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TCP/IP-compatible servo drives from Baldor Electric have simplified the construction of an automotive component tester.

Developed by a leading builder of structural and custom test equipment, Dynamic Testing and Equipment (DTE), the new machine fully automates the accelerated life testing of the flexible boot seals used to protect ball joints in automobile steering assemblies.

The use of programmable AC servos – instead of conventional hydraulic actuators – provides an unprecedented level of control flexibility, enabling test parameters such as joint articulation angles to be varied on the fly.

It can test up to six boot seals simultaneously and testing regimes can include continuous articulation of the ball joints, hot and cold brine sprays, elevated humidity levels and air temperature cycling from -25 to +80C.

DTE’s boot seal testing machine employs two motorised movement axes – one vertical and one horizontal – each driven by a Baldor Motiflex e100 three-phase servo drive and servomotor fitted with a multi-turn absolute encoder.

The precise feedback signals enable both axes to be programmed to absolute zero, facilitating optimal positioning of the machine’s tooling for parts loading and unloading and ensuring ease of start-up.

The servo drives are connected via industry-standard Ethernet to the test machine’s host computer – which runs National Instruments’ Labview software – and are controlled via TCP/IP using the built-in ActiveX commands in Baldor’s Mint programming language.

Glenn Siddens, machine designer for DTE, said: ’We were looking for servo manufacturers that could support ActiveX.

’Baldor was also able to supply 3D CAD files for the motors.

’As we use Solidworks’ 3D CAD software for much of our design work, the availability of these files was a major time-saving advantage.

’What’s more, Baldor has proved to be extremely supportive.

’As well as helping us with ActiveX/Labview integration, applications specialists from the company visited our facility on several occasions to help set up and fine-tune the servo systems.’ Designed primarily for automotive component manufacturers, DTE’s boot seal testing machine can be used to influence component design or to demonstrate conformance with end customers’ performance standards.


Baldor Electric Company, a member of the ABB Group, designs, manufactures, and markets the broadest line of industrial energy-efficient electric motors, power transmission products, adjustable speed drives, linear motors, motion control products, gear products, industrial grinders and generators. The Baldor range provides a complete motion solution for machine automation and utilizes our acclaimed MINT motion language.

Range includes:.

* Rotary and linear servo motors.

* Intelligent Servo drives.

* Inverter and vector drives.

* Multi-axis motion controllers: Boxed and board level solutions.

Baldor is the largest motor and mechanical power transmission company in North America and the second largest worldwide.

Baldor-Reliance motor products now range from 15 watts to 11,000 kW and includes:.

* ‘Super-E’ motors that exceed the new IEC 60034-30, IE3 efficiency level.

* NEMA Premium Efficiency rated motors, meeting the new EISA legislation covering motors supplied into the USA.

* Custom motors to meet client specific requirements.

Dodge power transmission products offer a wide variety of engineered mounted bearings including Grip Tight Adapter range and enclosed gear products including the Quantis modular, High Efficiency range. Baldor operates plants in the USA, United Kingdom, China and Canada with products available from our worldwide network

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