This article is the first in a three-part series outlining Basic Testing Processes, several common Testing Categories, and the basic Types of Test Stands utilized in everyday Servo Hydraulic Testing applications.
Customers often call us at Wineman Technology to inquire if we build “XXX type of test stand.” While we do offer some standard types of test benches, the vast expanse of our system offerings is “engineered specifically to suit our customer’s requirements and specifications.” This statement generally results in a blank stare or, at a minimum, a pregnant pause in the conversation. In an effort to alleviate some of the questions and summarize the broad scope of what we offer, we will first outline some of the basic (main) types of testing processes encountered on a daily basis.
First, let’s discuss the most common types of Servo Hydraulic Testing by breaking them out into several base processes or categories. These include:
Development Testing (R&D)
Development Testing can be described as starting from scratch on a new component concept, or developing a new product from adapting/changing an existing product. This type of testing is generally completed within R&D Labs, Test Labs, or segregated departments within a company. There are also several companies which specialize in this type of testing and, on occasion, hire themselves out to various manufacturers at the same time. This is generally “one-off” product testing done by hand and requires a very flexible test system. Data acquisition is key in this type of testing for capturing and storing the test results for later study and evaluation.
Application Testing Process (ATP)
Application Testing is used to determine if the product really works and/or meets the parameters desired within the operational targets. Again, this type of testing is generally completed within R&D Labs, Test Labs, or segregated departments within a company. This type of testing can be completed by an independent firm or within a manufacturers test lab. This is “one-off” testing done by hand on very precise test systems generally design and built for a specific requirement. Data acquisition is also utilized in this type of testing.
Qualification Testing Process (QTP)
Qualification Testing is used to determine if the product, once developed through the ATP testing, is in fact within the required specifications. This type of testing applies to both new componentry or on rebuilt/refurbished products, and is generally directly associated with the final product’s manufacturer or rebuilder to assure they meet the original manufacturer’s specifications. This can be every component (Aerospace) or a sampling of parts (every 10th or 100th part) for some smaller component manufacturers. This can be “one-off” testing done by hand or an automated system operatizing in parallel to a production line. Generally this type of testing can also be completed as a secondary role on an ATP test system. Data acquisition can range from a very specific set of operational parameters to a simple “pass/fail” report.
Also known as End-of-Line Testing, these systems test every part, or a variable numerical sampling of parts, coming out of the manufacturing process. This is very fast testing and generally is limited to only a few tests which were performed during the QTP. These are generally large and complex automated test systems with varying complexities of data acquisition.
These tests are performed to determine the cause of problems associated with a part during the full production process. These are generally performed on the QTP test systems and are manually operated “one-off” tests. Data acquisition is key to determining and documenting the test results in the further study or root cause of component failures.