Denso Europe

The Customer

A leading supplier of technology, systems and components to major European automotive manufacturers.

The Challenge

To design, build and supply a piece of test equipment capable of testing an air distribution unit (ADU) for the Porsche Cayenne.

The solution would have to be able to test four variants of the same air distribution unit; left and right hand versions of two-zone and four-zone air distribution.

The test equipment would be required to test hundred’ of unit’s per day and be rugged enough to outlast the unit’s estimated 5 year production lifecycle.

  • The test equipment was to configure, measure and verify:
  • The movement of flaps to control how the air is distribute.
  • Sound levels and abnormal sound.
  • Possible defects in the unit’s physical shape

There was a requirement to be able to trace each part tested via a barcode and produce reports to analyse statistical data based upon specific manufacturing requirements.

The Solution

Sorion’s experience in the automotive sector meant we were able to ask the right questions to work out the best solution and incorporated as many off the-shelf components as possible to keep costs to a minimum and lead times short.

Utilising our latest in-house 3D Printer and CAD software to quickly produce both development and final used parts, before taking the finalised component designs to machined parts.

We had to ensure the test equipment recognised which variant of the unit was being tested in order to run the correct test and that the automated test did not commence until the unit was correctly seated.

Denso Europe Test Equipment

Denso Europe Test Equipment

We also had to ensure that during the test, the unit was securely enclosed to prevent the test cycle being mistakenly interrupted.

The customer’s component changed during the project, but we had the flexibility and the expertise to be able to quickly and efficiently adapt.

The DENSO project was completed within four months and was made up of a standard Sorion Electrical Test System connected to a bespoke fixture in a soundproof enclosure that incorporated:

  • Two barcode readers
  • Two triangulation distance measurement lasers
  • Two microphones
  • Five capacitive sensors
  • Three rugged connectors with switch probes

Each test run lasts between two and three minutes in duration depending on which variant of unit is being tested and the system and controls and communicates to the ADU using the LIN protocol, issuing movement requests and measuring flap positions.

The tester is configured from a central editing system, using test scripts to interpret data recipes from configuration tables and the scripts were developed in English before being translated to the end user language.

Once the test is complete the operator is informed whether the unit has ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ and if it has failed ‘why it has failed’ and also the system manages local re-work storage and interfaces to the DENSO production line.

Sorion’s Sextans software manages the test process and records the results in our Orion database, which via a web browser, allows for bespoke quality assurance and performance reports to be produced.

The combination of rapid prototyping, standard test racks and our flexible Sextans test software allowed us to have a functional test prototype within weeks for customer review and managed to stay ahead of the changing requirements throughout the project.

DENSO Europe Test Equipment

DENSO Europe Test Equipment Screenshots

You can download a PDF version of this case study here.