Automotive Test Systems Evaluate Components Are Up to Specification
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CLEVELAND - OhioPen -- Classification of Transient Duration on Contacts and Relays

ADwin Data Acquisition and Control Systems ( are commonly used for automotive test applications for ECUs, actuators, sensors, engines, field bus systems, and many more. In this Apps Note, CAS DataLoggers outlines a typical automotive test application for documenting that components are up to specification.

An automotive manufacturer has a switch/relay (the Device Under Test or DUT ( which is mounted on a shaker test stand. Test engineers control the shaker with a programmed frequency profile in the kHz range to simulate operating conditions for the DUT. The test will typically run for several days. The purpose of the testing is to see if the switch's contact opens over a short period of time (transient failures) or if the contacts of the switch degrade due to the vibration profile and the time duration of the test.

ADwin Models

There are three ADwin series: ADwin-light-16, ADwin-Gold-ll and ADwin-Proll.

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The ADwin-light-16 ( and ADwin-Gold-ll ( systems are compact solutions for applications with few I/O channels and limited expansion or configuration requirements. In contrast, the modular, expandable ADwin-Pro-ll ( system is recommended for applications with many channels and flexible configurations.

Classing of Transients

In many test applications, users apply an analog and/or digital stimulus to the DUT, using single or multiple channels of actuators or amplifiers. In addition to providing the stimulation, the ADwin system acquires the response of the components by reading its own input channels and evaluating the response in real-time. Thus, the system can immediately calculate how well the DUT matches the required specifications.

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ADwin systems perform all the necessary tests and also perform post-test data analysis. Here the ADwin measures and categorizes time in classes. Classes are time period ranges (i.e. the time resolution, for example 500 nanooseconds to 1 microsecond). In this relay test application, every sample over 7 ohm is classed as an interrupt. ADwin's time range here is 500ns resolution to 2 milliseconds.

During acquisition the ADwin test system checks to see if the signal is above the set level and if so, it then measures the duration and the value's threshold. Online evaluation of measurement data is performed immediately after each sample is taken.

Test information and measurement data is transferred to a control system and displayed on the PC through a graphical user interface (GUI). The ADwin automatically generates a table of the data and this information can then be stored as quality records in the production database.

For more information on ADwin Real-Time DAQ & Control Systems ( contact a CAS DataLoggers Application Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or request more information (

CAS DataLoggers

Source: CAS DataLoggers
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