Testing for Mobile Electrification Components, how does your equipment hold up in the field?
For mobile machine builders, the push toward electrification is growing more popular every year. Environmental regulations are frequently being released in the U.S. and a focus on process efficiency is at the forefront of the industrial world with the latest supply chain issues. As demand grows, machine builders are racing to develop and convert systems to electric and hybrid electric platforms. With any new technology, questions about real world applications remain. This is where Cross Company can help ensure quality of equipment, and long term success of OEMs and end buyers.
Working with customers using mobile equipment in some of the most rugged applications, our mobile systems engineers have identified the top concern among buyers of these cutting edge systems. As one might expect, people frequently ask “How does an electrified mobile system hold up in the field compared to a traditional hydraulic system?” The best way to answer this question and ensure quality products are going out the door, lies in testing of the electrification components. Here are the top four tests that our engineers recommend, and why.
Depending on the application, mobile equipment can take quite a beating. By definition this equipment is meant to move around and be used in a variety of environments. Over time, vibration can cause components to become dislodged or create loose connections which could lead to malfunction. Even if a system is designed for a relatively stationary end-setting, vibration or shock may still occur in transit. Vibration testing (or shaker testing) can ensure components are going to hold up to any potential jarring over time. This can help your team in the design process, determining how to secure components like generators, or batteries and battery management systems that could be affected by vibration.
Control Panel During Vibration Test
Environmental and Climatic Testing
Another fairly common consideration with mobile equipment is climate. Depending on where the equipment will be used, extreme temperatures can cause issues with performance. Testing electronic components in environmental chambers can determine how they hold up in artificially created conditions, giving a glimpse into how they will do when exposed to a range of real-world conditions. Useful environmental and climate tests for mobile electrical components include; climate aging, climate cycling and accelerated life testing. These tests can help your team determine whether or not special consideration is needed to insulate your electrical components.
UVA/UVB Sunlight Simulation
Some mobile equipment is held in facilities that provide shelter when not in use. However, a large amount of mobile equipment lives outside in the elements, due to either continuous use, or lack of sheltered storage. Over time, long term exposure to the sun and UVA/UVB can cause components to fail over time. Examples include plastic components becoming brittle, user displays fading or becoming hard to read, or discoloration of materials that may be color coded. UVA/UVB Sunlight Simulation Testing can help determine these effects on your components over time, and can give you the information you need to select the best materials for a build.
Salt Spray Testing and Analysis
Another important consideration with electrical components on mobile machinery is their ability to hold up to corrosion. This can be an issue in corrosive environments such as coastal applications or on roadways where de-icing involves salt. Salt spray testing (also called salt fog testing) can be beneficial for mobile machinery in general because it can show how coatings and non-electronic components hold up over time. However, with electronic components it can help determine what kind of protection is needed for circuits and other sensitive internal components that may cause equipment malfunction if damaged.
Cross Company Environmental Testing Chamber
If considering electrification of your mobile equipment, there are several environmental concerns to think about with electronic components. However with the testing services available from the precision measurement group at Cross, our mobile systems engineers can work with your team to determine the best solution for you and your customers.
Why Work With Cross?
Whether you need a custom mobile system designed and tested, or simply need to test components in your own design, our mobile systems engineers and testing specialists can work closely with your team to seamlessly evaluate your mobile equipment, all in one place, Cross Company.