UK company offers test equipment rental

Microlease Automotive Tool Box

Automotive industry suppliers are able to perform the wide variety of testing functions needed by using a flexible equipment rental scheme.

The complexity of vehicle electronics systems continues to increase. Modern vehicles demand a growing number of electronic control units (ECUs) and sensors, plus higher data rate serial buses and a broadening range of wireless connectivity options. Through this technology, road users can benefit from superior navigation, telematics, protection, climate control and infotainment functions, resulting in improved comfort, greater access to media content and accentuated safety. To address this progression, test equipment sourcing specialist Microlease has just introduced its Automotive Tool Box.

Including a wide variety of highly sophisticated test and analysis equipment from major manufacturers and covering a multitude of key activities, this application-focused equipment rental offers a unique approach to the market. It draws on Microlease’s longstanding experience of serving the automotive electronics sector and also benefits from the company’s expansive inventory. Through it, engineers will be able to rapidly gain access to the test technology they need in a highly cost effective and flexible manner. This means they can simultaneously satisfy both their performance and budgetary requirements, while also keeping to increasingly tight development deadlines.

The Microlease Automotive Tool Box addresses all the key aspects of modern automotive design, including:

* Vehicle models are now incorporating a number of different communication buses (CAN, LIN, FlexRAY, MOST, Ethernet, etc) to deal with powertrain, driver assistance, comfort and infotainment functions. Keysight’s 6000X series of oscilloscopes (when supplied with software optimised for such tasks) can be used to examine these high speed bus protocols. Likewise, the Rohde & Schwarz ZNB series of network analysers is very well suited to testing of physical connections.

* Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) comprise many critical electrical components that need thorough testing as they are exposed to difficult operational conditions. Among these are the on-board charger, power inverter, DC/DC converter and battery pack. To undertake the testing required, engineers need power quality analysers, like Yokogawa’s WT3000 or the Newton PPA-5530, as well as high power sources like Keysight’s N8900 series.

* Electro-magnetic compliance (EMC) testing is another concern that has to be fully dealt with. Teseq’s NSG-5600 automotive EMC test system, its NSG-437 ESD simulator and the Keysight MXE-N9038A compliance tester can be supplied for this purpose.

* The communication resources incorporated into vehicle cabins are continuing to expand (with Bluetooth, WLAN and NFC wireless protocols, as well as LTE/LTE-Advanced mobile technology, often being featured). In order to attend to RF test requirements, Keysight’s EXG and MXG signal generators, complemented by its N90X0B series of signal analysers may be among the items that need to be specified. Also there might be a demand for more specific communication testers, such as the CMW-500 or CMU-200 from Rohde & Schwarz.

* Safety functions now being deployed, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane change assistance and forward collision warning, all rely on the utilisation of automotive radar. The frequencies employed for these applications come close to 80GHz. Superior instrumentation is called for to undertake the relevant testing – ZNB network analysers from Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight’s PSG/EXG/MXG signal generators, plus its Infiniium oscilloscopes deliver the elevated levels of performance that are expected here.

“The constant evolution of technology is having a major impact on how testing is carried out. The array of rental and financial options offered by Microlease has proven to be a highly effective way of deploying test equipment as and when it is needed, while simultaneously mitigating the financial risk of upfront investment and benefiting from a high degree of flexibility. These aspects are of increasing value in this changing economic climate,” states George Acris, Marketing Director of Microlease.

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