Noisy hydraulic test equipment has been replaced by a quieter system by Ford’s vehicle component division Visteon.
At its interior systems technical centre at Dunton, Essex, Visteon has installed an electro-dynamic vibration test bed supplied by Ling Dynamic Systems to validate new designs of instrument clusters and panels.
The air-cooled LDS Shaker machine performs squeak and rattle tests on scale model structures up to ‘1/4 buck’ or one quarter of a full sized car.
Air cooling of the generator was chosen as the lower cost option at the start of a £2.8m expansion which Visteon embarked on in August 1997.
Vibration generators are themselves noisy, a problem caused mainly by air as it exhausts from the valves during the cooling cycle. LDS has overcome this by enabling vibration tests to be carried out while the air-cooling is turned off.
In this ‘quiet’ mode Shaker provides acceleration of 1g peak between 5Hz and 400Hz with a 250kg payload, increasing to 4g peak with full field for an equivalent payload.
Visteon has also bought another Shaker machine for structures up to 1/2 buck size.
This solid trunnion machine is water-cooled. The closed loop cooling system requires no additional water supply, keeping installation and operational costs low.
System stability is important for large part or multi-component testing. A long dashboard, for example, which rests like a ‘T’ across the vibration generator, could set up dangerous harmonics in the machine.
To prevent this, LDS has designed the Shaker with a rotational overturning restraint of 2kNm.
The machine is linked to a Ransco Climatic Chamber so testers can simulate any combination of vibration and climate conditions for anywhere in the world.