The beauty of a modern aircraft in flight highlights the importance of good design. Bridges, cars, trains and ships all rely on their design to operate, and safety is of paramount importance.
Modern design engineers must ensure that the design works regardless of the demands placed on it. To achieve their dreams, they always look at new materials, such as different alloys or composites—with which they must use modern technology. It’s all about using less material to produce stronger designs.
Extensive stress, quality and safety testing are needed to make sure the design will work. Yet structural tests – even on prototype designs – can require the monitoring of many thousands of measuring points. The design teams are left with a great deal of responsibility, as even the tiniest defect can cost lives.
But it is not just a matter of technical know-how. These projects also demand well-organized management routines.
That’s where HBM’s catman®Enterprise comes in. It is software you can rely on.
It’s flexible because it suits projects ranging from as few as 30 measuring points to large-scale tests demanding up to 20,000 measuring points. It supports both centralized and distributed architectures and can be supplied as a turnkey solution.
catman®Enterprise works because HBM has listened to its customers. The software’s development has benefited from the experiences of nearly 20 leading high-tech companies.
Let’s take a look at one of our most significant projects; the full-scale fatigue testing of the Airbus A380 at IABG in Dresden. These tests have been ongoing for several years and, thanks to catman®Enterprise, all the measurement data is professionally organized. Test schedules have run smoothly and efficiently.
A high level of data security was maintained throughout the project’s life.
catman®Enterprise ensures optimum security by:
- automatic self checks
- wiring checks
- efficient calibration
During the A380 tests, the different flight phases were simulated almost 50,000 times. This enabled the average stress to be tested for the entire service life of the aircraft.
More than 7,000 measuring points recorded data on deformation, pressure and temperature. This was one of the most thorough and detailed series of design tests ever conceived thanks to catman®Enterprise.
catman®Enterprise has also benefited other notable projects. Take the reinforced structure of the F/A-18 fighter plane. Swiss authorities needed a complex, large-scale investigation.
This required 68 hydraulic cylinders to simulate realistic in-flight stresses. A full-scale fatigue test was also essential. Using catman®Enterprise. over 10,000 flying hours were simulated, captured and analyzed within 2 years— ensuring swift progress for the project.
Some 1,100 strain gages were fitted for these tests. Displacement transducers, temperature and pressure sensors were also incorporated into the test layout. Looking at the integrated data gave a remarkable insight into the aircraft’s structure. All of this could be achieved with just a few hundred measuring points.
Combined with the right hardware – HBM’s MGCplus – catman®Enterprise is unbeatable. HBM’s senior developer on the catman®Enterprise team, Johannes Mattes explains:
"Structural testing is an essential part in the development of vehicles and structures. Testing static loads and fatigue failure points gives your customers increased confidence in your designs."
HBM’s solution for structural testing is catman®Enterprise. Together with our data acquisition system, MGCplus, it provides the perfect turnkey solution.
Let’s look at some of the key aspects of catman®Enterprise.
The software comprises four main modules. These are:
- data validation
- real-time data acquisition
- assessment of acquired data
By simplifying the configuration, catman®Enterprise gets tests running very quickly and helps synchronize the workload. It uses a definition list that sets up a test point plan without needing the hardware set up for measurement.
Drag-and-drop functionality is provided when connecting with the MGCplus. This uses a structured view to navigate through all the channels in any project. It is easy to configure the MGCplus and it can be used for data validation, as prepared data from Excel can be easily imported. Internal checking of the data-acquisition amplifiers is supported while a wiring check tests and reports on every channel within seconds.
catman®Enterprise too provides data validation, and has an automatic amplifier self-check. Calibration is very important and your systems must comply with national regulations.
catman®Enterprise has two different measurement modes for data acquisition – one featuring two measurement rates and the other with three different measurement rates.
In the two measurement mode, it is possible to use the buffer for acquiring high-speed data. This can be read at any critical point during the tests. The tests can be scaled from just one MGCplus to using up to 60 MGCplus during high-speed measurements without affecting performance.
The data server allows participating engineers worldwide to connect and check on specific concerns. All data is stored in a fully traceable data pool with complete details recorded once acquisition is complete.
catman®Enterprise exports data in a variety of formats such as ASCII for Excel or the encode format, which can be analyzed independently.
There is also a special option for high-channel count systems used for fatigue testing. Analysis of the data is based on load conditions. This option aids with early identification of critical sections.
This is just a brief overview. There are many more features of catman®Enterprise that we are happy to demonstrate.
catman®Enterprise is the best integrated data software for structural tests. It increases project efficiency by reducing time and costs without affecting quality. This software gives you results you can trust and ensures your designs are safe.
Every day, HBM’s software proves its worth by its performance on test benches around the world.
catman®Enterprise, another high-quality product from HBM. Making the art of engineering design precise and accurate.