Robotic Test System Automates Testing of Steel Dumbbell Specimens

Zwick has developed a robotic testing system to carry out standard-compliant testing of steel dumbbell specimens. Testing to EN 10002 and ASTM E8, it features extremely quick, reliable operation whilst relieving the operator of laborious handling of heavy specimens up to 10 kg.

Robotic testing system with two testing machines (2000 kN and 1200 kN).

The robotic testing system consists of two Zwick materials testing machines with capacities of 2000 kN and 600kN, a specimen magazine capable of holding 217 specimens and an automatic cross-section measuring-station. The system has been designed to test steel dumbbell specimens with a length of 350 mm (machine 1) and 500 mm (machine 2) with a thickness up to 50 mm.

After entering the basic specimen details in the systems control software the operator places the specimen in a magazine compartment. Due to the CE conforming design this can also be done while the robot is operating, and to eliminate any possibility of confusion a barcode reader can be used. The specimens are then mechanically tested on the selected testing machine in accordance with the operator's instructions. The complete system is controlled via testXpert autoEdition2, with testing on the individual testing machines performed via Zwick's proprietary testXpert software.

Systems such as these are used by steel producers and processors whose production plants are in operation round the clock. Reliable operation as well as elimination of operator influence (hand temperature and moisture, off-center or misaligned positioning etc.) produces highly reproducible test results and as a result the system reduces testing costs per specimen, typically paying for itself within one to two years. The modular design of the specimen feeding system allows manual feeding as and when required.

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