Tinius Olsen Wins Prestigious Chinese Online Award
World leading machine testing manufacturer Tinius Olsen have made in-roads into the lucrative Chinese market with the winning of a prestigious online award.
The company’s metals and plastics pendulum impact testing machine IT503 has been voted the most popular scientific instrument in its category by users of the highly popular scientific instrument information website instrument.co.cn
Users voted for one Chinese winner and one International winner in a number of different categories. Six products were shortlisted in each category based on the number of page visits on the site. The IT503 won the International award in the Testing Machines section.
“We are delighted with the award which is indicative of the way our testing machines have been received within the Chinese marketplace. China has the second largest economy in the world, so interest such as this from within the industry sector is very pleasing,” said Martin Wheeler, Director of Sales and Business Development.
“The IT 503 is one of the best machines available within its sector. Obviously this reputation has reached the Chinese market which can only help establish the Tinius Olsen brand.”
China is one of the fastest rowing economies in the world, importing an estimated $1.53T in products and services every year. Industries across all sectors export in excess of $2.37T, creating a ready made market for the testing machine industry.
Clearly the reputation for quality and durability of our product line is already established in China, which will make the creation of new markets in the country that much easier,” continued Mr Wheeler.
The model IT 503 plastics impact tester, together with the model IT 504, continues to set the industry standard for versatility, ease of operation, and display of information with high resolution. The primary difference between the IT503 and the IT504 is that the model IT504 is supplied without the interlocking safety shielding.
New Video Extensometer Looks to the Future
Tinius Olsen have introduced the next generation of extensometry technology, with the introduction of their new video extensometer, the VEM Series.
The instrument, which is available in both single and multi camera systems, is designed to measure low levels of strain from 0.01% in tensile, compression, shear and flexural modes. It utilises high resolution monochrome cameras, with advanced high-speed image processing, which added to the inclusion of cool lighting, allows point to point real-time video processing capable of exceeding ASTM E83 Class B1 and ISO 9513 Class 0.5 accuracy.
“The system works by acquiring an image of the test sample with the VEM’s pattern recognition technology locking onto two targets creating a gauge length, which can be set as required by the user,” said Martin Wheeler, Director of Sales and Business Development.
“As the specimen is tested, software tracks the point to point movement of the two targets from camera frame to camera frame, allowing the strain data to be calculated in real time. Multiple gauge lengths are possible in both longitudinal and transverse directions, allowing the determination of r and N values.”
The required high resolution of the VEM system needed to calculate these results is achieved through sub-pixel interpolation algorithms, allowing the system to resolve to micron levels of movement. All measurements and outputs are time stamped and can be archived for later reference. The uncompressed video output can be recorded for post-test measurements and analysis.
An integral lighting strip guarantees repeatability in tests regardless of lab conditions yet requires no special light sources or red colours, being easily regulated by the user modifying intensity as required, to guarantee a stable light environment. These adaptable extensometer modules are available in a range of different performance configurations each compatible with Tinius Olsen’s Horizon and VSS materials testing software, whether the Basic, Standard, or Advanced option.
The VEM is available in two different versions for either low or high extension materials, which is achieved by the selection of specific high resolution lenses. The low extension system utilises a small field of view lens, which is designed specifically for low strain measurements, whereas the high extension version is supplied with a general purpose lens, giving a field of view of up to 1,000 mm.
This range of technology provides video extensometry for almost every type of application, including composites, metals inclusive of thin wire, textiles and plastics.
“The precise camera, lens and data acquisition technology delivers zero gauge length error every time and rapid application of gauge marks, including for the measurement of rotation (to monitor specimen alignment) during testing. Calibration is digitally embedded but, for reassurance, can be verified at any time using the standard traceable gauge block supplied,” continued Mr Wheeler
Further enhancement of the system can be achieved by utilising multiple cameras for more demanding applications, such as thin wire and composites. The system software can track patterns from up to eight individual cameras, with eight different lenses.
Tinius Olsen Horizon software utilises data from the materials testing lens for the initial linear section of the stress/strain graph then switches to the camera with the general purpose lens for the rest of the test. This ensures the highest possible quality data to be used.
The VEM Series is also directly compatible with the entire range of Tinius Olsen testing machine frames. It is mounted using a stabilised carbon fibre arm with integrated X, Y and Z fine positioning adjustment for optimum measuring performance.
“The units are completely combined with the testing machine and result-reporting software, supporting strain rate control, many gauge length click-and-drag placements, and real-time results during and throughout the test.”
“Where the new system really excels however, is by the optimising of productivity through speed of use, thus enhancing repeatability as well as aiding traceability via the embedded strain data video stored as part of the results data set.”
Key Features of the VEM 200 Video Extensometer
* Non contacting video extensometer solution
* One extensometer measures in tension, compression, flexural, shear modes
* No need for bonded strain gauges or multiple clip on extensometers for r&n
* Supports axial, transverse, orthogonal and rotational measurements
* Provides a permanent record for recall of the test in video format with full resolution embedded strain data
* Meets the requirements of ISO 9513 class 0.5, ASTM E83 class B1 and GB/T12160 class 0.5
For further information on the VEM Series email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Generation of Machines to Improve on Conventional Hardness Testing
Tinius Olsen have introduced a new generation of instruments to their highly successful FH Series of hardness testers, with the launch of the new Micro Vickers, Vickers and Micro Brinell FH3 and FH14.
The machines are improving on conventional hardness testing methods, with the introduction of new features such as digital/optical image evaluation and combined intuitive operator software, helping eliminate operator influence on final test results.
The incorporation of a unique force actuator system, which utilises an electronically controlled closed loop system and advanced force sensor technology, also allows for forced feedback data to achieve absolute accuracy, reliability and repeatability on each of the forces used for a specific test.
“In addition to the advanced electromechanical force application system, the FH-3 offers superior quality mechanical and optical components, as well as innovative software functions of I-Touch™ workflow control,” said Sean Malloy, Hardness Application Testing and Technical Specialist at Tinius Olsen.
“This allows file storing, test program setting and storing, limit settings, conversions to other hardness scales, system setup and convex and concave test settings that contribute to the high reproducibility of test results.”
“The new instruments are still easy to navigate through all the functionality, making it easy for an operator to learn the machine operating routine. Therefore training is simplified. There is also the ability to store results with pictures, which enables recall of those pictures for re-evaluation of the measuring process.”
The new FH3 and FH14 Series are also designed to be incorporated within an automated system, which collects data from multiple machines performing tests simultaneously. This can be a combination of tensile, dimensional, hardness and flexure testing, with all samples being robot fed.
In addition to freeing up technicians for other tasks, the automated system ensures precise sample positioning and imaging, enhanced accuracy, an extremely high level of repeatability and overall increased productivity.
It again helps eliminate operator-related errors caused by eye strain, fatigue and inevitable inconsistencies, which can be a common problem in micro hardness
“We have 6 models in the FH14 segment with a load range of 1gram to 31.25 Kgf. The FH14 Series of testers can do micro/macro Vickers, Knoop and by request the FH14 can do light force Brinell testing as well. It’s a marvellous combination of testing in one package,” continued Sean.
“The FH3 series carries many of the same attributes of the FH14 series but increases the amount of space to accommodate the larger than normal samples. This is done with 2 different models and a load range of 200 grams to 62.5 Kgf – not only is the sample accommodations increased from the FH14 series but the load range is expanded to higher Vickers and Brinell testing.”
“These 2 models will complement each other with their excellent load range and advanced technology, notwithstanding the exceptional value they will bring to the testing industry that demands testing equipment, technical support and service excellence all from the same company - a one stop shop if you like.”
Key Features of the new FH3 and FH14 Series
* Up to 3 stacked load cells with accuracy of less than 0.5 %
* Turret capable of housing up to 4 different objective – 2 indenters
* Anti-collision technology within the turret to protect samples and the machine from inadvertent contact
* Multi positional touch screen display comes as standard
* Easy operator navigation through all functionality that can be outfitted with 4 graduating levels of automation. This includes a motorised stage performing pattern testing with automatic results, without adding complicated functions to confuse the person performing the testing.
* Ability to store results with pictures, recall and export to network storage giving the ability to backup and store results over a lengthy period of time
* The ability to view the indentation through a microscope and camera to scrutinise the measurement, with Dual optical paths allowing both functions to operate simultaneously.
For further information on the VEM Series email: email@example.com
Industry Leading Testing Software Looks to the Future
Horizon is Tinius Olsen’s own computer-assisted data acquisition and machine control system, which can be supplied with most of our testing equipment. The software package allows data to be collected, analysed, output graphically (where needed), and stored. If the testing machine allows, it can also control testing operations.
Horizon has a comprehensive selection of pre-defined testing programs which include powerful analysis of testing data, complex control, and sophisticated reporting. These programs can be modified and further enhanced to fit a customer’s particular requirements.
The testing data collected by these programs may be exported to an outside source then later transferred to other data analysis systems. The Horizon databases may also be configured to be shared across several computers on a company’s network, thereby allowing the testing programs and testing data to be utilised by multiple systems.
Using Horizon will make easy work of your materials testing, whether it’s designed for the demanding rigours of R&D or the charting and analysis functions of QC testing.
Tinius Olsen Software Developer Stacey Ryan, who has developed Horizon into one of the industry-leading global testing softwares, gives an insight into the package and its future developments.
What makes Horizon different from previous software at Tinius Olsen?
When we began developing Horizon we wanted it to stand out, not just within the industry but within the company.
Horizon is different from anything we’ve done before because it’s a combination of everything we’ve done before. It incorporates all phases of testing from every machine Tinius Olsen manufactures. Then we took things a step further.
We decided to reject the old drab look of Windows applications and design something more attention-grabbing. We decided to program our new application in a platform that would allow us to make something colourful and more appealing to our users.
What are some useful features that users might miss?
There are many customers that like to start testing right away. They don’t always get the chance to explore the software properly, get to know it's features and find out what’s available to them. Sometimes I think that’s a shame. There are a few features that would make testing easier and I have a few favourites:
The security section is overlooked a lot. Here the software can be configured so that groups of users can have different permissions for the software. For example, operators can only have access to the testing area while a lab manager can see both the testing area and editor. Then, only an IT person could have administrative access to all areas (including security itself). Such a setup might minimise methods from being altered and causing issues for other shifts.
Importing of results from a comma delimited file and the use of lookup results has come in handy several times for me. Users have a habit of creating multiple methods which are identical save for a testing speed or limit. By using these features its possible to create a single method that switches the speeds/limits based off some identifier. For example, you enter a part number and, by using a lookup formula, the software figures out which speed to use for the test.
We get a lot of positive feedback on the reporting section and the fact that it’s customisable. Many people don’t realise it is, or how much so. Many leave the default reports that come with the software. However, the sections of the reports can be moved and resized to the user’s needs. Tests can be filtered based on the method they were tested with, or grouped together based on an identifier. There’s also some font formatting that can be taken advantage of.
What are some of the features you’re developing for the future versions of Horizon?
We have a few big projects in the works now:
We’re working on communicating with our machines using an ethernet connection.
We’re working towards an online delivery system for software orders. Customers who are upgrading could get their Horizon software faster by downloading it from our FTP Site.
We’re working on the ability to record tests with a webcam. The video would be stored on the computer and synced with the testing data. Customers would be able to play back the video and see exactly what was happening during the test and how it related to their testing curve.
We’re working on a second generation HMC handheld device.
We’ve started brainstorming ideas for our next generation of software. It’s years from release, but using Horizon as a baseline and, with the feedback we’ve received from it, we hope to make the next generation bigger and better.
Horizon key features:
Full PC networking integration and backup across a PC network using industry standard SQL database structure.
Multiple licensing of Horizon for multiple installations to review methods, results and reports away from the testing machine, lab or plant.
Multi-level user password capability.
Recall function enables users to add key data perhaps not available, or missed, prior to the test.
Built in Team Viewer licenses enabling TO engineers to log in directly, upon request, and provide on-machine technical support.
Live results during test; there is no limit to the number of results displayed and these do not have to be used in the test report.
With sufficient PC power and bandwidth, multiple testing machines can be run from a single PC.
Users can use pre-written international standards methods as templates to modify and build their own test methods.
For further information on the VEM Series email: firstname.lastname@example.org