Vehicle Test Equipment - Loop Clamps

CLIENT: Electrical and Electronic Test Equipment Manufacturer

INDUSTRY: Electronic Equipment

The client is a manufacturer of electrical and electronic test equipment for aerospace, rail and defence vehicles which is experiencing a period of focussed growth and development. They had developed a new system for testing electromechanical connections within assemblies – vital for ensuring that vehicles are safe – for which Hillside Product Design have previously design a new, custom set of test probes and controllers. The client required their own loop clamps (used to induce current across the joint under test), to achieve their goal of using entirely custom, own-label, test accessories within the product.

The timeframe for this project was very tight, as the client required a proof-of-concept prototype to demonstrate to a customer within weeks. Close cooperation between Hillside Product Design and the client was required to ensure that their delicate electromagnetic componentry was securely contained, and that the overall product envelope was as compact as possible while allowing for variations in the intricately wound coils. This ensures that the product was suited to a harsh life on vehicle production lines, where it will be used in tight, difficult to reach spaces.

Hillside Product Design developed a design concept which was rapid prototyped using our in-house 3D printing service. This was reviewed and verified by the client, before an initial pair of clamps were commissioned to demonstrate to the client’s customer. This initial prototype pair were to be a facsimile of production parts to enable the customer to fully commit to the project. To achieve this, high-quality CNC-machined and hand finished components were commissioned, which were completed within days and demonstrated successfully to the customer.

Subsequently, larger quantities of clamps were required to fulfil real-world orders, and to refine the design. Rapid CNC-machined parts for 20 evaluation sets were commissioned in total, providing the client with early access to their market, before the commitment to injection moulding tooling was made.

Hillside Product Design prepared a full manufacturing specification, and worked closely with a manufacturing partner to review tool designs, steward the tool build, and approve samples within 75 days, including public holidays. This approach - using 3D printing and CNC machining to compress development - provided the client with a supply of robust, cost effective, attractive, and accurate clamp enclosures.