IMA Dresden’s digitized testing system takes flight


IMA Materialforschung und Anwendungstechnik GmbH (IMA), has boosted its test capabilities with an all-digital measurement and control chain that automates fuselage shell testing.

The testing and certification body supports manufacturers and the supply industry with test benches for realistic component testing. Using real-time control, the controller of the test bench servo-hydraulics must take the measured data into consideration when applying the load.

For the fuselage shell test, IMA Dresden commissioned a test bench that has been developed from scratch. The design of the servo-hydraulic test bench is a proprietary development borne out of extensive in-house experience, as Gerd Striegler, Head of Measurement Technology at IMA Dresden, explains: “The modified design makes the test bench more flexible for different tests, component dimensions and test standards.” What’s more, several types of stress can be exerted simultaneously and tested in a realistic manner.

The new test bench uses approximately 30 hydraulic actuators with suitable force transducers, so that it can simulate motion-related tensile, compressive and shear stresses. The reactions to these are measured by 500 strain gauges via a QuantumX data acquisition system, supplied by Hottinger Brüel & Kjær (HBK), which records the strain gauge signals in various bridge configurations and digitally conditioning them for further processing.

With the QuantumX data acquisition system from HBK, the open and closed-loop control system required for this task receives digital signals in high quality directly via EtherCAT.

The full case study is available on HBK’s website: