An automotive company needed to monitor the temperature and pressure of a fluid inside a fan clutch. They needed a custom circuit board to collect 4 channels of temperature data and 4 channels of pressure data. This data then needed to be sent wirelessly to a PC to be logged for later review. The circuit board and housing needed to be balanced along the x and y axis due to the fact it was mounted directly to the fan clutch. Any unbalance would cause the clutch to vibrate, yielding erroneous data.
We partnered with McGilvra Engineering to help us develop the custom circuit board. The circuit board collected data from the temperature and pressure sensors and then transmitted the data via infrared to a receiver board. The receiver board then sent the data to a PC via the serial port. We developed a custom LabVIEW application that read the binary data from the serial port and displayed the temperature and pressure data in engineering units. The program also saved the data to a .csv file for later analysis. We also designed the housing for the circuit board. As stated before the housing had to be balanced about the x and y axis to minimize vibration. We also had to minimize the weight and make it strong enough so it wouldn't fail at the high rotational speeds it would be subjected to.
The test we developed enabled the manufacturer to retreive data on the fan clutch that previously was impossible to obtain. The manufacturer was able to make necessary improvements to the clutch based on the data that they were able to collect.