My name is Neil Scotford, and I joined Combined Test Solutions in January of 2022, fresh from my previous post as an R&D Engineer for a Test Equipment Manufacturer.
I come from a background of Telecommunications, Audio-visual, and Security-System Design & Service.
Joining CTS was a great move as they had something different to offer. I have a unique skill set that could only enrich their already amazing team and product line up.
I also found that they have a very customer-focused ethos, that I believe is paramount to achieving the kind of results that are expected in today’s ever changing production test and evaluation markets.
The staff here are a special breed of caring and focused individuals, that comes across with the ‘above and beyond’ format they adopt here at CTS.
Needless to say my first year has gone in a blink of an eye.
The Engine Harness Tester:
This engine harness tester rack system was a project that needed a little sideways thinking.
Having the option to move the cabinet around in a production line environment was a massive bonus and being robust was a prerequisite for such a system.
We had previously discussed a method of standardising systems like this to make the build a little more repeatable moving forward.
Systems like this had previously been a bench mounted scenario, with a stand-alone computer interface and wiring interfaces mounted in a desktop hub fixture.
These needed to be contained and solid to give the system some chance of reliability in such a harsh environment.
The 32U rack cabinet was custom built for us by a specialised flight case manufacturer. I had used them before in a past life as a sound engineer and found them indestructible on the road.
The computer interface could no longer be a separate unit, so I designed in a small form factor solid state PC, with a 15-inch rack mounted touch screen monitor. An additional keyboard drawer with a separate wireless keyboard and mouse were also added by customer request so remote use was also possible.
The rack connector interfaces were designed to be fitted onto laser cut 3U &4U panels which when assembled look and feel very robust and functional.
The Cirris CR Harness tester was then built into the rack to give a completely contained ready to roll system.
The wiring of the system was a massive undertaking. As one could imagine; an engine harness for a modern engine is a very complicated and a vast array of wiring.
This wiring to tester interfacing was all brought under control using the new Din Rail CTS – IDC Transition modules that I had designed earlier in the year as a new CTS Product.
The Transition modules allowed for a seamless tester to connector transition and a very neat and reliable solution.
Testing the engine harness now takes but a few seconds to complete, previously this was a manual task that took hours of time and a lot of head scratching.
The CTS system utilises the Cirris Easywire software ,which is a very informative interface.
Should the tester find a fault it will immediately display an image of the offending connector, and the exact connection that’s at fault on screen.
The tester is not just looking for a continuity test, it is checking the resistance of the connection down to 0.5 of an ohm.
Therefore, a weak connection will have a higher resistance and it will flag up as being out of specification. This is very useful for checking wear on mating connections in the production cycle.
The tester is also fully net-workable. Remote control option is also available via LAN & Wifi.
A wire probe was also installed for that rare occasion that an engineer would want to do a live on-screen test of individual connections.
The concept of the new mobile rack system design appears to have struck a chord, as we have subsequently been asked to design further harness testing systems for the same manufacturing plant in UK.
This fills me with pride and the belief that we are on the right track with this format.
Please feel free to email email@example.com if you would like to enquire about some of the options we have for customising your test requirements.