Issue: Nov 2015


INFICON'S Leak Detection Technology On Display At Auto Testing Expo



by Alan Tran

 

INFICON is showcasing the auto industry's most advanced refrigerant and fuel leak-detection systems at the 13(th) annual Automotive Testing Expo (ATE) Oct. 20-22 in the Detroit suburb of Novi.

 

The company will have on display its Sensistor Sentrac Hydrogen Leak Detector and Ecotec E3000 Multi-Gas Sniffer Leak Detector in Booth 11014 throughout the annual three-day technology forum. Held at the Suburban Collection convention center, ATE 2015 features some of the world's leading automotive test technologies and equipment.

 

"Year after year we discuss projects with more and more companies targeted to improve their leak-detection process," said Thomas Parker, INFICON's North American automotive market sales manager. "The automotive industry is under pressure to manufacture and guarantee leak-free products, reducing recalls which today are at an all time high."

 

Manufacturers can cover a wide variety of test requirements with INFICON's Sensistor Sentrac( ®) Hydrogen Leak Detector. The sniffing device can handle both manual and robot-assisted leak detection in environments with high levels of tracer gas, providing both selectivity and sensitivity.

 

Looking for leaks with a diluted hydrogen tracer gas is an ideal solution for many industrial applications. Sensistor Sentrac increases the advantages of the hydrogen gas method. Sensistor Sentrac is a user friendly device equipped with a color pressure-sensitive touch screen that provides a user interface with clear logical functions.

 

It also makes settings simpler for various production situations and minimizes the risk of time-consuming errors. Settings for a variety of measuring situations can be saved as configuration files and stored on an SD card for safe backup.

 

Sensistor Sentrac delivers leak-detection results immediately on both desktop and battery-operated models. The ergonomically designed probe handle delivers fast access to frequently used functions through a multi-function button. Probes can be used in rough environments that are wet or dusty. During leak testing, LED lights in the probe illuminate and precisely pinpoint leaks.

 

The latest version of INFICON's multi-gas sniffer leak detector, EcotecE3000(®) is designed to test the latest high-pressure fuel systems, as well as air conditioning systems that use new potentially flammable refrigerants. Ecotec E3000 is suited for the final testing of A/C as well as fuel systems in an industrial 24/7 environment.

 

Ecotec E3000 can simultaneously detect fuel and refrigerants, as well as helium or hydrogen and is not affected by other materials such as spilled washer or coolant fluids. It can be set-up to detect as many as four different gases at the same time, making it an ideal solution for leak testing air conditioners and fuel-rail connectors in just one step.

 

It includes precise operator-controlled background reduction to enable precise pinpointing of leak locations at the lowest detectable levels.

 

Ecotec E3000 is ideal for mixed refrigerant production lines. The phase out of R134a refrigerant over the next couple of years will place some vehicle models with R134a on final assembly lines alongside of newer models equipped with air conditioners operating with HFO-1234yf. A device that can detect both refrigerants and clearly distinguish between the two will be required for this type of mixed production line. 

 

The INFICON device's easy-to-use sniffer accommodates variations in operator techniques. Ecotec E3000's I-Guide(TM) helps an operator ensure that a correct number of test locations have been covered and verifies that each location is tested for a predetermined time. A self-monitoring device, it notifies the operator of potential problems before they occur.

 

After initial setup, the Ecotec E3000 can be operated directly through buttons on its probe. A built-in ECO-Check reference leak allows an operator to verify that the unit is functioning properly at all times. Its data collection options include serial communication and discrete I/O.

 

The Bubbleizer on display at the INFICON booth will compare four small to large leaks of 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10 sccm (standard cubic centimeters per minute) side by side in four water-filled glass cylinders. Parker notes that in helium tests a crack of 15 microns wide by 1.5 mm long leaks at a rate of 0.003 sccm (standard cubic centimeter per minute), but is undetectable in water bubble testing.

 

INFICON is one of the world's leading developers, producers and suppliers of instruments and devices for leak detection in air conditioning, refrigeration and automotive manufacturing. The company has manufacturing facilities in Europe, China and the United States, as well as sales and service offices throughout the world.

 

More information about INFICON automotive technology is available online at www.inficonautomotive.com. A video on the Sensistor Sentrac can be found at http://bit.ly/1v4ZRYr.

 



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