Insufficient Electronic Load Capacity Means High-Voltage Components Can’t be Tested.
The Mission to Find an Efficient, High-Capacity Solution.
With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, the automobile industry is rapidly transitioning to an electronic one. As demand increases for the components that support vehicle systems, including motors and batteries, more manufacturers from other industries have started to produce components for automotive use, causing competition between component suppliers to intensify.
Doubling of system voltage meant parts could no longer be tested.
The company that is the subject of this case study manufactures electronic components for electric vehicles. While most electric vehicle systems still operate at around 400 volts, an increasing number of car manufacturers are now releasing 800 volt vehicles, and this had presented the company with a range of issues. The company’s chief quality assurance engineer explains:
“With the shift to higher voltages, the electronic loads we had been using to perform properties testing no longer offered sufficient capacity. Our electronic loads could be used at a maximum of 650 volts, so some components used in 800-volt vehicles could not be tested.”
Efficiency a matter of urgency.
For their part, the company’s engineers were unhappy about the increasingly fiddly testing process.
“We had more parts to test, all rated at different voltages and currents. Whenever we tested a component with a different voltage rating, for example, we had to reconfigure and reconnect the load devices, thereby making the test preparations more time consuming”, reflects the head of QA.
At the time, the company was in the process of moving its focus to electric vehicles, and the QA head’s bosses had told him to reduce testing time and otherwise make the testing operation more efficient.
“The requirement to reduce the size of the testing area was also an issue. While we tried rearranging the existing equipment in various ways, this did not work. We were therefore looking for a new electronic load that would provide an elegant solution to our problems”, he says.
Key Aspects of the Problem
The voltage rating of the existing electronic loads made them insufficient for some tests.
More components to test meant that the process of preparing for testing had become more complex.
The new electronic loads would need to deliver space savings.