Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Virtual Shaker

I'm not a proficient test and instrumentation engineer by any means. But, every engineer has to have some concept and understanding of what it takes to prove out a design before it reaches the market. As much as FEA, CFD, and other CAE technologies allow you to simulate the virtual world, finding vibration modes really was not sufficient to determine failure modes due to vibration. The only way was to put physical hardware on a shaker/vibration table like this Vibration and Slip table shown above. This physical test, usually following a standard or specification like MIL-STD-810, are time consuming and expensive. Hopefully, a well trained and experienced test facility (like my favorite - and shamelessly plugged - NTS) is overseeing the testing.

Due to the required shortening of development time, cost, and other associated inconveniences of physical testing, I'm always happy to hear about new virtual solutions. In a Nasa Tech Briefs article, a new Virtual Shaker test is highlighted. The article does not go into any detail on how the software works, who produces the software, what it integrates with, or anything at all. Still, I'm intriqued. You can get more information by visiting this link http://info.hotims.com/22908-123 or email info.us@lmsintl.com. The article was written by Marc Marroquin of LMS North America. But I couldn't find anything specifically related to "Virtual Shaker" on their website, which the info.hotims.com link takes you to.