Allied Signal/Bendix uses DADiSP in automotive brake system design

Allied Signal/Bendix Automotive Systems is a worldwide organisation that designs, develops, and manufactures brake components and complete brake systems for automobiles. It is the responsibility of Walt Stringham, project engineer, to track down and resolve noise and vibration problems during the development phase of new products. To investigate these problems, it is necessary to analyse noise and vibration test data in three different mathematical domains, and to compare the results with analyses from other research departments. A software solution was needed to make data conversions easy, to store process data from one day to the next, and to be programmable by use of macros for specific situations.

The solution came in the form of DADiSP, graphic display data processing software.

The search for brake problems begins with the recording of a brake assembly from an operational vehicle test. DADiSP is sometimes used for direct data acquisition: interfacing with analogue-to-digital data acquisition boards to acquire up to 16 channels of data directly. For ordinary operations tests, however, a digital data acquisition system is used, and data are downloaded to DADiSP.

Somewhere between 70 and 120 revolutions of a rotor assembly take place in a six-to-eight second test recording. DADiSP is used to sort them out and extract them by means of a macro that Walt wrote himself. Next, time domain, frequency domain, and order domain analyses are carried out on the extracted data, and hardcopy plots are generated. Analysis results are compared to the tested vehicle’s component characteristics and to data from other divisions. At this point in the testing cycle, suggestions are made about mechanical modifications that might help produce a quieter or more comfortable brake.

Walt says that before his team started using DADiSP, going from the operations test to the data analysis took up to two weeks. Three computers were running “round the clock” doing data downloading and conversion. Now, this procedure takes under an hour. DADiSP’s storage capabilities enables them to compare one day’s process data to the next. Walt says he particularly likes DADiSP’s capacity for custom automation. He has built up a library of application-specific macros that he wrote himself to isolate selected data for analysis. He also uses DADiSP at conferences during demonstrations.

Because other research divisions at Allied now use DADiSP, they find data-swapping and comparison much easier. Their engineers can investigate the physical problems causing excessive vibration much faster as a direct result of DADiSP.

DADiSP is supplied and supported in the UK and Ireland by Adept Scientific plc, Amor Way, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 1ZA; telephone +44 (0) 203 695 7810, fax +44 (0) 203 695 7819, email; or see Adept’s World Wide Web site Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

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