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Product Development of a Torque/Leak Test Machine for the Automotive Industry

Product Development of a Torque/Leak Test Machine for the Automotive Industry
Product Development of a Torque/Leak Test Machine for the Automotive Industry


At  Excel Machine & Tool, Inc. we specialize in the fabrication of tube bending equipment. As a full service company we also support our customer with custom fabricated ancillary systems and test equipment, this service is exemplified with the torque and leak test machine highlighted here.

A customer in the automotive industry was in need of a system that could quickly and effectively test formed tube assemblies for leaks. Their specifications required that the system be easy to operate, with quick fixture change over. This project represents a ground up design, engineering, and fabrication effort.

Once a design was established, we developed the operations and control systems. The machine is run by an Allen Bradley PLC system, with pneumatic valves by Festo, and a torque controller by Atlas Copco. The leak test controller is a Cincinnati Test Systems, Sentinel I28, all of which was operated through a Maple Systems programmable interface.

These advanced systems required a functional precision machine base, with robust features that would support heavy duty use. The machine base was formed from square as well as 5/8" thick hot rolled steel plate. The guarding consisted of 16 gage sheet metal with panels made from 16 gage expanded metal, framed in C-channel.

The fixture base was machined from aluminum, and the tooling was made from a combination of heat treated hot rolled steel, 1018 steel, and A2 and S7 tool steel.

Fabrication utilized a number of our precision capabilities, such as CNC milling, turning, precision grinding, and welding. The precision of these processes are verified by comprehensive quality inspections throughout manufacturing and assembly process. We also provided a number of coating applications such as powder coating, painting, and black oxide.

The finished test machine features a compact 40" x 36" footprint, with adjustable parameters for torque and leak test controllers. Utilizing our advanced capabilities and cutting edge systems, this test machine achieved 20 second cycle times, with 2 seconds for tooling operations, 10 seconds for the leak test, and 8 seconds of operator duties. The entire project, from concept to delivery was completed in just 8 weeks. For more information, see the table below or contact us directly.

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Highlights of this Product Development Project

Product NameTorque/Leak Test Machine
Product DescriptionDesign and build a machine base, with controls, to operate interchangeable torque / leak test fixtures.
  • Fixtures required to be easily and quickly changed
Product Development Capabilities Applied/Processes
Primary:
Engineering/Design
Product Development
Fabrication
  • CNC Milling
  • Welding
  • Grinding
Secondary:
Powder Coating
Painting
Black Oxide
Assembly
Equipment Used to Manufacture machine and fixtures
CNC Mill
Manual Mills
Manual Drills
Manual Grinders
Automatic Grinders
Manual Lathe
Hand Tools
Inspection Tools
  • Gage Pins
  • Gage Blocks
  • Height Gages
  • Micrometers
  • Dial Caliper
Overall DimensionsMachine Base: 40 wide x 36 deep
Fixture Base: 30 wide x 16 deep
Tightest Tolerances
Torque Value


Leak Test Value
Adjustable by changing the parameters set in the torque controller


Adjustable by changing the parameters set in the Leak Test controller
Material Used
Machine Base
  • Square Tubing
    • Width: 2"
    • Height: 2"
    • Thickness: 3/16"
  • Square Tubing
    • Width: 1-1/2"
    • Height: 1-1/2"
    • Thickness: 1/8"
  • Hot Rolled Steel Base Plate
    • Thickness: 5/8"
Guarding
  • Sheet Metal: 16 GA
  • Panels
    • Thickness: 16 GA Expanded Metal framed with C-Channel
Fixture Base
  • Aluminum
Tooling: made from a combination of material
  • Hot rolled steel
  • 1018 steel
  • A2 Tool steel
  • S7 Tool Steel
  • All tooling subject to wear is heat treated for longevity
Material FinishMachine Base: Powder Coated
Guarding: Painted Yellow and Black
Fixture Details: Black Oxide
Cycle TimesTooling Operation: 2 Seconds
Leak Test Cycle: 10 Seconds
Operator Duties: 8 Seconds
In process testing/inspection performedDimensional Inspection, Gage Inspection, Functionality Tests
Industry for UseAutomotive Industry
Appliance Industry
Agricultural Industry
Aerospace Industry
Volume1
Delivery/Turnaround Time8 weeks
Delivery LocationBloomington, Illinois
Standards MetCustomer Specifications, CAD Drawing
Machine ControlsOperator interface: Maple Systems Programmable Interface
PLC : Allen Bradley
Pneumatic Valves: Festo
Torque Controller: Atlas Copco - Power Focus Controller
Leak Test Controller: Cincinnati Test Systems - Sentinel I28

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