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Production Line Electrical Testing

Production Line Electrical Testing

Production Line Electrical Testing


I am building a new production line for the small electric heating factory that employs me.
This is a multi-station line where the heat pads are moved between stations as they are assembled, by a PLC control system.
The end station is a vacuum press where the heat pads are pressed, load tested and checked for insulation resistance/earth leakage.
We need an electrical tester for this vacuum station, and this tester should be able to connect into the PLC control system so that the PLC can signal 'Start Test' and the tester can pass the test results back to the PLC when complete.
I would have thought that this would be fairly easy to locate a supplier for, but so far not so. All of the local test gear suppliers have borked and said 'too hard for us'.
Hence, my question here is : can anyone on this forum point me towards a supplier who can help?

Mark aka Paulusgnome

RE: Production Line Electrical Testing

Sounds like you are asking for something off the shelf for your application, which is unlikely for the cost bogey you probably have. Ignoring the fact that Keithley accuracy might be overkill for your application, you might be able to get by with: http://www.tek.com/keithley-switching-and-data-acq... http://www.tek.com/sites/tek.com/files/media/media..., which would require a plug-in board to do the actual switching.

You would then need to have a power supply and be able to program your PLC to command the Keithley DMM to connect the supply with the meter in series for the current measurement, and then connect the DMM in parallel across the insulation to measure resistance/leakage. The DMM can also measure thermocouple temperature.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Production Line Electrical Testing

This sounds like a "five percent situation". So, most any measuring thing will do. Even a simple AC level relay and a (stabilized) AC supply. Earth leakage and insulation is an even less demanding task and you can use a standard leakage test current clamp (with an AC level relay, again). If you need to do a HiPot or similar, there are devices that can handle that. Ordinary insulation test will be even less problematic.

Sounds like you presented the task in a way that scared the "locals" away. Any competent EE should be able to do what you need in a few days. And hardware cost will surely stay below a couple of thousand bucks.

Talk to them again.

Gunnar Englund
Half full - Half empty? I don't mind. It's what in it that counts.

RE: Production Line Electrical Testing

I'd use the PLC you have to do most of that. About the only thing that would be hard would be the HiPOt part but you should be able to hack any hiPOT tester to get it's yeah/nea beeper to tell your PLC what the score is.

You don't state if this is a manual line or an automated line. I've often cut a ton of complexity out by having the human who's hooking up the leads see the answer and pass it to the logging system with a push button RED/GREEN.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Production Line Electrical Testing

Thanks, I was looking in the first instance for something off the shelf.
Yes, I could cook something up, but who would do that if there was something already available?
I have now found several options, and am sifting through them to find the best bang for buck.
Best options at present appear to be an offering from Hioki, and another from Siglent, both are quite reasonably priced.
We had been using Avo testers, but surprisingly (to me at least) Avo were the first to say 'Huh?' when I asked.

RE: Production Line Electrical Testing

You are vague on what tests are required.

We are looking at a Vitrek V71 Hipot tester, partly because it has USB, serial and digital I/O controls available which we will likely utilize. This makes it possible to perform a test and get the test result data back via communications. The V73 and up do insulation resistance and the V76 has 8 channels if you need to do multiple test configurations at once.

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