Hydraulic parts and modules such as gearbox control play an important role in power transmission, especially in the automotive and commercial vehicle areas but also in industrial manufacturing in general. When developing new hydraulic components, extensive testing is essential for optimized and trouble-free operation in practice. Conventional systems can usually only test individual hydraulic parts (solenoid valves etc.) and not entire modules. Different technical solutions with different test setups are necessary causing high costs and time expenditure. Further difficulties are the stable simulation of different operating temperatures over a wide temperature range (environmental testing) and leakage or wear caused by insufficient resistance of the parts installed in the test machine to oil and extreme temperatures.
The Austrian SME has developed and successfully introduced a test machine to the market which eliminates the above mentioned disadvantages. By integrating different technologies (hydraulic control, temperature conditioning, actuator control, measurement of process parameters), it enables the complete testing of entire hydraulic modules and components under different ambient or operating temperatures in one machine.
The test machine includes 1 tank for the hydraulic fluid and 3 (or more) independent hydraulic supplies (3 pumps) for a very flexible configuration of tests. All common hydraulic and transmission oils can be used. For the temperature conditioning of the hydraulic fluid a specific heat exchanger was developed and integrated into the oil tank. This results in a very high energy efficiency of the system. The hydraulic fluid and the specimens are temperature controlled with the target of stable temperature and small differences between the independent supplies to optimally simulate operation conditions. The hydraulic fluid can be temperature conditioned in a range of approx. -30°C to 130°C. This allows testing even at extreme temperatures in order to define a safety buffer for operation. All parts installed in the test machine are designed to resist oil in this temperature range (no wear or leakage).
The measurement adapter is modular designed to easily adapt between different specimens (parts or modules). It is possible to test the hydraulic components by automatic and manual test control. In the automatic test process control parameters are freely configurable to control currents of solenoid valves according to the desired test programme. Various settings for test simulations (e.g. testing the accuracy and speed of switching operations at different temperatures) can be easily made.
Current and potential application areas:
- Environmental testing of hydraulic parts and components
- Optimization of hydraulic parts and components` control characteristics
- Optimization of energy efficiency of parts and components (optimization of pump power consumption, avoidance of oversizing of pumps etc.)
The machines are already applied in the automotive sector to test gearbox control and hydraulic parts. They are also applicable for testing of hydraulic components in commercial vehicles (such as excavators) and industrial machines (mechanical processing machines etc.).
The Austrian SME is looking for R&D/Engineering departments of companies as well as research institutes in the above mentioned fields to buy the novel technology for their (product) developments. It is also interested in technical sales agents. It offers training, technical assistance for installation and operation, adaptations to specific client requirements and further development together with other manufacturers of testing systems (technical cooperation).