Overview of Product Testing

Spectrum Technologies Product Testing

Testing Capabilities

Spectrum Technologies has a full range of testing capabilities including:

Equipment List

Spectrum has an impressive list of equipment.


Spectrum Technologies - Our Services

Spectrum Technologies can provide testing at various product levels - from full vehicle, to sub-assemblies and systems down to the component level. With single-axis and full Multi-Axis capabilities, Spectrum can acquire the data you require in the time-frame you need. Our data reduction and analysis capabilities provide insight and solutions. Root Cause Analysis, Warranty Reduction, Stress Analysis, and Durability Testing are specialties of Spectrum Technologies.

Spectrum is equally prepared to take data in their fully-equipped Michigan, USA laboratory, at the customers facility anywhere in the world, or take data while traveling on-the-road.


Full Vehicle Testing

4 post cube van

Ford Cargo Van on Spectrum 4 poster

From "Lawn Tractors" to "Cargo Vans" - No job too big, No job too small, at Spectrum we can handle them all. Actually there are limitations to all testing, but Spectrum has the experience of testing a variety of different vehicle types - from lawn tractors, to cars / suvs / trucks, to cargo vans/ to the 950 foot CMS Bonn Express Freighter..

4 post lawn tractor

MTD Lawn Tractor on Spectrum 4 poster

We pride ourselves on being able to handle a variety of test situations. Because of this, we have a broad base of testing experience - and this combined with our first class test equipment provides a powerful combination in the testing industry.

The Spectrum 4 poster has +/- 2 inches of stroke and is capable of DC to 500 Hz. It is used for full vehicle product development.


4 post car

Buick Rainier on Spectrum 4 poster
at Universal Studios, Hollywood CA.

"Have 4 Poster, Will Travel!"
Spectrum's 4 poster is completely transportable, allowing testing either at our facility or at the customers location.

"Lights, Camera, Action!!"
When Hollywood needed a four poster to film the Rainier commercial, they called on Spectrum Technologies. Spectrum transported and setup their 4 poster on a sound stage of Universal Studios. During filming of the commercial, the film Director consulted with Spectrum personnel and relied upon Spectrum's experience and down-to-earth know-how to get "the look" he wanted and get the job done in one take!

Chassis Rolls

Engine Sensor Vibration Testing
on 2WD Bi-Directional Chassis Rolls.

The Chassis rolls at Spectrum is a 2 Wheel Drive, double roll, Eddy Current dynamometer. The rolls are rated at 500 continuous HP and 800 peak HP. The "Dyno" will both motor and absorb. The 100 HP electric motor will motor a vehicle to 85 mph. This feature is very useful in continuous coast down measurements for axle noise. Spectrum has used the chassis rolls to investigate engine mounts, axle noise, accessory drives, exhaust modes, and engine sensor vibration. We also enjoy full-on HP and Torque curves for the hot-rods.

RLDA

85 Channel Road Load Data Acquisition on
Full Vehicle mirror system

Spectrum Technologies has the capability of recording 200 channels of vibration using Optim Megadacs with PCB sensors. The sensors include accelerometers, microphones, load cells, tach signals, and OBD II data.

We are pleased to announce our latest purchase of a Mars Labs 32 channel EBRT. The EBRT will allow Spectrum to acquire 32 channels of data at 100,000 samples per second for all 32 channels. This system is excellent for high frequency engine related data, interior noise, and squeak and rattle measurements. Thanks Ernie!


System and Sub-Assembly Testing

System and sub-assembly testing often requires more up-front work than full vehicle testing. This is because often a test fixture needs to be designed and constructed that can hold the assembly being tested on the shaker. The design of the test fixture is critical to proper testing. It needs to both be strong enough to support the assembly, yet not get in the way of the natural motion of the product assembly during the test. Also, care must be taken that the test fixture itself is not overly heavy so as to impact the testing equipment and test cost. It is a very important distinction between a properly constructed test fixture that is an asset to testing an assembly, and an improper fixture that causes problems.

Front End on cube

Car Front End on the Vibration Cube

Spectrum's engineers recognize that understanding the dynamics of the test rig is important to a successful, cost-effective test. That is why Spectrum has the engineering background and expertise to design the required rig and the in-house machine shop capabilities for proper fixture construction. Of course, Spectrum can also run tests using a customer supplied test fixtures. But knowing that Spectrum has the know-how and capabilities to provide this function is important for customers looking for a test lab with complete testing responsibility.

Single vs. Multi-Axis Shaking

Vibration testing is a widely accepted method for testing the quality and/or the life-cycle for products. The idea is to vibrate the product on a shaker to reproduce the type of vibration environment the product is likely to encounter in the real word. Sometimes the test profile represents a typical vibration environment the product will encounter. While other times, the testing profile is quite harsh and attempts to determine thru "accelerated life testing" how long the product is likely to successfully perform before damage. These tests are important for manufacturers to build quality products and to properly reduce warranty problems and costs.

A test profile may call for a system to be shaken in only one direction - in which case a Single-Axis shaker is used. However, most often vibration tests need to be performed in three axis; X, Y and Z. If your test profile calls for X, Y, and Z vibration testing and you only have a single-axis shaker, then vibration tests are conducted three times; once for each axis. So a 50 hour 3-axis test would required 150 hours to complete, since the single-axis shaker can only shake a single direction. These tests are performed using a linear shaker and rotating the test product to the next axis after each test.

Spectrum can certainly run your test this way.....if you want it done this way. However, Spectrum believes that complex multi-axis motions are more characteristic of actual field environments and prefers to use Multi-Axis shakers for these tests. A Multi-Axis shaker actually shakes the product in up to six axis simultaneously. This results in more realistic test that better replicates the "real-world" - and after all that is the whole idea behind testing, trying to replicate the environment a product will actually encounter in the field. Now that 50 hour 3-axis test would require only 50 hours to complete - a 66% time savings compared to using a Single-Axis shaker.

Headlamps on the Tensor

One Set Headlamps on the Tensor
5 - 1000Hz, 3-Axis, 12 Channel Control

Spectrum has been using a Team CUBE to provide multi-axis testing services for some time. However, the frequency limitation of the CUBE has prevented Spectrum from running higher-frequency automotive qualification tests simultaneously rather than sequentially. Until recently, these tests were run using single-axis shaker systems.

At the end of 2005, Spectrum took delivery of a Team TE3-9.8 Tensor, a 3-DoF electrodynamic shaker system with 2,200 pounds of force in each axis. The lowest force rated of the three models available, the TE3-9.8, has a frequency bandwidth of 5 to 2,000 Hz.

IP in quiet room

Instrument Panel in the Quiet Room

Quiet Please!....No, you won't get any dirty looks from Ms. Librarian, but you might have to tangle with Buster - Spectrum's lead technician...but keep in mind, once a Marine always a Marine, so I suggest you keep quiet in the Quiet Room! US Marine

The quiet room is where Spectrum takes sound measurements. It is an acoustically designed sound absorbing room.

In addition to the quiet room, Spectrum has several environmental chambers it uses for tests that require temperature cycling in addition to vibration. Spectrum's Quiet Room and environmental chambers are equipped with single and multi-axis shaker systems.

Car Seat in Quiet Room

Car Seat in the Quiet Room


Component Testing

Proper component testing can solve a lot of problems and save millions of dollars during a product life-cycle. To shine some light on the subject, lets look at a specific example - light bulbs. The warranty costs associated with improperly designed bulbs can cost the automotive manufacturer millions, if not billions, of dollars in warranty repairs - all because a light bulb burns out. Spectrum is proud of the development work in this area - and Spectrum is considered a world leader in the testing, evaluation and reliability design of automotive lights.