Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is the world’s 7th largest automobile maker, primarily consisting of the Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo brands. FCA has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past few years, due primarily to their ever increasing quality and the delivery of a very innovative and competitive product line up of vehicles. So, when FCA needed to perform a fast-tracked, rigorous test on a key critical component, they turned to the expertise and capabilities of Gantner Instruments.
FCA needed to find an automated way to simultaneously test 36 sophisticated electronic control devices while powered in a temperature chamber, undergoing a continuous 90-day cycled temperature and humidity test. Each device had 25 voltage (up to 100VDC), current and temperature points of measurement that required precise, isolated, high speed (5KHz) synchronization and data logging. This data would then be used to capture any anomalies seen during the testing, which could then be further studied (post acquisition) by FCA engineers to determine causes of potential failure and proposed corrective actions. So the major challenges were:
- How to monitor, condition, synchronize, acquire, and store laboratory quality data on 900 channels @ 5KHz per channel.
- How to organize and log this data – automatically –without the requirement for a connected computer of any kind.
- Generate Hourly reports of all channels showing min/max peak signal measurements during the hour.
- How to operate 24/7, unmanned, for a total of more than 2,100 hours.
- How to deliver and commission the system, without custom programming.
Time was of the essence for this project. FCA had a very small window to complete this test, and they knew that it had start up quickly and work correctly the first time, since it would take (at least) 90 days to complete. Gantner stepped up with a proposed solution that utilized all off-the-shelf components, that could be integrated and delivered quickly into a turn-key system, all at a price point that was extremely competitive.
The power and flexibility of the Q.series products allowed Gantner to tackle each aspect of this application one at a time. The modularity of the Q.series allowed the best ‘ mix and match’ product selection available to FCA for this application, including: