March 31, 2021

MK Test partners with ECA Group for high speed harness testing

The two companies have industrialised a harness testing system that will lead to faster aircraft assembly.

ECA GROUP and MK Test Systems have established a partnership to bring on the market a low voltage testing solution that will advance aircraft assembly considerably. The new test system will enter into service this year.

ECA GROUP with its AEROSPACE division, a builder of functional testers for aircraft assembly and maintenance, saw an excellent basis for a collaboration with MK Test Systems who build wire testing solutions for high performance industries (aerospace, defence, rail).

A low voltage testing solution that can make testing for operators safer and quicker is a real need in the aerospace industry. To this day, operators perform electrical wiring and harness tests in Final Assembly Lines under high voltage – a time consuming and hazardous job. To minimise the safety risk, manufacturers allow no other operations on the aircraft at the same time.

This means that critical production time is lost as each of the many thousands of tests takes up to 5 seconds, and there are 170km of cables on a typical aircraft. A faster testing solution enabling manufacturing to continue at the same time, is therefore a definite requirement for aircraft builders. 

A traditional high voltage solution can make 20 measurements per second. In comparison, the new low voltage system makes 500 measurements per second. 

About the Partnership

ECA GROUP’s Aerospace site is a stone’s throw away from major aircraft manufacturers in Toulouse. Their know-how in aerospace functional testing solutions means they are the perfect partner to bring MK’s product to market. The compatibility of the two businesses has enabled allowed them to industrialise MK Test Systems’ solution together.

In just two years, the two companies have industrialised a concept that could answer the aerospace industry’s specific requirements.

Aircraft Final Assembly Lines can now benefit from faster, real time, electrical wiring testing.   The partners are planning a future collaboration incorporating wire and function testing in one solution.

Aerospace FAL
The typical high voltage test system: Large footprint, masses of cables, and time consuming to set-up.
This is what electrical testing on the FAL looks like when you aren’t using low voltage. Large switching satellites and a lot of cable!