Vibration testing is considered as an integral part of product development and testing to industry standards. When it comes to testing, many business may choose to manufacture their own vibration test fixtures, which may result to inconsistency and false positive that influences test results or increase costs. What are the best practices when manufacturing vibration testing fixtures?
First, it is important to consider some key concepts that apply to product testing and validation. This includes not only the product under test but the testing fixture used to hold the DUT to the shaker and other materials which would be attached to the device under test during the vibration test process. To ensure reliability in our test results, you should consider :
The output of a product’s ability to accept or give off vibrations. When a product or testing system is in a free natural state, vibrations occur at its natural frequency. When force is applied to the product or testing system at this natural frequency, energy increases and releases, thus resonance occurs. To control this in a laboratory setting, a testing system (product sample and fixture) should be rigid enough that it can easily allow for the transfer energy without compounding that energy causing undue failures.
The ratio of output to input. Force is transferred evenly regardless of how or where it is applied. In vibration testing, the amount of force and the material of the product are important. Does the product absorb the force? Dampen it? Will there be a rebounding effect when the force stops? Do you get out what you put in? More importantly, will the testing fixture withstand force? At what rate?
- Fixture stiffness:
To ensure the system withstands force and provides a good level of transmission and resonance, and thus reliable results, it is important to ensure stiffness or rigidity. The natural frequency of the systems depends upon the stiffness and mass present.
Once these aforementioned are observed, you can go ahead with a vibration fixture manufacturer. Running a finite element analysis, or FEA, on the fixture will provide insight as to whether the system will break, wear out, or work the way it was fabricated during vibration testing process. An FEA uses computers to predict and simulate how a product or system will react to real-world forces, like vibration. It will illustrate weak spots, stiffness, relationship issues and other concerns. The analysis can save time and money when conducting tests. Other things to keep in mind: material type, weight and thickness for stanchions, gussets and base plates; bolt placement, patterns and quantity; durability, mass and stiffness of attachments to the product sample and center of gravity and mass of the entire systems.
Vibration testing can provide a wealth of information for products of all sizes in multiple industries. A thorough understanding of the process, including how to set up and run tests is critical to ensure success.
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