Recently, a large industrial firm presented several hydraulic test system manufacturers with a challenge: develop a system to simulate a field installation for factory set-up and testing. Naturally everyone jumped at the chance for a line-up. Then the required system’s capabilities were outlined as follows:
A quick Google search of this post’s title will result in plenty of information to digest and a wide range of comparisons (and opinions) based on who is providing them. Obviously, suppliers have a bias toward what they sell, and users based on what they know best from past experience. Someone in agricultural equipment may choose hydraulic linear actuators exclusively, and someone in robotics only electric ball-screws.
When beginning a project to create a data acquisition, control, or test system, the main two concerns are often “How can we keep costs low?” and “How quickly will it be up and running?” Unfortunately, that can lead to rushing through the most important first step: the creation of a detailed project requirements document.
The proper testing of each component during development is especially crucial for in-flight critical applications because a failure of even the smallest component can have catastrophic results. Additionally, applications in these types of industries often have complex hydraulic components, use exotic fluids, or need to have fail-safe functionality in high-pressure environments, which creates even more complicated test scenarios.
If you’re designing hydraulic systems, especially in the commercial and military aircraft industries, you’re under a lot of pressure to keep pace with innovation and new technology, get to market faster, and optimize both cost and man-hour resources.
There’s little room for error, and components need to work both individually as well as seamlessly with a complex system that includes numerous variables and external influences.
In our new white paper, called “Validating Aircraft Hydraulics with a Full-Scale Test Cell,” we discuss the challenges faced by hydraulic system designers and walk through an example of how we helped a customer use off-the-shelf, modular hardware, a flexible software interface, and actual system components to create a highly efficient test stand for testing aerospace hydraulic components under a variety of possible real-world scenarios.