Using RTS to improve productivity

The latest testing technology enables real-time validation of harnesses and connections as they are constructed, enabling OEMs to redefine the production process and achieve huge time savings.

Manufacturing teams are commonly seeking ways to reduce the amount of testing to improve productivity.  The challenge is how to test more efficiently in order to reduce the production bottleneck. 

OEMs have always tested their installed electrical systems, typically including tests for continuity, low voltage isolation, high voltage insulation, electrical bonds, and a degree of function testing of components such as switches, breakers and relays.  Unfortunately, in many instances the reporting is limited to a simple pass/fail, resulting in lost time whilst the failure is identified.

How MK Test Systems are driving future testing processes

MK’s systems enable all data to be collated as a measured value, in a database that can be interrogated using a range of custom analysis tools including the Report Analyzer. This data provides an in-depth understanding of the regularity of specific types of failure and an opportunity to design out the causes. The effect of moving specific tests to other production stages can be accessed, so a harness which is fully tested in the shop may not need tests repeated at installation stage.

The MK Results Database and Report Analyzer toolset uses statistics and data to quickly identify common faults and changing trends. This can highlight material batch issues, changes in supply chain quality, and specific training needs. The tool also identifies tests that never fail, enabling decisions on whether tests are stringent enough or even required.

“The latest electrical testing technology needs to support a move to digitization in the near future, as well as reduce production bottlenecks in the current manufacturing environment.”

Disrupting Current Testing Procedures

MK Test Systems are currently developing what will be a positive disruptor for current testing procedures.  The RTS (real-time scanning) solution reduces bottlenecks by incorporating testing modules into the harness at an early stage of the build.  Remote signal return (RSR) modules are fitted to the ends of harnesses prior to installation – typically during manufacture.  Measurement signal routers (MSR) are installed and several main control modules (MCM) are located around the Unit Under Test (UUT), and connected to the input ends of the harnesses.

These MCMs generate current to measure volt drop, and control access switching into the harnesses. As harnesses are fitted into the UUT and connected to form complete wiring network legs, the MCM ‘sees’ the RSR via the MSR and measures the resistance of each connection. 

The result is compared to the netlist (in real time) and reported as a ‘completed leg’ and continuity resistance pass, or it will show as a failed connection. The MCM scans at up to 5,000 measurements/second, providing real-time scanning. Multiple MCM modules can work in parallel, scanning thousands of connections per second. 

The latest electrical testing technology needs to support a move to digitization and big data for the near future, as well as reduce production bottlenecks in the current manufacturing environment, a challenge met by MK Test’s RTS solution.

For further details and the latest updates on our RTS development project, please contact us or visit the product page.