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Thomas Schmitt
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Electrical Engineering
Division Manager Test Center
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Service life testing of a switch module

  • Task

    WEBER GmbH was asked to certify the full functionality of the switch module under various environmental conditions.

  • Performance

    In addition to pure environmental simulations, such as climate testing, a primary part of this task was to create an actuator for the switch module that could implement both electronic communications via LIN bus as well as the mechanical actuation of the individual switches.

    Preliminary investigations finally led to a pneumatic actuation that had to work at temperatures of –40 °C to +85 °C. Alternatively, motorised actuation using stepper motors was also investigated.

    Further highlights of the project:

    • A mechanism for testing switch modules
    • Pneumatic mechanism tests two toggles and eight buttons on the module
    • Five toggle positions were set using mechanical impact
    • LabVIEW software controls the system so that all the buttons and all the positions of the toggles can be controlled on each cycle
    • Switch modules are tested with the equipment in the climate cabinet at room temperature and at high and low temperatures
    • Software records any errors that occur
    • Software also connects to the climate cabinet and records temperature data
    • Electrical current data is also recorded

  • Summary

    This test could be used to initiate design improvements to the switch modules. Pneumatic actuation is less elegant and mechanically more difficult than a motor, but the results it provides can be reproduced at any time.