Product Announcement from Uson, L.P.
The need International Truck and Engine Corp. produces commercial trucks, mid-range diesel engines, school buses, chassis for motor homes and step vans, and diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company's Advance Manufacturing Engineering Group had a system for leak testing that was slow and not accurate enough.
"We primarily do mass-flow, pressure decay, vacuum decay and pressure-rise leak testing on our diesel engines to make sure the components and assemblies don't leak beyond specifications," said Jim Bowman, senior manufacturing engineer for the Advance Manufacturing Group.
Leak testing speed and precision are both extremely important for companies like International Truck and Engine, where even small leaks can mean the difference between product success and failure.
"Cycle time is a huge factor," said Bowman. "The engines are on an assembly conveyor. As each engine comes into the station you have an allocation of time to perform the work. You have 'x' amount of time - usually a minute or less."
The Uson solution To improve accuracy and speed, International Truck and Engine contacted Uson, who recommended its Vector leak tester because of the amount of horsepower necessary for the job. The Vector is a computer that runs Windows XP, which makes it easy to operate with an intuitive, menu-driven system and software developed by Uson specifically for the platform. Features such as “infill,” which reduces volumes and allows for varying sizes to be tested in the same chamber, PLC connectivity and remote-start input can increase the speed of the testing process. Uson leak-detection testers include automatic clamping, sealing and interlocking guards. Quick-connect or auto-coupling pneumatic self-sealing devices also can be provided.
Results “We have some continuous moving zones where the assembly line never stops,” Bowman said. “If it’s a station that has, say, 10 different ports to seal, then it doesn’t make sense to have an operator there; we’d never have enough time in our process allocation to do that. That’s where automated testers are a huge time saver. If we had to seal all these ports manually with an operator it would probably take three minutes or longer to perform that test, whereas the automated leak detector performs the leak test in less than a third of that time.”