Test & Measurement
Clare – Versatile T&M system assures diverse product successJan 31 2006 - Test & Measurement [More Test & Measurement Articles]
Advanced electrical test technology from Clare Instruments is helping a market-leading manufacturer meet international compliance standards across a diverse range of industrial products.
Domnick Hunter Limited recently restructured manufacturing activities at its Gateshead-based Industrial Operations division by amalgamating the production lines for its PNEUDRI series of compressed air dryers with those for its nitrogen and hydrogen gas generator equipment ranges.
The compressed air dryers are used to provide clean, dry compressed air for widespread industrial applications. The company’s modular gas generators supply high-quality levels of hydrogen or nitrogen for laboratory and industrial locations, eliminating the need for gas bottles and ensuring constant gas supplies.
Both product groups incorporate electronic controllers and components and as part of the re-shaping of manufacturing operations, standardised test equipment was required that would be capable of meeting the different safety testing and verification needs of all types of equipment.
For quality assurance purposes, a failsafe electrical testing requirement was specified that would be versatile enough to cope with the various size and shape configurations of the different air dryer and gas generator products, as well as being able to accommodate the test data recording and traceability demands of the company’s quality control procedures.
In providing a solution to meet these specifications, Clare supplied and installed four new stand-alone electrical test systems based on its Hal Combi multi-purpose tester.
Part of the company’s range of digital test instruments, the powerful Hal Combi performs the complete suite of standard electrical safety tests and allows full traceability of test results and records via internal test data memory storage.
The new tester performs post production earth bond, AC/DC hi pot (flash) and insulation testing on the compressed air dryers and gas generators to ensure the compatibility of products with UL technical and performance standards.
At Domnick Hunter, the Hal Combi testers are trolley mounted to allow ease of mobility around different production areas. The testers incorporate pre-configured test sequences for the complete range of products, which are triggered automatically for repetitive multi-test routines when product serial numbers are input.
Individual test specifications for different product groups are also password protected and operator safety is maintained by the need to push two switches concurrently to run the test sequence, as well as an auto cut-out facility and isolated outputs.
The test instruments are accompanied by high-visibility warning beacons, with a green lamp indicating that the instrument is energised and ready to apply the tests, and a red lamp illuminated while the electrical tests are active.
Test results are recorded against the serial number of each item to enable the domnick hunter QA team to maintain detailed test records as part of ISO traceable quality control procedures. Test certificates can be produced and test reports can be downloaded directly to a PC or printer for the generation of complete test data records.
Although installed as versatile production line testers, the HAL Combis also have the flexibility for type testing applications in the laboratory or as part of product development compliance work. They are also utilised by Domnick Hunter to verify the functionality of supplied sub assemblies such as heating units, before they are incorporated into finished products.
As with other manufacturers of industrial products, the efficient co-ordination of electrical testing procedures at Domnick Hunter forms an important part of the overall plan to integrate different production lines.
“Before committing to the Clare equipment we carried out a thorough review of alternative test systems and technologies,” said Michael Shaw, QA analyst, Domnick Hunter Industrial Division. “With such a diverse range of products, the versatility of the test instruments to meet the different technical configurations and standard requirements was crucial. The new test stations have been successful in meeting this need and give us the flexibility to conduct important electrical safety tests and quality checks quickly, safely and efficiently. This has enabled us to streamline our test operations, contributing to enhanced operational efficiencies and improved productivity.”Electropages - Electronics Components News, From Leading Electronics Distributors. More news from Claire Instruments