Mecelec Design Ltd has designed and built a test rig for a blue-chip vehicle manufacturer which recreates the conditions known to cause undesirable clutch noise; the objective being to eliminate this noise in future vehicle models.
It drives each clutch (using an inverter-driven motor) through a range of speed and load conditions, and simultaneously carries out high-speed data acquisition from a number of transducers fitted to the clutch and gearbox assemblies.
This leads to a better understanding of the causes of the noise.
The test rig incorporates a number of systems and technologies which work together to achieve this:
- A PID-controlled electric positioner to ‘slip’ the clutch at the desired torque
- Hydraulic components to effect the clutch actuation
- Pneumatic actuators which work with the positioner and provide cooling to the clutch
- PLC-based control of motor controller, positioner controller and other rig functions
- User-friendly software written in Labview provides rig control via the Operator’s desk
- High speed data acquisition via NI equipment in a separate electrical cabinet
- Wireless streaming of data acquired at high bandwidth from rotating parts
- Saving of all test data to generic and proprietary file formats for offline analysis
Mecelec Design Ltd carried out the installation and hard-wiring of the test rig and electrical cabinet into a test cell at the customer’s premises.