A European-based company recently opened its first overseas testing facility, and the U.S. site offers test machines not found elsewhere in the domestic market.
"Our pressure fatigue test machines are unique in the U.S. market. We are the only test lab in the U.S. with pressure fatigue equipment capable of test pressures up to 4500 bar at a frequency of up to 15 Hz," said Brian Cullen, Managing Director of Maximator Test LLC in Gurnee, IL.
The pressure fatigue test machine is used primarily for life-cycle/durability testing. "Some of our typical automotive industry fatigue testing applications are high-pressure diesel fuel components such as common rails, fuel lines, injectors, and pump housings. The machine also can be used to conduct fatigue testing using a pressure pulse on virtually any pressurized part," said Cullen.
Since the Illinois facility can be operational around the clock, a multimillion cycle pressure fatigue test can be done in just over a week's time. "For high-pressure diesel applications, many of our customers have a 10-million cycle requirement to ensure safe operation of the system throughout the lifetime of the vehicle. Our pulse rig can conduct this test in just under eight days running 24/7," Cullen explained.
Maximator GmbH of Germany—part of the Schmidt, Kranz & Co. founded in 1885—has been building test machines for 38 years. "Our burst/leak test bench can test components up to 4500 bar. However, some of our customers require higher pressures to burst their components—common rails, for example—and for that we can use our Autofrettage machine, which is capable of 10,000 bar. Our machine can be configured to seal and autofrettage virtually any type of common rail. The autofrettage process is a one-time application of ultra-high pressure that generates a compressive residual stress between the inner and outer component walls as a means of counteracting premature component failure," said Cullen.
The new facility means customers can see equipment before buying the machines. "To help generate new machine sales in the U.S. market for Maximator GmbH, the 3850-ft² facility includes a showroom so customers can see the machines in operation without having to travel to Germany. Maximator not only builds a wide variety of machines, the company also works with customers to design custom machines," Cullen said.
Maximator's new testing facility complements the research, development, and testing work done in Germany. The company also has several production and sales locations around the world. "As we grow along with the commercial and passenger vehicle diesel markets in the U.S., we expect to increase the size of our Illinois facility. And as the business grows, we also expect to hire more lab technicians and service technicians to support our customers," Cullen said.