The hyper-competitive automotive industry requires suppliers and OEMs to reinvent their designs to provide superior quality and performance on a constant basis. These innovation and reliability metrics are consistently assessed through independent companies such as J.D.-Power to showcase what company is at the cutting edge of customer satisfaction. As automotive components continually advance to provide additional safety and comfort features, the OEM test specifications driving the validation of the components advance in parallel. These ever-advancing test protocols require increased levels of control and capability to meet the expectations of an evolving industry. MGA’s role in this customer driven innovative market is to be a full-service test supplier for all safety, durability, and quality metrics as they develop with the requirements of vehicle. MGA has evaluated the requirements from all of our OEM and tier-1 customers to design improved lifecycle controllers to satisfy these needs. This constant exercise to adapt to the newest technology has been a key design driver in the 15 years MGA has been building controllers.
Mechanical component lifecycle testing can be automated with an MGA pneumatic controller. With a variety of external inputs, the end user is able to monitor the performance of the device under test. The controller has the ability to monitor force, position, and continuity of any electrical components that may be affected by the continued evaluation of a component. This ensures an accurate evaluation of any component and the associated safety and comfort systems that may be affected by the wear a component may experience during the life of a vehicle. The system is ideal for testing items such as:
- Manual seat adjusters
- IP and center console closure testing
- Door, hood, and lift gate slam
- Open loop repetitive loading such as knee load
- Single load strength or deflection measurements
With the increasing expectations of customers, more components in a vehicle are moving to powered control or offering increased comfort options. These new options require more advanced test systems to simulate the performance of the components in vehicle. As a response, MGA has designed their new power controller to monitor the current, position, and continuity of test articles. The system also has the ability to send pulse modulated signals to interface to heater and vent controls to simulate different vehicle power level settings. This allows for the accurate evaluation of an advanced system from a single piece of equipment such as:
- Power seat adjuster durability
- Power seat adjuster speed of operation
- Seat heaters and vents
- Power lift gates
- Window regulators
- DC powered actuators for single load strength or deflection measurements
The industry demand for efficiency was also a major driving factor in the design. Each controller has 8 dual channel outputs, with the ability to run up to 4 independent profiles on the same controller simultaneously to provide the versatility of testing multiple items. The controller’s interface software allows for monitoring of data such as load or current. These data channels can be used to set limits to tune the test profile, or to record at designated times throughout the test sequence to capture sample performance. The ability to interface with environmental chambers was also added to automate testing during off hours to avoid down time.
The newly designed MGA lifecycle controllers offer high versatility and an easy user interface for a range of test specifications. The end result is a customer driven design for a robust, completely automated test system to meet the demands of an evolving industry. These systems provide easy control of complex systems and help our customers and MGA internal labs deliver the highest quality test results in an efficient fashion.