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Case Studies

CASE STUDY #1

    Here we are displaying the evolution of one of our longest running and most work-intensive cases to illustrate our capabilities, engineering skill, and variety of testing methods.  In the future we will be adding more.  Names have been removed for the sake of privacy.

    In this case, an infant was being transported back to the hospital only days after being born due to a health condition.  During the ride to the hospital a drunk driver crossed the median and caused a head-on collision with the ambulance.  The child was being treated inside an incubator to closely monitor its temperature and humidity.  During the impact, the mechanism securing the entire incubator failed, severely injuring the infant.  Renaissance Engineering was asked to determine the cause of failure of the mechanism.  Renaissance Engineering fabricated an in-house redesigned incubator that was then tested against an exemplar, with excellent results.

Free Body Diagram - Side ViewFree Body Diagram - Top View

The first step was to analyze exactly what occurred during and immediately after the impact, so Free Body Diagrams were created.  It was determined that the single aluminum tube holding the incubator in place was concurrently subjected to both tension and bending forces.  Renaissance Engineering then obtained exemplar aluminum tubing of the exact same alloy and dimensions, and subjected it to the same loading condition.

Care and exacting machining work was required to replicate the aluminum blocks which held the aluminum tube in place.

Upon the application of comparatively little force, we were able to replicate the exact failure mode of the aluminum tube used in the ambulance.

Renaissance Engineering then redesigned the incubator cart with crash-worthiness as the primary objective.  This redesigned cart was subjected to in-house collision testing on our newly installed ballistic pendulum (or battering ram as it is known in the shop).  The redesigned cart passed our testing with flying colors and was then sent to an automotive testing facility to be sled tested; a test in which it was subjected to a nearly identical deceleration as in the actual collision.  When compared back to back with an exemplar of the original incubator cart, our redesign was in another league.

 

CASE STUDY #2   

    Renaissance Engineering has performed extensive research and testing on the Ford Cruise Control Deactivation Switch that is installed in nearly all vehicles equipped with the Ford Next Generation Cruise Control System.  The switch, designed by and purchased from Texas Instruments, was designed to release the electromagnetic clutch in the Cruise Control servo so that the throttle would return to idle upon application of the brake as a secondary throttle release mechanism.  Over time, the seals in the switches break down and allow brake fluid to seep into the upper chamber of the switch, where the copper and brass switch contacts reside.  Over time, a resistive short to ground develops which can cause a fire.  Below you can view our dramatic laboratory recreation of the switch’s failure mode and a more in-depth explanation of how the testing was performed.

 

Please lick below to view more information on the test shown in the video above.

Investigation Into the Method of Ignition in Ford Brake Pressure Switches.doc