1/23/12 Uni-Versal Test Machine For Robotic Eddy Current Testing, Automatic Self Calibration

UniWest, in partnership with Salem Design and Manufacturing, LLC, has introduced the new Uni-Versal™ Test Machine, the first flexible test platform that offers totally robotic testing of metal bearings and spindles utilizing eddy current testing (ECT) for cracks.  The Uni-Versal™ is the first machine of its kind to offer true automatic self-calibration. 


Based on Salem Design and Manufacturing’s vast experience in the automotive industry, the Uni-Versal™ Test Machine was designed to meet the current need for automated, reliable product quality verification of metal bearings and spindles—safety-critical automotive parts.  The Uni-Versal™ speeds up the verification process with no interruption of flow.  It also eliminates the possibility of operator error or misreading of results. 
True auto-calibration ensures consistently accurate readings. 


“This product will revolutionize the way products are quality tested in the automotive industry,” said Mark Gehlen, President & CEO of UniWest.  “UniWest has a long history of innovation in non-destructive testing.  We and our partners at Salem Design and Manufacturing have a deep understanding of the automotive industry and the challenges it faces today.   We are pleased and proud that the combined efforts of UniWest and Salem have enabled the development of this groundbreaking product.

At the heart of this machine is UniWest’s US-525M multi-channel eddy current testing instrument.  A rugged industrial piece of equipment, the ECT instrument offers up to eight channels, with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 10 Mz, a high signal-to-noise ratio, a bright 12-inch diagonal color LCD flat-panel screen, and data storage of 32 Gig.   It offers input/output (I/O) capability, USB and Ethernet connectivity, as well as three discrete alarm gates with independent outputs per channel.


The Uni-Versal™ and has a compact footprint (37” deep × 44” long) and can be installed inline or alongside an existing conveyor belt.  It can be programmed to handle and test a variety of spindles and bearings. 

The operator simply selects the part number, a three-dimensional image of the part appears on the screen, and the Uni-Versal™ automatically resets the gain for that part.  One robotic arm then lifts the part from the conveyer and brings it into the test machine where it is placed on a rotating chuck.  Another robotic arm manipulates the eddy current probe, while ensuring that it remains precisely the same distance from the part’s surface to ensure accuracy.  Separate probes robotically test inside and outside diameters for flaws. 


The Uni-Versal™ Test Machine segregates rejected parts from verified parts.  An optional impact marker can then mark the accepted parts.  Verified parts are then returned to the line, so there is no disruption to product flow.   Rejected parts are placed onto another conveyor.  Parts are divided into zones to identify flaw locations.


The Uni-Versal™ will never be obsolete, as it can be continually reprogrammed to accommodate new part designs.

UniWest is now filling orders for the Uni-Versal™ Test Machine from automotive plants and other spindle and bearing manufacturers.  To see a video of the Uni-Versal™, visit www.uniwest.com.  For more information, call 509-544-0720.


Founded in 1985, UniWest is a leader in applications engineering for nondestructive testing.  The company designs, manufactures, and services a full line of dependable, robust eddy current and ultrasonic testing products custom-designed to fit each application.  UniWest offers solutions to complex inspection problems for OEMs within the aerospace, power generation, automotive and other industries.

Photo to accompany this release and video can be viewed at: Click Here


Click here to see the Uni-Versal™ Test Machine at work.


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