Do you want to know our secret?
It's not that we're shy, we just don't often highlight some of the lab test capabilities that we offer at John Deere. Before we take you on a deeper dive this month, make sure you didn't miss this great overview.
Hybrid and electric technology is driving our industry's future. We see it everywhere from a near soundless golf cart gliding quietly over a groomed landscape to the hushed vibration of a generator running throughout the night; even large construction loaders effortlessly hauling weight with more efficiency than was once thought possible.
We've seen the value of this technology enough to have designed and manufactured power electronics for our own John Deere equipment, as well as for our innovative OEM customers.
With 10+ years of field experience, we understand the complexity of these systems and what it takes to get machines into a hybrid or electric architecture. We've proven it.
However, it doesn't always make sense for equipment manufacturers to design and build their own inverter technology as we do, nor do they need to. There are many capable off-the-shelf components in the market today that are adaptable to many different systems. Once you have made your selection and have your overall design complete, you're ready to test that system's performance and durability before it reaches your customers hands.
Our engineering staff has tested hundreds of systems on a variety of applications. Their real-world experience is developed from extensive testing of our own equipment and their dedication to innovation.
John Deere Customer Support: "One of our OEMs came to us with a system issue unrelated to our inverter. It's not that is wasn't performing properly, but they wanted to optimize their current e-drive system and make it to do more. Our analysis provided both good and bad news. Naturally they didn't like hearing the bad news but appreciated our transparency about potential failure modes with their current setup.
We had the tools they didn't have access to at the time and were able to give them the data they required to move forward with a solid plan."
Interviewer: "I understand they were current customers, but why did we agree to spend time and resources on an issue not related to our inverter?"
John Deere Customer Support:"That's how we do customer support here. Everyone learns from experience, and we thrive in that area. We want our OEMs to succeed in their business. We learn with them and continue to grow and innovate. That way, it is mutually beneficial for both parties."
Interviewer: "So, what can you do here that is unique when it comes to verification and validation testing?"
John Deere Customer Support: "Where do I start...I do think one of the more unique test structures we have here is our component life testing. We can put a true timeframe to how long components will last under demanding real-work conditions. This kind of knowledge is power to a manufacturer. It's confidence in the system, and in some cases, even knowing if their system can outperform their original specifications. There is always a surprise here and there."
Interviewer: "How about incorporating new features into a system?"
John Deere Customer Support: "New feature requests are always welcome. We are often able to make recommendations as well based on what that system looks like. New features are fun, they are tunable depending on the application, and our software is architected in such a way that we can complement existing features simultaneously. That's the great part about diving into these applications, you always make discoveries along the way that can optimize what you already have as well as add to it, making it better.
Interviewer: "Okay, so here's the ultimate question: What about failures?"
John Deere Customer Support: "What about them? Everybody fails. You aren't doing something new if you don't fail now and then. Whether it's hardware or software that application knowledge gained along the way, especially from failures, makes us stronger for our next project or application. We are a bunch of engineers; it's what makes us tick. Plus, we get to share those experiences with our customers, which makes us a trusted partner for them. That gives us pride."
We see that one of the biggest challenges an OEM faces is not having a full capability test lab on site. They often end up planning extra time and budget toward sending off their components to two or more labs to finalize requirements.
At our Fargo, North Dakota, location, we have the capability to provide you with the following:
- Component life tests
- Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
- Highly accelerated life test (HALT)
- Highly accelerated stress screening (HASS)
- Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
- Inverter/motor characterization
- Dynamometer test setup (single or multiple)
- Motor characterization (measured shaft torque, inverter efficiency and losses, machine power factor, machine efficiency, system efficiency, phase current THD (third harmonic distortion)
- Motor specifications and rating
- Gain tuning
- End of line (EOL) creation and verification (with use of John Deere inverter in the system)
- Thermal heat rise
- Stall torque characterization
- Drag torque
- Coolant flow and pressure testing
The list goes on and on, but you get the picture – the bottom line is there are so many unique tools and so much expertise we have built up, far exceeding what we have already mentioned. We want to support your product development journey to enable your continued industry success.
Discover more about John Deere Electronics at JohnDeere.com/Electronics or contact us today.