Cutting Tool Engineering
October 2012 / Volume 64 / Issue 10

A sound system

By Alan Richter, Editor

One of the greatest needs for the parts manufacturing industry, according to RTE Akustik + Prüftechnik GmbH, is for an automated, reliable and cost-effective component-testing system that assures high-quality products. That system must also be able to adapt to different production volumes and product diversity.

To meet that challenge, the company introduced SonicTC, a scalable system that provides noise and vibration testing; nondestructive acoustic materials testing, or acoustic resonant testing; and eigenfrequency measurement of assemblies and components during production and development.

“All workpieces that are excited from external sources vibrate in their eigenfrequencies, or natural frequencies,” said RTE General Manager Ingolf Hertlin. “The eigenfrequencies represent the mechan- ical properties and stiffness of the part.”

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Courtesy of RTE Akustik + Prüftechnik

RTE’s SonicTC system provides distributed component testing with central administration.

He pointed out that while acoustic testing of parts such as motors and gears is primarily performed subjectively and sonic crack testing is typically a manual process, SonicTC has the basic technology to conduct these tests objectively and automatically.

In addition, the system combines acoustic and functional testing. “For example, if you want to assess the acoustic quality of a motor, it is necessary to operate the motor,” Hertlin said.

Because of SonicTC’s standardized, upgradeable architecture, manufacturers can scale the system from a single-user test station to a networked solution for distributed testing by multiple users, the company reports. In a distributed system, test and measurement functions are shared across interconnected individual systems to reduce complexity and test cycle times.

For instance, high-voltage testing, which is functional testing, of an electric motor can be conducted before acoustic testing. This simplifies test processes and saves the user time and money. “If functional characteristics are not correct, then further testing for acoustical properties is no longer necessary,” Hertlin said.

He noted users do not need to program test-control plans and can operate the system intuitively via touch screen and graphics without lengthy training sessions. “They are guided and supported by an online help system,” Hertlin said.

The company is targeting the system for high-volume automotive part manufacturers, the industrial ceramics industry and foundries.

For more information about RTE Akustik + Prüftechnik GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany, call +0049-721-94650-0 or visit www.rte.de. CTE

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