LABORATORY SERVICES

We have some of the best-equipped laboratories in Europe, and can provide customers with an array of optical, thermal, electronic, and mechanical tests side-by-side with many other services. Performance of pre-certification tests acts as the base for CE declaration of conformity and assures positive results from the certification authority.

ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL LABORATORY

Fully equipped electronic laboratory allows us to perform all tests needed for the development of the electronic device together with the testing of the functionality of the components, as well DALI and long-term tests.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY TESTS

18 normy IECElectrical safety testing is essential to ensure safe operating standards for any product that uses electricity. Various governments and agencies have developed stringent requirements for electrical products that are sold worldwide. In most markets, it is mandatory for a product to conform to the safety standards of agencies such as UL, CE, VDE, CSA, BSI, and CCC. To conform to such standards, the product must pass various safety tests, all of which are described in IEC 60335, IEC 61010, and many other national and international standards. In general, IEC 60335 is the most widely applied standard for electrical safety testing, especially for domestic appliances. Many safety testing standards in the world have been based on it.

EARTH BOND

18 EL SAFETY TEST merac 2This test is performed by measuring the resistance between the third pin (ground) and outside metal body of the product under test. The maximum acceptable value is generally 0.5 Ω. This test is usually carried out at a slightly higher current (e.g. 25–60 A) so that the ground bond circuit maintains safe voltages on the chassis of the product, even at a high current, before the circuit breaker. This test is essential so that the product does not cause an electric shock resulting from insulation failure.

LEAKAGE CURRENT

Leakage current is the current that flows through the protective ground conductor to ground. In the absence of a grounding connection, it is the current that could flow from any conductive part or the surface of non-conductive parts to ground if a conductive path was available (such as a human body). There are always incidental currents flowing in the safety ground conductor.

HIGH VOLTAGE (DIELECTRIC VOLTAGE WITHSTAND)

A dielectric withstand test is an electrical test performed on a component or product to determine the effectiveness of its insulation. The test may be between mutually insulated sections of a part or energised parts and electrical ground. The test is a means to qualify a device’s ability to operate safely during rated electrical conditions.

INSULATION RESISTANCE

The insulation resistance (IR) test is a spot insulation test which uses an applied DC voltage to measure insulation resistance in either kΩ, MΩ or GΩ. The measured resistance is intended to indicate the condition of the insulation or dielectric between two conductive parts, where the higher the resistance, the better the condition of the insulation. Ideally, the insulation resistance would be infinite, but as no insulators are perfect, leakage currents through the dielectric will ensure that a finite (though high) resistance value is measured.

Long-term tests

The use of Solid State Lighting (SSL) technology continues to grow rapidly, and LED-based luminaires bring new challenges in testing and characterisation. Modern SSL luminaries offer additional capabilities in the control of light properties in comparison with conventional light sources. Therefore, the complexity of electronic design is much higher, thus the demands on testing also.

 

Our automatic long-term testing system was developed to test LED based luminaires. Our system was developed to measure in four measuring nodes, each with six channels (luminaries), which allows up to 24 luminaries to be measured simultaneously. Luminaries are powered from a regulated linear power source and measuring devices measure light output, electrical parameters such as input current, voltage, apparent power, active power, reactive power and power factor. Up to 10 thermocouples per channel are available to measure temperature on different parts of the luminaire. This large number of thermocouples fulfils also the highest requirements of the largest luminaries. Safety is also taken into consideration, with each luminaire powered through a circuit breaker with a temperature safety relay which turns the fixture off if overheated. This prevents serious damage to the luminaire as well as the fullyautomated laboratory. All measurements are performed in a room with a stabilised temperature of +25 °C, varying not more than ±1 °C.

FUNCTIONALITY

This basic functionality test determines if the device functions properly over a period of a few days under normal operating conditions. If the device fails this test, no further tests will be performed and the design must be reconsidered.

FREQUENT SWITCHING

This test determined the effects of frequent on and off switching of the power supply to the device under normal operating conditions. If the device turns on each time, it passes the test.

UNDER-VOLTAGE / OVER-VOLTAGE MEASUREMENTS

Here, the device is tested under abnormal operating conditions. it is powered with a lower or an above than nominal supply voltage. The device passes the test when able to operate under these conditions for a defined period of time.

ENDURANCE (IEC60598-1-12)

The device is supplied with a voltage 1.1 times higher than the nominal supply voltage in ten cycles with 21 hours of operation and 3 hours of no operation. If the device still functions after this, it passes the test.

DIMMING (DALI, 0–10 V, 1–10 V) TEST

It is important to understand the response of the device under test to various dimming protocols.

LIFETIME PREDICTION

This test operates the device under normal conditions for an extended period of time to induce and measure the degradation of electrical and optical parameters.

FUNCTIONAL TESTS

Each electronic device needs to pass through a testing stage in order to verify its functionality and to characterise its properties. Testing procedures are usually performed several times during device development as they provide the designer with feedback essential for correct electronic design. During the functional tests we first test the device using the recommended conditions – temperature, input voltage, input signals. All the parameters necessary for the proper functioning of the device are measured. After passing this basic set of measurements, we can test the behaviour of the device when working at the internal edges of recommended conditions. To reach fast and repeatable measurements we have developed an automatic testing instrument, originally designed for the characterisation of power supplies, but reconfigurable for the measuring of any kind of electronic device. This instrument is composed of a switching power supply, electronic load and four-channel digital oscilloscope. All these instruments are controlled and automated by a software application made in the LabVIEW development environment. Measurement of input voltage ranges is an example of the kind of test that can be performed using this equipment. Another test measures the output voltage range, the advantage of which is that an input voltage can be set at an arbitrary value. Also, time dependent device properties can be tested. These properties are turnon time, turn-off time, rise time, fall time, voltage ripple, and current ripple. Another useful option is the ability to measure inrush current. All measured parameters are processed by software and exported to reports. Graphs and tables can be exported to OriginLab or MS Excel, and all results are then exported to a Word document and can be saved also as a PDF. The overview clearly shows the versatility of this automatic measurement system.

QUALITY ANALYSIS

Electronic device functional tests are very useful when functional device characterisation is needed. Quality analysis can be performed on a large number of produced devices where failure rates can be determined using statistical methods. Another possibility is the determining of device reliability under abnormal conditions such as under-voltage, over-voltage and overheating. Also, useful are lifetime tests where the device is commonly exposed to relatively high temperatures and humidity to accelerate aging.

DALI COMPATIBILITY TESTS

LOC-DALI-01DALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, based on an internationally recognised IEC standard for the intelligent and easy management of lighting equipment. The standard incorporates several parts that provide control and monitoring functionality for ballasts, Emergency Gear and LED drivers; expanding to lighting controls in the near future. Its digital simplicity and flexibility enables customers to create solutions that are easy-to-use, robust, interoperable and above all affordable. DALI has proven its reliability for many years, and will continue to develop and support the growing demands for professional lighting. iLumTech has been a regular member of DALI since 2012, under OMS, s. r. o. umbrella, and actively participated in each DALI group meeting since the group’s establishment. This gives us the opportunity to influence the DALI standard itself and also certification conditions for new products.

In 2014, a new logo and licensing process will be agreed to define the conditions for proper usage of the DALI logo. Each new product must pass testing by an official DALI tester. Our DALI tester enables us to perform DALI testing in-house. The basic DALI tester configuration can be extended for further testing, meaning we can provide even stricter testing than that required by the standards. We intend to become an official DALI testing house to simplify and shorten the DALI certification process for our customers. Furthermore, as an active member of the DALI WG, we have direct access to the newest version of test sequences and standards, thus ensuring the most up-to-date testing conditions.

COMFORMITY REPORT

The results of testing, if positive, can be sent directly to DALI WG for the certification process in order to obtain the DALI logo for the product.

THERMAL LABORATORY

Our thermal laboratory is equipped with a thermal chamber, clima chamber, glow wire tester, needle flame tester, thermal camera, hot winding ohmeter, and many more devices. In the hands of our professional engineers, such equipment can easily check the thermal performance of products and provide a large number of tests and measurements.

Temperature cycling

Temperature cycling is used to determine the resistance of components to sudden exposure to extreme changes of temperature. The test procedure consists of subjecting the device under test to a specified low temperature and then to a specified high temperature, a cycle that is repeated a set number of times using a piece of equipment called a Temperature Cycle Chamber. The alternating high and low temperature extremes induce mechanical stress such as solder joint cracking, warpage of materials and damage to electronic components. Temperature cycling conditions, including high and low temperature values, the number of cycles, soak times, transfer times and ramp rates, vary based on the item to be tested and can be specifically determined. Test method: JEDEC standard JESD22.

PRODUCT RELIABILITY

Mechanical stress caused by temperature fluctuations can have a profound effect on a product’s reliability and lifetime, and although the operation of a product will not normally undergo extreme changes in temperature, it is always a possibility. It is important to understand the effects of that mechanical stress in order to verify and, if necessary, improve the design of the final product.

FAILURE RATE

Any product can fail due to unforeseen circumstances or simply due to minor or hidden faults in components or even operation. However, even though failure rates are an inevitable parameter, we try to keep them to a minimum. By measuring the failure rate of a product, standardly expressed as a percentage, it is possible to assess its robustness and maybe find faults in the design at earlier stages, making the resolution easier, faster and more cost effective.

Power cycling

Under standard operational conditions, devices are switched on and off many times throughout their lifetime. Power cycling is used to predict the fatigue lifecycle of a device, and can be used in combination with electrical, heat and stress analysis to predict the lifetime of a product. The power cycling test procedure consists of turning the power to the device under test on and off repeatedly under a specified and constant ambient temperature. Power cycling is also important in the determining of electronic device reliability. The repeated active heating of the device under test by the load current in combination with the subsequent cooling phase subjects the assembly and packaging of the device to thermo-mechanical stress and aging. The number of cycles passed by the item before it fulfills failure criteria is a critical qualifier of its reliability.

Test method: JEDEC standard JESD22

LIFETIME PREDICTION

We all want quality products, and a mark of their quality is their predicted lifetime. Lifetimes are also important when it comes to designing a device, or using a device in a larger system, as it affects the final outcome. A product’s lifetime is calculated based on the determination of material deterioration and durability, literally, how long the product can last before it is worn out or deemed no longer effective.

EVALUATION OF FLAMMABILITY & FIRE RESISTANCE

For reasons of safety, it is essential to understand the behaviour of components and materials when exposed to open fire or conditions that can cause ignition, such as unexpected heat from surrounding components or even from operation at high temperatures.

INTRINSIC RELIABILITY OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS

There are many tests that a product must undergo to quantify and evaluate its quality and robustness. One of the most basic tests is that which determines the inherent resistance of the device under test to prolonged operational stress, including both electrical and thermal stress.

Steady state operation lifetime

In most areas of the world, the average ambient temperature varies between a maximum of +45 °C and a minimum of -30 °C. Steady state operation lifetime testing is used to precisely assess and verify a product’s performance under such high and low temperature conditions by subjecting the device under test to electrical stress at a specified high and low temperature over a defined extended period of time.

Test method: JESD22-A108D

 

Intrinsic reliability of integrated circuits

There are many tests that a product must undergo to quantify and evaluate its quality and robustness. One of the most basic tests is that which determines the inherent resistance of the device under test to prolonged operational stress, including both electrical and thermal stress.

High/low temperature storage lifetime

Temperature storage tests are used to determine the effects of long-term storage at high or low temperatures on devices. The test procedure involves measuring the resistance of the device under test to storage in a simulated storage environment with no electrical stress applied.

Test methods: JESD22-A119 and JESD22-A103D

The effect of storage conditions

Every product needs to be stored at some point, and it is inevitable that storage and the conditions of that storage affect the product. It is important to understand the effects of various storage conditions on products, specifically on the materials used, which will degrade over time. This test helps us to know how best to protect the items from unnecessary damage and degradation during storage and to define ideal storage conditions.

Material degradation

All materials degrade over time due to a myriad of external factors. It is therefore important to assess the stability of the materials used to construct a product and their resistance to environmental conditions. This test goes on to act as the base for shelf life predictions.

Shelf life prediction

It is important to know how long a product can be stored before it becomes unsuitable for use. In the case of food, this is an obvious and vitally important parameter. However, it is no less important for any other kind of product as it impacts on all stages of a product’s life, from production to its ability to be stored.

Thermography

Radiation is one of the heat transfer mechanisms in which electromagnetic radiation is emitted by a heated surface. Heat transferred by radiation does not depend on contact and can be transmitted through empty space. Examples of radiation are heat from the sun or the heat emitted by the filament of a light bulb. Thermography, or thermal imaging, measures the thermal radiation of an object and produces easy to understand visualisations of radiated heat energy: the higher the temperature, the higher the radiated energy. Advantages of using thermography include its ability to capture real time temperature states, produce a picture of temperature over a large area and measure inaccessible areas, as well as the fact that it is a nondestructive procedure.

Real time capture of infrared images

Thermography enables us to measure temperatures in applications where conventional sensors cannot be used. This is especially the case when dealing with the measurement of moving objects or where contact-free measurement is required due to the risk of contamination or hazardous occurrences.

Glow wire testing

Due to human misapplication, overcurrent or short circuit, components may reach a temperature that can unduly affect or even ignite items nearby. Glow wire testing is used to evaluate the fire hazard components pose and the fire protection and flammability of materials used within a device.

Evaluation of flammability and fire resistance

For reasons of safety it is essential to understand the behaviour of components and materials when exposed to open fire or conditions that can cause ignition, such as unexpected heat from surrounding components or even from operation at high temperatures.

Fluid dynamics analysis

The analysis of a fluid (a liquid or gas) within a device is very complex as it is based on heat transfer, mixing and unsteady and compressible flows. To predict the impact of fluid flow on a product can be both time consuming and very costly without appropriate simulation tools.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis enables the quick and efficient simulation of both fluid flow and heat transfer in order to calculate fluid forces and understand the impact of a liquid or gas on product performance.

Optimized solution

By performing robustness predictions for an untested idea, fluid dynamics helps us to place true design innovation within reach. Fluid dynamics and building physics, for instance, work together to enable the creation of the highest performance and sustainable designs that are both affordable and buildable.

OPTICAL TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS

PHOTOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS

We provide photometric measurements of the luminaire and light source and create photometric files (eulumdat or IES) together with measurement report in pdf. Using the RIGO 801 near-phield goniophotometer, we can measure LIDCs, luminous flux, and the luminance of light-emitting surfaces all necessary values for DIALux.

luminance measurements

We use the best handheld spot luminance meters available. Their SLR optical system enables the viewfinder to show the exact area to be measured even at close range, making focusing easy and accurate. Special attention has also been paid to the minimisation of flare to give precise V(λ) correlation.

3d sCANNING

The ATOS Compact Scan allows for 3-dimensional measuring of components such as casted and injection molded parts, forms and models, interiors, prototypes, design models, lenses etc. The advanced hardware is combined with completely integrated, powerful software for scanning and inspection.

PRECISE PHOTOMETRIC AND RADIOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS

The handheld RadioLux 111 is used to make precise photometric and radiometric measurements. It can be equipped with various photometric heads depending on the illumination being measured according to the EN 12464-1 standard. We have heads for spherical, semi-cylindrical, and horizontal illuminance measurements.

Measuring the luminance distribution of a scene and its geometrical properties

Evaluation of illuminated areas requires knowledge of the luminance distribution within the whole field of view or in many parts of it. Doing this using many parallel measurements is time-consuming and complex, if possible at all. The luminance analyser is a resolved radiation receiver (CCD matrix camera) that enables complex measurement for glare evaluation, assessment of night road visibility conditions, emission evaluations of glare sources, and the determination of contrast ratios.

SPECTRAL MEASUREMENTS

A spectrometer is an instrument that measures the properties of light across a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is typically used in the spectroscopic analysis and identification of materials. The most measured parameter is light intensity but other measurement possibilities include polarisation states.

INTEGRATING SPHERE

Integrating spheres enable the evaluation of a light source’s luminous flux based on measurement of indirect luminance within the sphere using omnidirectional and unidirectional measurements.

MECHANICAL TESTS

IP TEST

The IP rating given to a luminaire (or other device) expresses its ability to withstand penetration by foreign bodies or liquid. The code consists of two numbers – the first representing the degree of protection against ingress by anything from a hand to fine particles of dust, and the second representing the degree of protection against ingress by a liquid. We measure the effects of rated exposures and provide an appropriate IP rating. Our testing devices allows us to do the measurements up to IP67, IP66 including.

IK TEST

The IK rating given to a luminaire (or other device) expresses the ability of the cover to withstand and protect the luminaire contents from mechanical impact. A pendulum hammer is used during the testing procedure to carry out a series of impacts according to the EN 60068-2-75 standard. The given rating is applicable to the whole cover unless individual parts are separately rated and labelled. The rating system works in a similar way to the IP system, using a code with two numbers to indicate impact resistance, with ‘00’ indicating no resistance and ‘10’ representing resistance to an impact energy of 20 Joules (J). Our testing devices allows us to check IK up to IK10.

LABORATORY EQUIPMENT

Optical design department and laboratory

Hardware

  • Goniophotometer RIGO 801
  • RadioLux 111
  • Mini Diff
  • Handheld spot luminance meter
  • ATOS compact 3D scan
  • CCT matrix camera
  • Spectrometer
  • Integrating sphere

Software

  • Lighttools
  • Dialux

 

Thermal design department and laboratory

Hardware

  • Temperature test chamber WT 450/70
  • Temperature test chamber TK2M
  • FLUKE TI32 Infrared camera
  • TSI 9515 air flow tester
  • Voltcraft MT-32
  • EMOS FHT9999
  • Thermocouple Datalogger USB TC-08
  • VANE Anemometer TENMA 726638
  • ETI Therma 1 Thermometer
  • Xtline P13425 Vernier Caliper 150 mm
  • Glow wire tester 4180
  • Infrared camera

Software

  • Solidworks
  • Solidworks – flow simulation
  • Lab View

 

Electronic design department and laboratory

Hardware

  • DALI tester
  • EMC tester
  • PMM EMI Reciever 9010/30P
  • PMM LLSN 12-168
  • Electric safety tester
  • Oscilloscope 4
  • Tripple DC power supply
  • Tester high AC power
  • Ohmmeter
  • LCR HiTester
  • Ultrasonic cleaner DK 514 BP
  • Reflow oven FT05
  • Network analyzer FLUKE8846
  • Measuring device Mini-diff 3D

Software

  • Altium
  • LabView

 

Mechanical design department and laboratory

Hardware

  • IP tester up to IP67
  • IK tester up to IK10
  • 3D printer FORTUS 450mc

Software

  • CATIA V5
  • SmarTeam

 

Prototype workshop

Hardware

  • MIG MAG welding machine OMICRON OMI 204
  • Metal saw
  • Turning machine Junior 150+
  • Metal sheet bending machine
  • Milling and drilling station