A test system was needed to meet the requirements of test standard BS 5057. The specification required the measurement of the first insertion and sixth extraction force on a male spade into a female connector (as commonly used in automotive, white and brown-goods industries). The insertion depth needed to be carefully controlled along with the test speed at 60 mm/min. The 3 crucial points in successfully solving the application were a) ensuring alignment between the 2 components, b) an ability to stop the system at a predefined load and c) for the customer to be able to manipulate the data to calculate the necessary test results.
The application required not only engineering expertise but also an understanding of force measurement techniques coupled with a highly configurable drive system.
The connector was mounted into the spring-loaded universal fixture. The male spade, held in a steel holder, was then partially inserted. The crosshead of the machine drove down inserting the spade until a solid condition was achieved, then a zero datum position was set. The peak load prior to reaching solid was recorded. A magnet on the crosshead was then turned on, and the crosshead retracted. The aligned spade was inserted a further 5 times to the zero datum position minus 0.1mm, then the final extraction force was recorded.