Test bench : what is it?
A test bench or testing workbench is an environment employed to test therefore verify the soundness or level or precision/correctness of a design or model.
The origins of the term finds itself in the testing of electronic devices, where an engineer would perform precision tests at a lab bench using a different set of tools for measurement and manipulation, such as oscilloscopes, multimeters, soldering irons, wire cutters, and others in order to manually verify the correctness of the device under test (DUT).
In the context of software or hardware engineering, a test bench is an environment in which the product under development is tested with the aid of software and hardware tools. The software can be slightly modified in order to work properly with the test bench. Nevertheless, good quality coding can ensure that the changes can be easily undone afterwards avoiding the introduction of further bugs.
General test bench principles
Almost every product that is being manufactured needs to be tested before it finds it way into the market, for several reasons such as quality guarantee and customer safety. Characteristics such as lifetime, strength and robustness define product reliability and need to be known not only theoretically but proved in practice under real life conditions. Therefore products need to be tested before being launched on the market.
As big loads, high pressures and high-dynamic movements often occur in such installations, the required products and complete installations can be provided by trusted partners.
Various testing components and systems in a performant testing equipment are used for various types and means of testing. Pushing, pulling or bending of materials, endurance tests for the automotive or aerospace parts require different testing equipment in order to ensure the proper real conditions environment.
What is precisely being tested?
3 main categories of characteristics are being tested in order to ensure product soundness before market:
#1 Material endurance or fatigue testing: characteristics like strength and robustness are being tested by performing high pressure and load tests to evaluate the fatigue behavior of steel parts for example such as wind turbine blades or offshore turbine support structures.
#2 Lifecycle testing of systems or products: static testing lifetime of products and systems, development and research test benches like axel and transmission test, steering gear test, chassis test, and many others.
#3 Simulation testing: dynamic simulation of real-life situations and events, simulating earthquakes and other natural hazards to test equipment behavior.
Test bench products and solutions
Within specialized testing facilities of research and development departments as well as in structural testing facilities, the materials, components and structural elements to be tested are exposed to mechanical loads to test their function, suitability for specific applications, degree of wear and life cycle.
Apart from electro-mechanical drives, hydraulic drives such as linear actuators are employed to provide the required mechanical loads in particular with highly dynamic load profiles. The advantages of distributed intelligence for hydraulic drive technology are leveraged by high precision testing machines through the integration of axis controller functions – IAC integrated axis controller.
Hydraulic fluids on the test bench
Fluid test benches are now available for additive and lubricant manufacturers for their own development work.
Hydraulic fluids have a decisive influence on the wear properties of hydraulic components. With the fluid test bench, additive and lubricant manufacturers can now test the behavior of fluids and their interaction with the key components, the pump and the motor, under realistic operating conditions. Thanks to compact dimensions, the plug-and-play solution can be easily integrated into industrial environments and can be used as soon as all media are connected.
The plug-and-play solution can be easily integrated and used immediately after all media are connected. Users can easily operate the fully automated test bench using a modern user interface with. Measured value recording and prepared sequence programs for fluid testing can be automatically included. On request, the test bench can also be equipped with remote access which provides professional support when performing test and service tasks.
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