Test Cell Retrofits for Quicker, Better Test Results

Test stands, due to their robust nature, have an extremely long lifetime and can often appear to be completely indestructible. This long lifetime means that the value from purchasing of hydraulic or electrically driven test stands is great as they can function over many years if properly looked after.

Test cell retrofits

Image credit: Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH

While a test stand’s hardware may perform optimally over a given time period, the needs placed on the system are constantly evolving as the science of engineering itself evolves. However, due to the substantial cost of investment in them, replacing test stands is expensive and can result in factory down time.

However it is not necessary to replace the entire system just to keep up with current technology. Instead, test stands can be improved by retrofitting – the installation of modern hardware and software onto an existing system.

Retrofitting is an established method of modernizing existing testing systems and is a preferred way of keeping measurements systems at the cutting edge of engineering technology.


Image credit: Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH

How Do Retrofits Work and What are the Benefits?

Test benches can be retrofitted using industry-leading measuring amplifiers like HBM’s QuantumX data acquisition system and its more hard-wearing sister system, the SomatXR.

These systems are highly versatile, in terms of both hardware and software, and can be used alongside many different platforms, which include LabView, catman and HBM’s in-house solutions based on Visual Studio .NET. The systems can also be fully integrated into real-time test control via CAN bus, EtherCAT™, PROFINET© or classic voltage lines in parallel to PC data recording.

A good example of the retrofitting test cells is where the existing hydraulics are used with a higher resolution amplifier to provide better measurement data quality. The QuantumX’s modules provide improved flexibility to respond to different types of testing whilst also being able to communicate with both existing and modern interfaces to provide more automation possibilities.

The Quantum X’s flexibility means the numbers of channels, and their type, can be rapidly and easily changed on a daily basis. This means channels for a new job can be set up without having to contact the bench producer and pay for new channels to be set up.

From this perspective, it is clear that retrofitting test cells allows engineers to completely improve their testing systems, and the quality of the data they provide across all applications, with an increase in capability. Retrofitting is an economical solution, which allows engineers to preserve their initial investment in the test bench whilst modernizing their testing processes.

HBM’s Retrofitting Components

HBM is a global leader in the manufacturing and production of test and measurement systems for the engineering and aerospace industries. HMB can supply users with systems such as amplifiers, sensors, and data acquisition systems, as well as for post-process data analysis (including distribution).

HBM’s Quantum X system for data acquisition is the ideal system to meet engineer testing requirements, providing a huge degree of versatility to existing test cells.

Quantum X provides older systems with a modern, reliable method of determining physical quantities, with the ability to collect information on sensors and signals for applications such as structural health monitoring and aircraft testing.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (HBM).

For more information on this source, please visit Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (HBM).


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