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The inspector’s critical eye

In R&D at ebm-papst, tabletop test machines from Zwick help make better products. And they were made better themselves.

Top product quality can only be had when one has it in mind from the start. Klaus Kramer is convinced of that. He works in the department responsible for reliability and testing in Central R & D in St. Georgen, where he tests the mechanical connections in motors and fans. He has a variety of test and measurement equipment to help him with his work, including two Zwick tabletop test machines. They can precisely measure forces from 0.4 newtons to a maximum of 20 kilonewtons and are actually intended for materials testing. “But that’s only one area that we use them for here,” says Kramer. The department uses the AllroundLine machines to test adhesive bonds, pressed fittings and welds, springs, motor braces, strain reliefs and breaking strengths, or to perform bending tests during basic inspections of rubber magnets.

Tests for rotor and ball bearing

As an example, when a new motor is developed, Kramer and his coworkers measure how strongly the magnets are glued and at what force the press-fitted shaft detaches from the rotor or ball bearing. On the one hand, these measurements help designers to optimize the designs of new products. On the other, they are essential for production so that the staff there can make precise settings for the pressing force limits on their machines. In close cooperation with the project teams, both activities ensure that ebm-papst can supply products that fulfill customer requirements.

ebm-papst fan cools the control electronics

But Kramer’s exacting eye does not stop with the products. He noticed that the fan that cools the test machine’s control electronics switched on frequently — and loudly — during the testing procedure. The next time a Zwick representative visited, they discussed the problem, worked out some proposals and tested solutions in the ebm-papst acoustics laboratory. Now the new generation of controllers uses an ebm-papst 3414 NG fan for ideal flow; it sucks in air from below to cool the electronics and removes the waste heat with the rising hot air.

The improved tabletop testing machine now contributes to top quality at another point in the value stream: For new automotive projects, ebm-papst recommends that its customers and suppliers use a Zwick machine in order to have verified quality and comparable test results for supplied parts.

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Axial compact fans

High air performance with moderate pressure build-up