The Kverneland Group, which was founded in 1879 and is headquartered in Norway, has factories in Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Russia and China. It has its own sales companies in 19 countries and exports to another 60 countries.
One of the key metrics for farming equipment is durability, and Kverneland Group was very interested in reinforcing and branding the durability of its implements. The challenge for Kverneland Group engineers is to design implements that are durable, meaning that the lifetime of the implement fulfills customers’ expectations. The machines are used in conditions that vary greatly from market to market. Individual users also operate machines with varying degrees of roughness, so Kverneland Group engineers suspected that their existing durability testing process resulted in over-testing designs, leading to results that weren’t indicative of the true durability of the products.
To overcome this issue, Kverneland Group adopted a testing system consisting of LMS SCADAS™ Recorder hardware and LMS™ Test.Xpress software and LMS™ Tecware software from Siemens PLM Software. The newly acquired equipment will help engineers validate different load scenarios and design realistic lifetime tests. LMS SCADAS Recorder and LMS Test.Xpress are used jointly to collect dynamic load data during field and laboratory tests, and LMS Tecware is used to streamline the process of consolidating load data and analyzing durability characteristics.
Implements typically must withstand high loads, so loads must be measured accurately. For instance, with every cut, 50 to 60 kilograms of grass can flow through the mower. Two to three tons can flow through the machine every minute. Many local constraints exacerbate the need for extensive testing. Therefore, Kverneland Group is using Siemens PLM Software testing products to collect more data to determine a number of possible load profiles.
Collecting more proof points
By using LMS SCADAS Recorder, Kverneland Group has received more detailed information about load profiles. Using these products increases the company’s knowledge of the load history, and enables it to reproduce more realistic load conditions and test according to the majority of load conditions.
Previously, Kverneland Group used manual testing with five or six points (typically, strain sensors) of reference on its teststand. Now strain gauge sensors are placed on up to 30 measuring points, providing much more accurate results. Consequently, Kverneland Group is able to perform:
Practical measurements of how the equipment will react to field work
Practical measurements of how the equipment will react to road transport
Measurements of how the equipment will react to standardized bumps
An evaluation of results, determining how high the strain was on the equipment
An analysis of which sensor signals are most important
A check on values used for accelerated lifetime testing.
Kverneland Group is very satisfied with LMS Test.Xpress for data acquisition. The company has been recording time data in the field using the LMS SCADAS Recorder embedded global positioning system (GPS) sensor. Engineers are able to acquire the most diverse loading data from various sensors, including strain, pressure, flow, position and acceleration sensors. They are able to visualize events on the map using LMS Tecware export to the Google Earth feature.
“Our engineers are very happy with the insight delivered by this information,” says Jan Vestergaard Madsen, head of the design department at Kverneland Group. “Over time, this improved insight will help define standard profiles to reproduce realistic tests in the lab.”
Henrik Christensen Aarenstrup, a project engineer at Kverneland Group, adds, “It is particularly easy to check values and to find back-measured data. The engineers get a complete overview of the measured data in the easiest way.”
Kverneland Group engineers have found that Siemens PLM Software testing solutions enable them to get better data more quickly, enhancing their knowledge about loads.
They are able to accurately measure loads in various conditions, such as mowing with one side of the implement folded and mowing with unequally suspended implements. They are also able to perform direct measurement of loads for use in calculations, and use strain gauges and acceleration, position, pressure and temperature sensors to measure the effect across a number of factors.
Kverneland Group engineers have already tried pressure, flow and temperature measurements for hydraulics applications and have been very pleased with the ease of use and results. The engineers expect a lot from additional sensor information, such as measuring the hydraulic folding and unfolding of the implement, which will provide more insight into the hydraulic forces on the implement. Ultimately, they intend to use loading data as input for fatigue life analysis using finite element analysis (FEA)…..
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