When it comes to the service life of a product, many companies rely on calculation and simulation. This data often does not live up to reality, however. At ebm-papst, we not only rely on theory but also practical findings. To this end, we thoroughly test our products in the laboratory with accelerated tests and endurance testing.
But of course we cannot do without theory completely. After all, we cannot wait for a ten-year test phase before launching a new product. This is why our endurance tests are carried out at temperatures of 40 and 70 degrees Celsius as heat accelerates the wear process. The failures are assessed in accordance with the Weibull distribution. From the distribution, we can calculate the point in time at which ten percent of the tested specimens have failed and when the wear of the bearing system starts.
“Some customers are not much older than our record fans which have been going since the 80s.”Robert Wasmuth – Head of Reliability and Testing in St. Georgen
Testing at different temperatures enables us to determine an “aging factor” which we can use to determine the life expectancy for other temperatures. Test specimens which are still running are not switched off, but we keep an eye on them. This enables us to get an even more precise understanding of the service life over many years and gain insights into the right use of bearings and lubricants. These lessons learned are essential for the development of new products as the service life of our products is heavily dependent on the correct choice of bearing system.
But what do the endurance tests mean for our customers? Above all reliability. Ultimately, our products repeatedly demonstrate perseverance in the laboratory. And anyone who does not believe this can come and visit us to see for themselves. “And then people are often astonished,” says Robert Wasmuth, Head of Reliability and Testing in St. Georgen. “As some customers are not much older than our record fans which have been going since the 80s.” This shows that you can truly rely on the ebm-papst product data.