Halter, a fast paced start-up based in Auckland, approached us asking for a custom accelerated life testing machine for their digital cow collars.
The machine had to perform 1 cycle per second on 10 collars at once, resulting in a peak loading of around 200kg. The cycle involved both a twisting component (x) and a stretching component (y), which combined to form an elliptical motion.
A turn-key solution was required, so both the mechanical and electrical systems were part of the scope.
Due to the tight time-frame, all components had to be sourced in NZ, affecting design possibilities. However, we quickly landed on a concept that was executable within the tight constraints.
It was decided that the mechanism should be split into two halves, generating elliptical motion in opposite directions such that all forces cancelled and no major vibrating forces would be present. The motion was generated by three wheels with linkages that connect to the collar mounting plates. Each wheel had multiple linkage pivot points to allow for independent adjustment of the x and y amplitudes.
Construction of the mechanism was quick due to the use of laser cut and waterjet cut components. Our standard plate joint geometry allows us to bolt profile cut frames together without welding. This ensures we don’t get any distortion- a big issue for mechanical assemblies that require accurate assembly in order to function properly.
One week of testing allowed for minor adjustments to the collar mountings, which showed wear after a short period. Improvements were made, and then the machine was packed up at our facility in Tauranga and delivered to Halter in Auckland. The client was happy and began testing immediately, using the machine to successfully identify weak points in the collar geometry and improve their design prior to tooling.