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Transport - Capability Statements

door pinch force tester gauge

Compressive pinch force measurement in doors, windows and closing systems

Moving components in transportation systems are critical in the safety of the passengers using the systems. Doors, windows, shutters and other sub-systems that open and close are all potential sources of accident or injury through misuse or potential malfunction. A public transport system, such as a train or similar transit vehicle with multiple carriages and sliding flush-fitting entry/exit doors would require a portable and simple, but representative test procedure to measure the maximum pinch force of all the doors. An effective solution involves a custom, cantilever activated arrangement which can be placed safely (for the operator) between the doors and loads the digital force gauge. The selected gauge, dependent upon features and functionality, may be set to immediately register a pass/fail result and audio warning.

Mecmesin Systems: Compact digital force gauage (CFG+), Advanced Force Gauge (AFG)

Case Study: Train Door Closing

 

Torsion spring testing with a core support fixture

Custom mandrels for torsion spring testing

A manufacturer of torsion springs approached Mecmesin for a set of custom mandrels. Torsion springs require central core support, and turning pins to engage a wide variety of leg ends.

We regularly design custom torsion spring cores and mandrels to client specification, for operation on our Vortex and Helixa (precision) torque testers.

Steering rack force testing

Automotive steering components

Sometimes the dimensions of a component make force testing difficult to achieve. Our client needed to test the sliding force of a bearing along a steering rack rod end, requiring accurate axial alignment of the bearing grip with that holding the rack end of the rod. In this way they could measure manufacturing quality of the assembly. The test required both height capacity of a test stand, and custom fixtures.

Mecmesin supplied a twin-column universal tester and designed the required fixtures for both push and pull testing of the bearing. Coupled with Emperor data acquisition and analysis software, engineers were then able to measure the frictional forces and smoothness of action over distance of travel, in a reliable and repeatable way.

 
Closing force of transport doors for safety

Train door safety override testing

A UK train operator needed a method of testing the obstacle detection sensitivity of carriage sliding doors. They already had a method for adjustment, but needed to measure the forces acting between stalled-opening and stalled-closing door leaves that would not interfere with their test brackets.

At Mecmesin we devised a sliding bracket to house a digital Advanced Force Gauge, attached by four quick-release suction cups. Attached across the open-door gap, the force required to open and restall the doors could be measured, allowing readjustment and remeasurement.

A custom portable fixture to measure compression

Spot welding electrode pinch force

An aerospace engineering client needed to measure the pinch force between welding electrodes. Clearly something accurate, small and portable was required, operable single-handed, and affordable to be deployed around the fabrication shop.

Mecmesin designed a cantilever to match the electrode gap, which fitted to our CFG+ digital force gauge. Insertion between the weld tips allowed rapid readings of peak force in order to adjust and maintain, with minimum disruption.

CD004 Transport engineering springs 220

Transport and engineering industry spring testing

Coil springs as used in the transport industry or other general engineering applications may be elements of safety critical components, particularly in public transport (suspension system) or aviation (brake unit) implementations. To evaluate the performance of helical springs under load, the compression test equipment must ensure that the axis of compression remains constant. A coil spring will tend to lean and become out of square under load. Self-levelling compression plates and fixtures custom-designed to constrain and locate the spring must be used. Safety guarding should be a feature of the test system for large powerful springs.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest computer-controlled and console operated compression testers

Case Studies: Aircraft brake unit spring testing, railcar spring testing, bespoke spring design and manufacture

 

 

Torsion spring testing

Helical torsion spring running torque

The helical torsion spring comes in a wide variety of sizes and finds use in a diverse range of industries. Spring loaded componentry in home and consumer goods: clothes pegs, clips and old-fashioned mousetraps; small doors and flaps on cameras or hi-fi equipment; large doors and closures such as those on garages or gates and in transport applications like vehicle luggage compartments. Calibrating the torque to turn (running torque) of the torsion spring is required to achieve the desired levels of effort for the user to open/close the component and provide the optimum levels of resistance or snap. The ability to test a range of products requires a set of custom fixtures to match the spring design, for example spiral. A lower rod-shaped mandrel holds the spring and the upper fixture incorporates a drive peg – directly connected to the torque cell – which locates into the outer arm of the spring to load and unload the sample. Computer control with a suite of test programs can rotate the spring to a pre-defined angle and collect the torque and rotational displacement data continuously. The software ensures repeatable testing of clockwise or anti-clockwise turn (approaching the design load point from below and above, then averaging, minimises the effect of friction and hysteresis on the results) and can guard against permanent set in the spring material. The requirement to meet specific torque range limits – within the linear response range of the spring - can also trigger immediate PASS/FAIL indication as the results are recorded and displayed.    

Mecmesin Systems: Vortex computer-controlled torque testers, Emperor™ (Torque)

Video: Testing Torsion Springs with Vortex

CD005 Window Sunroof Torque 220

Automotive window winder torque to turn

Measuring the torque required to wind sunroofs and manually operated windows in vehicles requires portability when the requirement is to evaluate in-situ. Such a test system could be implemented on the production line to provide quality assurance at the point of assembly. Measuring the starting (torque to turn) and running torque in both directions can be achieved with a digital torque indicator connected to a rotary torque transducer mounted on a standard cordless screwdriver. With the addition of a custom designed bracket, the bespoke system is self-contained and convenient to use on multiple locations round the vehicle.

Mecmesin Systems: Advanced force and torque indicator

Case Study: Window and sunroof torque

 

Vehicle steering torque measurement

Vehicle steering column torque to turn measurement

In order to meet internal testing requirements of a major automotive manufacturer, Mecmesin designed a system to measure the torque to turn input to a vehicle steering system. A custom-designed rig, fitted over, and attached to, the standard vehicle steering wheel, enabled the vehicle to be driven as normal. The Advanced force and Torque Indicator (AFTI) gauge displayed the torque value on the display in front of the driver. This system allowed the steering column running torque to be continuously measured in-situ, as part as an overall development process in steering system design, manufacturing and testing. The data capture and communication capabilities of the portable AFTI enable measurements to be taken in restricted spaces and more sophisticated analysis to be performed subsequently if required.

Mecmesin Systems: AFTI Advanced Force and Torque Indicator, Customised applications service

 

 

 

Vehicle pedal force measurement

Vehicle pedal force testing

The effective actuation of fundamental controls is essential for safe operation of any vehicle. Foot pedals controlling the acceleration, braking and the clutch for manual gear changing, must be able to be depressed with ease by a complete anthropomorphic data range of driver/operator. Measurement of the pedal actuation effort is vital to performance testing of these systems, in terms of reliable operation; the input force must trigger the componentry to apply the brakes, move the throttle linkage or disengage the clutch. Additionally, pedal force testing enables useful evaluation of pedal “feel”, which provides feedback to the user regarding the need to confidently apply more or less actuation force and also conveys information about product quality. Mecmesin has supplied pedal force sensor systems to automotive OEM industry suppliers and testing services, enabling the measurement and data acquisition of these pedal force characteristics to guarantee performance against quality standards. The compact smart load button cell and portable AFTI gauge can be use in confined operating spaces whilst the first peak and maximum recorded data can be stored in the gauge prior to export and further analysis.

Mecmesin Systems: AFTI Advanced Force and Torque Indicator, Customised applications service

 

Vehicle key fob button actuation force testing

Button actuation force on a vehicle remote key fob

Automotive customers demand reliability and quality from their purchases; an owner’s vehicle often an extension of their personality. Brand loyalty depends on many interactions between the user and all elements of their vehicles. Experiencing the tactile feel of controls, switches and buttons are the most common instances where an owner judges the quality level of the product. Ease of application, positive engagement and consistent performance over the lifetime of the component are essential design criteria. One user-centric control is the remote locking key / key fob. Actuation of the button must be simple to perform, and the control give a clear indication that the inner switch has been activated. The force to depress the button must also be high enough to avoid accidentally being activated to eliminate the risk of leaving the vehicle unlocked. Using a light capacity intelligent loadcell and a narrow diameter compression probe, Mecmesin enabled the actuation force of the small, finger-tip sized buttons to be compression tested. Tests can be run for adherence to design specification for pass/fail values or repeated cyclic testing for durability.

Mecmesin Systems: Force testing systems range

 

 

 

Torque measurement of vehicle controls

Rotating controls and switches operational torque to turn

Vehicle cockpit controls must operate with ease, positive engagement and with a tactility that conveys quality and confidence. Many controls are multi-functional and incorporate mechanisms that move both axially and rotationally. Lighting and wiper stalks rotate about the steering wheel axis to switch on or off and also about their own axis to control additional adjustable settings or auxiliary functions. Mecmesin's range of torque testing products and extensive range of versatile grips allow these torque values to be measured accurately and repeatably. Important attributes may comprise the initial breakaway torque to initiate the rotational movement and the subsequent running torque to complete the actuation. Manual torque testers easily enable a user to operate the control as they would in the vehicle to quantify the human perception. Our motor driven software-controlled systems can be programmed to run the exact same test again and again for QA testing against standard values.

Mecmesin Systems: Motorised torque testing systems, Manually operated digital torque testers

 

 

 

CD007 Airbag Connector 220

Pull-testing of safety critical welds in vehicle airbags

Automotive safety-critical systems, such as welds in vehicle airbag connectors, require rigorous testing for zero defects. Pull-off and pull-out testing to destruction at a constant and consistent speed and with complete repeatability enables maximum conformity to quality control standards. To enable the testing to be performed by production staff on the factory floor, special customised quick-release fixtures, enabling batches of test samples to be changed very simply for maximum throughput, enhance the suitability of this solution for automotive assembly applications. Data output is easily achieved from digital gauges for transmission to the organisation’s Statistical Process Control (SPC) software.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest motorised test system, digital force gauge

Case Study: Safety-critical welds in vehicle airbags

 

Car door closure tensile force measurement with the interiorCar door closure force

The effort required to open and to close car doors is variable throughout their travel, and is optimised for the anticipated strength of a wide range of users. The tensile force measurement in situ is difficult due to the typical confines of a vehicle interior. With such a wide variety of designs of interior cabins in the automotive sector, a portable and customised system may be needed to measure and store the changing forces during opening and closing, for a range of vehicles. A force gauge and loadcell for allowing storage of detailed and accurate measurements for subsequent analysis would need to be connected through a bespoke system design, connected to the interior arm-rest, which will facilitate the application of a preloading tension.

Mecmesin Systems: Advanced Force and Torque Indicator, S-Beam loadcells

Case Studies: Car Door Closing Energy Tester

 

 

CD017 Marine al frame in grips 220Marine vessel aluminium frame fastener shear and pull-out strength

The marine industrial construction and engineering sector requires stringent testing of the integrity of the fastening systems employed in sea-going vessels. The materials utilised may also be particularly specialised and light weight, thus needing rigorous evaluation to ensure confidence in the strength of the assembly. A bolted aluminium structural element may be tested to accurately simulate its loading in the complex operational environment in order to measure the critical strength of the entire bolted assembly. The weakest element could be the fastener itself, suffering shear failure, or pull-out, or the hole in which the bolt is located could undergo deformation due to the tensile forces and compromise the structure. This testing is thus able to evaluate the lap joint’s performance and provide objective data as to the quality of the batch of supplied fastenings or any modifications to the frame’s cross-section, design or material specifications. Typical shear forces up to 10 kN are able to be handled with appropriately rated wedge grips and a suitably cut-down sample.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest motorised test system, 10 kN wedge grip

 

CD020 Bolt fixture 220Aerospace vibration resistant nut cycle testing

The design specification of fastening components such as nuts, bolts and rivets is a complex task, particularly in extreme engineering environments such those encountered in the aerospace industry. The influence of temperature, corrosion, fatigue and particularly vibration are significant factors affecting the reliable and safe performance of the joint. Nuts which are resistant to vibration loosening through provision of prevailing torque are one key design solution. Cyclic testing of the bolt and nut fastening may be achieved with a computer-controlled torque test stand, which is able to accurately and repeatably measure the resistance torque as the nut is tightened and loosened. Should the measured torque to too high, then wear rates would be excessive, too low and the nuts would back off too easily and risk compromising the integrity of the joint. The capability to capture the data throughout the multiple cycle test program and the reporting of the characteristics graphically provides greater understanding of the forces at work, an insight into the fatigue life of the fastener design and increased confidence in the quality assurance process.

Mecmesin Systems: Vortex-i computer-controlled torque test system