Got a lot of repetitive shaker tests to run on a lot of different parts? Use the Test Sequencing feature of Simcenter Testlab Vibration Control to automatically run a series of control tests.
For example, if sine, random, and shock tests must be run, a job file can be created that will automatically load and run each test mode as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Test Sequencing can be used to run a series of vibration control tests (for example: Random, Sine, then Shock) automatically in sequential order.
The Test Sequencing software will automatically step between tests without requiring any user interaction. Of course, if any kind of error or problem is detected while executing the test, the software will stop and wait for user input.
This article explains how to use the Test Sequencing software, and has the following sections:
Creating a Test Sequence List
Saving a Test Sequence List
1. Getting Started
Simcenter Testlab Test Sequencing can be run with 24 tokens, if using Simcenter Testlab tokens. In addition to the tokens needed to run Test Sequencing, tokens will also be needed to run the individual control modes (random, sine, etc).
Test Sequencing can be started by selecting the “Test Sequencing” icon from the Testlab Environmental folder as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Use the Test Sequencing icon from the Testlab Environmental folder.
The Test Sequencing menu will appear (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Key areas of the Test Sequencing menu.
There are some key sections in the menu:
Job List – Using the menu bar, a sequence of different tests to be run can be created.
Action Buttons – This area is used to start, stop, and pause the tests.
Status Window – As tests are run, the status window reflects what is in progress.
The goal is to create a list or sequence of tests, and then have them executed.
2. Creating a Test Sequence List
From the pulldown menu, select the type of test to be added to the sequence list as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: The type of control test can be selected from the pulldown menu.
In the pulldown, a few different things can be specified:
Test Type - Any type of test can be selected: sine, random, shock, combined modes, dwell, etc.
Other Application – An executable file (*.exe) can be specified. For example, this could be a program that sends an email or text to someone to let them know a test is finished. It could also be a program to change the temperature of an environmental chamber.
Pause – A timed delay or pause can be put in the sequence. This could be used to allow an environmental chamber to get up to temperature before proceeding with the tests.
Then select the project file (*.lms) and section within the project with the test settings that corresponds to the test type as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: An existing project file and section are selected. A user defined run name can also be entered.
After selecting the project and section, a run name can be entered. This is a user defined field. When the measurement is performed, this name will be used for the measurement.
After defining the project and test, under “Edit Sequence” select either “Insert After” or “Insert Before” to add the test to the sequence list as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: After highlighting a test in the list, select “Insert After” or “Insert Before” from the “Edit Sequence” menu.
The defined project/test will be inserted into the list either before or after the highlighted row as desired. If there is nothing in the list, selecting “Insert After” versus “Insert Before” makes no difference.
When inserting different tests, it is possible for the job numbers to no longer be in numerical order. Use the “Reassign Numbers” button to reset the numbers.
Figure 7: The “Reassign Numbers” button is used to place the jobs in numerical order.
It is also possible to modify existing jobs in the test sequence. Double click on the job to be modified, then select “Edit Sequence -> Modify”.
Once the list is completed, the tests can be start
In the lower right corner of the Test Sequence menu, select the “Start” button to run through the test sequence (Figure 8).
Figure 8: The “Start” button is in the lower left.
The test sequencer will automatically start Simcenter Testlab Vibration Control in the background (Figure 9).
Figure 9: When executing a line from the test sequence, the appropriate (1) vibration control package and project are loaded. The status window (2) echoes the status of the test in progress.
Each line in the test sequence does the following:
First the desired vibration control mode is started, the specified project/section is opened, and the measurement started.
The status window echos the current status of the ongoing test: arming, aborts, measuring, etc. This way the software does not need to be visible.
If seeing the vibration control software running in the background is not desirable, then choose “Options -> Always on Top” in the Test Sequencing menu as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10: By selecting “Options -> Always on Top”, the Test Sequence menu always stays in the forefront of the display screen while Simcenter Testlab Vibration Control runs in the background.
Of course, it might be nice to have two screens – one with Test Sequencing, the other showing the actual test data being acquired.
Note that the duration of each test comes from the settings specified in the project file. It is not settable from the test sequencing menu itself.
4. Saving a Test Sequence List
After creating a test sequence list, it can be stored for later retrieval. Under “File”, select “Save Job File As…” to store the list away as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11: Use “File -> Save Job File As…” to store a list for later use.
If the same job list ever needs to be run again, it can be reloaded under the same menu.