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Market Application Case Study


The manufacturer of HVAC systems needed a system to test brazed joints at final assembly for being leak tight. There are several joints of different sizes that must be tested for a rate of one 10th of an ounce of refrigerant Freon loss per year. Conventional ‘sniff-type’ leak testers did not provide the accuracy and repeatability they needed to meet quality standards. In the past leak test methods on similar products resulted in false leak failures slowing down production and adding cost to the product.

An electronic component manufacturer needs to leak test a sealed sensor for its resistance to ingress; dust, dirt, condensation, and liquids. They want to know how well, and how long, the product will perform to manufacturing specification to determine performance and quality issues. They will do 100% inspection to IP67 standards for process control validation. The customer requested a semi-automatic system with manual load/unload. Parts passing the leak test must be physically identified. The system must keep track of rejected parts for accountability.

A truck manufacturer needs to leak test installed air braking systems to ensure they do not leak and meet federal leak rate standards for commercial vehicles. The system requires semi-automatic operation; requiring the operator to make only necessary connections to run the test. The system can be configured to use on-site shop air or execute the test on a pre-charged air brake system using the vehicle’s air. For this application a customer supplied Vehicle Automated Test (VAT) system will manage and execute the air brake test. Pass/fail test decisions are system controlled.

An engine component manufacturer needs to test cylinder heads to ensure they meet performance specifications. The cylinder heads are aluminum castings that need to be checked for cooling flow and passage leaks. The test system will provide two dedicated stations to independently flow and leak test ‘Front’ and ‘Rear’ heads on demand. Testing will be performed on un-machined castings to ensure the parts conform to specifications before machining and additional cost is added to the part.

A medical device manufacturer needed a test instrument to test single, dual, triple and quadruple lumen CVC & PICC Catheters with female Luer fittings. The distal ends of these Catheters are tipped and skive holes cut into each lumen. The manufacturer requested automated testing that would be initiated by the operator and run through the complete test without operator intervention. Each lumen is independently tested for cross-over leaks between lumens, exterior leaks and grade the degree of blockage of each lumen. The device manufacturer also wanted the flexibility to simultaneously run either: 4 single lumen catheters, 2 dual lumen catheters, or either 1 triple or 1 quadruple lumen catheter each test cycle.

A medical device manufacturer needed a semi-automated system to test non-compliant PTA and PTCA Balloon Catheters. The tests include pressure decay testing at 425 psig and vacuum decay testing at 12 psiv to test the catheter both before and after installation of a metal stent over the balloon.

Manufactures use Leak Location Systems to isolate exterior leaks when standard Engine Assembly tests detect unacceptable pressure loss in the systems. Leak locating systems should be easy to operate, locate the leak quickly, and provide a relatively low cost method to pinpoint external sealing problem and/or identify a defective component.

Manufactures lose helium on every test when using Hard Vacuum Helium Leak Test Systems. The amount of helium used and lost in the test is proportional to the part size, test pressure, and quantity of the parts manufactured. In the last few years the price of helium gas has increased as much as 500% due to shortages and transportation. The higher cost of helium gas makes a CTS Helium Recovery System a better fit for a broader range of applications for environmental issues, improve manufacturing efficiencies, and help reduce manufacturing test costs.

Manufactures perform leak testing on engine final assemblies to ensure they meet specification to avoid expensive warranty claims. Testing routines are conducted on air/oil, fuel, and coolant cavities to determine the engine is properly sealed and to ensure there is no internal cross contamination of cavities and engine systems.

Market Driver: Safety is high on the list of concerns for today’s manufacturers especially those who manufacture brake components for commercial vehicles. Hose failure under pressure and fluid leaks are among their top concerns.

CTS designs and manufactures Helium Mass Spectrometer Test stands to meet the manufacturer’s test requirements of 10-4 to 10-6 SCCS (standard cubic centimeters per second ) leak rates for the completely assembled gas tank assembly within the ever restrictive production cycle times.

Market driver: The customer needed a system that was capable of leak testing 85-pound, partially-machined engine blocks.

Market driver: Diesel engines deliver higher performance, needed for larger trucks and SUV’s using high pressure direct injection.

Market driver: Premature automatic transmission failures can be caused by rolled o-rings and lip seals that go undetected during original assembly process.

Market driver: Diesel engines deliver higher performance, needed for larger trucks and SUV’s. Diesel fuel delivery systems are being developed for operating pressures of more than 30,000 psig.

Market driver: Automotive transmissions and engines are complex assemblies including several case components. Because of the high material and time value of these finished assemblies, pre-testing is critical.

Market Driver: Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) is a modern fuel injection technology employed in today’s gasoline engines. The gasoline is highly pressurized, and injected via a common rail fuel line directly into each cylinder, as opposed to conventional multi-point fuel injection that happens in the intake tract, or cylinder port. In most applications, gasoline direct injection creates lean burn combustion for improved fuel efficiency, and reduced emission levels.

Market Driver: During assembly of automotive transmission hubs, the graphite filled nylon seals are molded to the correct size and then stretched to be placed over the control ports on the transmission hub shaft.

Market driver: Develop a removable cast to replace the fixed plaster cast. An air pump system inflates a bladder about the critical area to be immobilized.

Market driver: Develop reliable, low-cost, expendable medical valve for integration into critical drug delivery systems.

Market driver: Medical research involves the cultivation of bacteria and other substances in culture flasks. These flasks must isolate the culture from outside influences during the cultivation process that might take some time.

Market Driver: Balloon Catheters require rigorous functional validation to insure that they perform their intended task of inflating, without risk of leaking or burst since they typically utilize inflation pressures 75 to 500 times normal blood pressure.

PROBLEM: The customer needed to verify the proper function of a pressure-relief valve installed within a drug delivery manifold. The pressure relief valve is designed to allow fluid to escape to a collection area when pressures in the normal fluid path exceeded a defined value.

Problem: A medical device manufacturer needed to perform 100% testing of a high variety of their PTCA (coronary angioplasty) balloon catheters for leakage.

Problem: The customer needed to perform 100% testing of various sizes of IV Bags for leakage. They had been using a photohelic pressure gauge based test instrument which would pressurize the part to a single pressure for a very lengthy fill step time.

Application: A medical device manufacturer had a new project requiring 100% testing of several French sizes of Triple-Lumen Catheters. The Catheter’s distal end was tipped and skive holes were cut for each lumen.

Problem: A medical device manufacturer required 100% testing of several models of solvent bonded Drug Infusion Sets comprised of tubing, various connectors and a specific ranges of flow restrictors.

Problem: A medical device manufacturer requires 100% testing on high volumes of several models of solvent bonded Enteral Feeding (Temporal Nutrition) Sets. These are comprised of a series of spikes, tubes, drip chambers and connectors which are attached to a TPN Bag.

Problem: The customer needed to perform 100% testing of sheath introducers for both leakage and blockage. They had been passing each part through a sequence of three stations of simple variable area flowmeter with a visual marked band indicating the pass fail limit in series with the part.

Market driver: Modern diesel engines have a wide variety of options which make the assembly process complex. Expensive warranty claims are avoided by testing the assembled engines with air to verify the integrity of the critical cavities prior to shipping to the vehicle assembly plant.

Market driver: The major engine manufacturers are currently developing improvements in the diesel engine to reduce Nox emissions to meet the 2010 standards.

Market driver: 100% Quality assembly of components being shipped from customer to OEM manufacturer. Past sub-assemblies have had incidents of pressed bushings and screws working loose after assembly and during shipment. Causing downtime with line stoppages when components do not perform as designs. Causing re-work and warranty repair in the field.

Market driver: Many police cruisers and heavy equipment vehicles have special fire suppressant modules in their trunks or near the engines to quickly extinguish potential fires due to rear end collisions or fuel malfunctions.

Market driver: Increased power, improved fuel consumption and reduced exhaust gas pollution is driving the high growth rate of turbo charged diesel engines.

Problem: A manufacturer of lawn & garden tractors needed to leak test a new fuel tank. The customer did not want to do a Mass Spec Leak test due to expense, and they didn’t want to do a normal Pressure Decay Leak Test where you pressurize the inside of the part because the tank had too much volume to perform a good test.

Market Driver: Heavy, over the road trucks require filtration and conditioning of their diesel fuel supply to insure optimal performance and efficiency. The test part is a large multichannel diesel fuel filter casting that incorporates coolant lines.

Problem: The manufacturer of truck turbo systems performs several function tests on the turbo actuator to verify product performance.

Problem: A motorcycle manufacturer is testing various parts of an engine to make sure the rigid manufacturing and quality standards are being met.

Market driver: The OEM manufacturer introduced a new wrinkle protection feature to their premium clothes dryer line.

Market driver: The introduction of new faucet designs require the verification of proper assembly to uphold the high-end quality expectation of the customer.

Market driver: A high-efficiency design heat exchanger used a new crimp seal design to reduce cost and warranty returns.

Market driver: Premium smart faucet for up-scale kitchen installations demand premium quality and reliability from its upscale customer.

Market driver: Dishwashers are finding their way into most homes today. While performing a valuable time and energy saving function, it must also protect home from water leakage.

Market driver: Dishwashers are a typical feature in most kitchens today. This appliance handles water and must not leak or it can cause damage to a house if undetected for a long period of time.

Problem: A world-class manufacturer of bathroom and spa tubs conducted a water test on their production line, revealing leaks in the field. Air leak testing allows these leaks to be identified faster than looking for visible water on the production line and is also less operator dependent.

Emergency Responder Breathing Apparatus Controls and Components Market driver: Fire and rescue crews use emergency air breathing systems for management of their air supply and communication. The components must work under changing and extreme conditions.

Market driver: Many off-road vehicles and trucks use hydraulic cylinders to move heavy objects. Hydraulic systems consist of pumps, piping, fittings, cylinders and other components.

Problem: An ordinance manufacturer is required to audit test assembled ammunition to insure that there are no defects in the assembly process. They currently are using a water tank dunk with a vacuum pulled on the tank, and then looking for bubbles. All the rounds that are dunked must be discarded, to insure that none were compromised by the water. The manufacturer wanted to find a better way to test without having to toss out good product.

Market driver: The need for renewable energy. The system uses solar radiation to power a sealed sterling engine that uses temperature differential to drive a reciprocating piston engine which in turn produces electricity.

Market driver: There is a growing demand for green or clean energy sources. This is fueling battery development and use. For commercial use liquid lithium batteries are gaining a market.

Customer: As the world's demand for energy increases, new energy sources are being researched and developed, specifically alternative fuels, including hydrogen. And now with the manufacture and commercialization of stationary electric power generation on the rise, multiple manufacturers are discovering CTS’s foothold on the leak and functional testing of hydrogen fuel cells.

Market Driver: There is a growing demand for green or clean energy sources. Solar panels are gaining market in commercial and residential use.

Market driver: Sports drinks and other premium beverages have significantly increased in popularity which has resulted in new bottling plants being developed to meet the geographical market needs. Additionally, blow molders are trending toward lighter weight container designs that increase the need to check for defects that could result in a leaking container.

Market Driver: The customer needed an inexpensive method to leak test automotive radiators. The existing process utilized helium mass spectrometry, and previous attempts to utilize pressure decay or mass flow resulted in long cycle times and poor Gage R&R (reliability and repeatability) in their production environment. The customer produces multiple designs of radiators and requires interchangeable tooling that is quick and easy to change.