Control of the Test Rig for Spring Stiffness Measurement with Hydraulic Integrated Actuator and Computer Vision
The paper deals with the control of the test rig for measurement of the stiffness of the spring. The test rig is equipped with integrated hydraulic actuator and multilayer control system with computer vision to automate the testing process and to increase the safety of the operating staff during the testing. The integrated hydraulic actuator allows to control the piston velocity and position and to produce the force needed for the spring compression and stiffness measurement. It has an integrated manifold with four proportional flow control valves connected as the full hydraulic resistance bridge. Each control valve is controlled separately using the input signal. That makes it possible to realize different connections and control strategies of the hydraulic cylinder using the different control algorithms. The hydraulic circuit was modelled and simulated, and the achieved simulation results are presented in the paper. The test rig is controlled using the microprocessor control system and is it equipped by different transducers – position transducer, pressure transducers and force transducer to be able to collect data important for the stiffness characteristic evaluation. The upper level of the control system is created by the vision control system. The goal of the implementation of the machine vision is to decrease the number of the manual operations done by the technician by the spring testing and to extend the automatic testing cycle of the automatic computer vision-controlled movement of the actuator at the beginning of the testing cycle and finally to increase the safety of the operating staff. The structure and functionality of the designed control system, experimentally obtained results and evaluated stiffness characteristic of the tested spring are presented in the following chapters.
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