AC S.A. is an innovative, modern and ambitious company. Despite our aggressive marketing policy and high investments in equipment and machinery year by year, we are still concerned about the natural environment. We are a responsible organization. We know that the scale of our manufacturing activities impacts the environment that we all live in. We make every effort to ensure that our products are as environmentally friendly as possible. Therefore all automotive electrotechnical and electrical components made on AC manufacturing lines are properly tested in a specially designed Environmental testing Laboratory, where we test the impact of products on the natural environment - and reversely - the impact of environmental conditions on the functionality and durability of the equipment.
The environmental testing rooms at AC S.A. include the climatic chambers. These are two specially designed rooms where it is possible to observe the reaction of products to varying temperatures and humidity. Testing in the climate chamber enables the behaviour of our products to be monitored in different climatic conditions and, above all, helps us to detect possible design and manufacturing faults. The temperature adjustment range is -40°C to +180°C. The adjustment of humidity in the climatic chambers is strictly dependent on the temperature and can vary from 10% to 98% in the temperature range +5°C to 95°C. Test duration varies from a few days to 2 months.
Temperature shock chamber
The engine, its accessories and systems – including the gas system – operate in different conditions and are exposed to sudden changes in the immediate environment. Therefore, our Laboratory also performs tests with a temperature shock chamber. A shock test is carried out in the form of an automatically controlled elevator moving between the two chambers with extreme temperatures: high and low. The possible temperature adjustment range of the heat chamber is from +60°C to +220°C, and the cold chamber is from - 80°C to +60°C. Most of the materials used in the construction of mechanical components, controller housings, controllers, as well as wire harnesses are tested in accordance with standards at a temperature of -40 to +140 C. Thanks to the chamber software, the number of cycles and the speed of transition from one temperature to another can be chosen.
Since STAG products and other products manufactured on AC lines are use all over the world, the company makes every effort to make them reliable in all climates. Therefore, apart from tests under maximum temperature loads, tests in a rain chamber are performed as well.
All AC products are required to pass the IPxx protection class test to determine the tightness of the article. The modern laboratory guarantees high quality readings and measuring accuracy. Specially designed rain nozzles have been arranged strategically in the chamber to check the product's water tightness in different rainfall conditions: from drizzle to intensive, vertical and wind driven rainstorms. The tightness is tested for 15 minutes, in compliance with the corresponding standard. If after this time no water gets into the controller, it is assumed that the housing meets the IPx4 protection class required by R67 and R110 regulations.
Corrosion testing is an equally important element of STAG quality tests. The result determines the real durability of components and the whole system. Therefore, the Environmental Testing Laboratory is equipped with a corrosion chamber to evaluate metal materials and coatings exposed to the same agent and to determine the time that is needed to initiate corrosion in such conditions. What does the process look like? A 5% saline solution is evenly distributed over the area being tested. This is a uniform process, as the compressed air used to produce salt mist is heated up and moistened in a humidiﬁer under pressure. The test lasts for 7 days (170) hours and the condition after this time corresponds to the process of the advancement of corrosion in a vehicle over a period of three years.
The impact of the environment on the performance of units and systems is verified in the full operating range in a real environment. The analysis also covers resistance to vibrations generated under the normal operation of the engine. This is simulated on a test stand with a vibration system. Often even vibrations that are neither noticed nor felt significantly affect the lifetime and reliability of AC products, as well as the comfort and safety of their use. A vibration system with a mobile climatic chamber is used to simulate vibrations and overload occurring in the vehicle. The control device is equipped with a sliding table, which adds the option of vertical axis testing to the mode with two horizontal axes. Similarly to other equipment in our Laboratory, the vibration testing stand also exceeds the strict requirements of standards for mass production. We have a series of our own testing programs and we can design more for the needs of outsourcing. The vehicle is equipped with speed sensors which record vibrations occurring in the car during different driving cycles. The vibrations are then transferred to the vibrating system, and reproduced under environmental conditions - i.e. under exposure to varying temperature and humidity.