Baldor Electric Co, www.baldor.com

Dynamic Testing and Equipment, www.dynamic-testing.com

A new machine for testing automotive ball-joint seals from Dynamic Testing & Equipment, Erie, Mich., uses programmable ac servos instead of conventional hydraulic actuators to control its two motorized axes. The servos, MotiFlex e100 three-phase drives from Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, Ark., give test technicians extraordinary control, letting them vary test parameters, such as joint-articulation angles, on the fly. The servos are connected via Ethernet to a host computer running National Instrument’s (Austin, Tex.) LabView software and are controlled using TCP/IP through Activex commands in Baldor’s Mint programming language.

Flexible boot seals protect ball joints in automotive steering assemblies. The new machine can test up to six seals simultaneously. Tests can include continuous articulation of the joints, hot and cold brine spray, elevated humidity, and temperatures ranging from –20 to 80°C.