ARL Innovation Spotlight
We take an in-depth look at a specific part of the TyRex family. This time we spotlight a “button pusher” and a “chamber extender”, two innovations being used at Austin Reliability Labs.
What does the “button pusher” do?
Jon Roesch, ARL Lab Technician: The “button pusher” is an electro-mechanical device with similarities to a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. The computer tells the motors to move, and the motion of the motors is changed from rotational to linear motion along the x-y plane of the equipment being tested. Every 300 milliseconds, the computer program tells the pneumatic cylinders to engage – all the while, each of the 16 keys are monitored for actuation. If the key is actuated during this cycle, the software counts the total.
What do you really call this thing, and what problem does it solve?
JR: We call it a button pusher. “Repetitive Keypad Fatigue Test Machine” seems too wordy. It keeps me from having to push buttons 20 million times and keep track of when they fail.
What about the chamber extender?
George Ayad, TyRex Facilities Manager: The lab needed to test a piece of equipment that was five feet long, but our Thermotron chambers only measure three feet squared. The extender allows the lab to test equipment up to seven feet long. It was like building a house – I installed a wood frame, and then filled in layers of insulation. I put it on wheels to make it easier to move and store.
How does it work?
Steve Derrick, ARL Lab Manager: We attach the chamber extender to one of our 32c chambers and place the oversized equipment into it for thermal testing. The chamber extender can handle temperatures from about 70°C to -5°C.