.To the product
Central measurement data management
The Delphin Data Center is the solution used for the worldwide measurement networking and control of plants, machines and test stands.To the product