The Power of Shock-Testing Machines

Staying ahead of the competition is crucial. With the constant need for improved work efficiency and quality assurance, even small workshops and race teams are turning to rigorous testing. One such solution is shock-testing machines (shock dynos), which have revolutionized how dampers are tested for durability and reliability. 

These powerful machines subject shock absorbers to rigorous testing conditions, simulating real-life scenarios to ensure their performance. Shock testing machines are used by workshops, race teams, and manufacturers of dampers, forks, and coils to identify and rectify potential issues. This tool saves precious time and resources and enhances customer satisfaction and brand reputation. 

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of shock testing machines, exploring why they are an indispensable tool for businesses striving for excellence.

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Importance of Work Efficiency and Quality Assurance

High-quality products and services are the foundation of any successful business. 

Work efficiency ensures that tasks are completed in a timely manner, maximizing productivity and minimizing waste. When processes are streamlined and optimized, teams can produce more with less effort, reducing costs and increasing profitability. 

Quality assurance, on the other hand, ensures that products meet the highest standards of performance, reliability, and safety. It involves various testing and inspection methods to identify any defects or issues before the products reach the hands of the customers.

By prioritizing work efficiency and quality assurance, teams can gain a competitive edge, build customer trust, and establish a strong brand reputation. This is where shock-testing machines come into play.

The Role of Shock Testing Machines in Quality Assurance

We design shock-testing machines to simulate real-life scenarios and test shock absorbers, forks, and coils.

Shock dynos replicate the forces and impacts that dampers experience during their lifetime or during specific events, like races. They can simulate various scenarios, such as off-road driving, high-speed racing, or heavy-duty industrial applications. It helps to evaluate their durability, performance, and overall quality.

Additionally, manufacturers use shock testing machines to collect valuable data and insights that help improve their product designs. By analyzing the test results, manufacturers can identify areas for improvement, make necessary adjustments to the design, and enhance the overall performance and reliability of the shocks.

How They Improve Work Efficiency

In addition to ensuring product quality, shock testing machines also play a significant role in improving work efficiency. 

Without a shock dyno, we couldn’t confidently determine if the damper is assembled correctly and if its parts are defect-free. Well, except for installing them on a vehicle and having a test ride. That is not an effective testing method – it requires additional labor, it is time-consuming, and it is not accurate. 

One of our clients had an issue with the fork that was leaking during riding an enduro bike. They serviced it several times without success to fix it. After running it on our shock testing machine, they discovered that the body of the shock absorber had a micro crack that was detectable only when the damper reached certain temperatures. 

If workshops would have used shock dyno, they could have identified the issue effortlessly saving their reputation, and the time and resources of a customer. 

Moreover, shock dynos can perform tests one after another allowing workshops, race teams, and manufacturers to test and diagnose a larger number of shock absorbers in a shorter period. This not only saves time but also increases the overall productivity of the testing process. 

Most importantly, shock testing machines provide objective and consistent test results. Unlike manual testing which can succumb to human error or bias, these machines adhere to predefined testing protocols and deliver accurate and reliable data.

Different Types of Shock Testing Machines and Their Applications

There are several types of shock testing machines available in the market, each of which has its pros and cons. Let’s explore some of the most common types:

  • Scotch-Yoke Shock Testing Machines. As their name suggests, these dynos utilize a scotch-yoke mechanism to simulate suspension system forces. These dynos probably are the most popular. They are accurate, reliable, affordable, and versatile enough for suspension workshops, manufacturers, and racing teams. All LABA7 shock dynos are based on this design.
  • Hydraulic Shock Testing Machines. Hydraulic ones use hydraulic systems to generate controlled shock waves and vibrations. They are commonly used for testing shock absorbers used in industrial machinery, heavy-duty vehicles, and aerospace applications.
  • Electrodynamic Shock Testing Machines. These devices use magnetic fields to create managed forces, replicating real-life scenarios. They’re incredibly precise, enabling operators to imitate the exact forces dampers would encounter on specific tracks. At LABA7, we’re pioneering our own Electromagnetic Actuator Dyno — EMA. Get a glimpse of it on our Instagram post.
  • Crank Shock Testing Machines. This type of shock dyno is very similar to Scotch-Yoke Dyno. The biggest difference is that the damper is mounted directly to the crank which leads to vibrations, less balance, and most importantly, less accuracy.

Finding it hard to choose the right shock dyno for your business? Contact the LABA7 team, and we will help you pick the best shock dyno for you.

Factors to Consider: How to Choose the Right One

  1. Consider the purpose of the shock dyno, including the types of shocks you’ll test, the testing parameters, and the anticipated load capacity. Also, consider how much space you have in your workshop.
  2. Research feedback about the shock testing machine – is accuracy on par with expectations, are the testing results consistent, what major brands trust the manufacturer and purchased the equipment? Look for machines that have a proven track record of reliability.
  3. It is very likely at some point you will use the machine on different types, designs, and sizes of dampers. Make sure the manufacturer has plenty of adapters to accommodate your future needs.
  4. Look for machines that are user-friendly and easy to operate. Ask representatives to demonstrate software, shock dyno graphs, and if shock dyno software is developed in-house or by a 3rd party. In-house software allows manufacturers to keep the software up-to-date without compromising user experience, roll out new features, and updates, and solve issues efficiently. Consider the availability of training and technical support provided by the manufacturer.
  5. As you will be testing dampers some of them might be damaged, defective, or faulty in other ways. In case of an accident, safety features will keep you safe. For example, LABA7 shock dynos surround tested dampers in steel, aluminium, and plexiglass “cage” keeping the operator perfectly safe. 

Examples of How Shock Testing Machines Can Improve Work Efficiency and Quality Assurance

To understand the real impact of shock testing machines on work efficiency and quality assurance, let’s explore some examples:

  1. Vehicle Manufacturers: For those who specialize in the creation of niche, bespoke cars, motorcycles, or bicycles, it is crucial to convey the magical driving experience. That’s why we must perfect the suspension and fine-tune the shock absorbers to meet each vehicle’s unique specifications and the customer’s demands. When a vehicle is custom-built, it’s necessary to ensure that every component, including the shock absorbers, meets the highest quality standards.
  2. Shock Absorber Manufacturers: Rigorous testing and quality control are paramount in the development phase. Manufacturers need to assess the reliability of their products and identify any potential weak points to maintain the trust of their consumers.
  3. Workshops: For suspension workshops, client satisfaction is the bedrock of their reputation. To prevent misunderstandings, test the shock absorbers with a shock-testing machine before giving them to customers. This way, the client knows the damper meets specific specifications, and workshop owners can prove they’ve completed the repairs thoroughly. This is especially true after significant overhauls or rebuilds.
  4. Race Teams: As competitions approach, teams carefully prepare by fine-tuning their vehicles’ suspension. Technicians customize according to each rider’s or driver’s specific preferences to ensure optimal performance during the race.

These case studies demonstrate the benefits of shock-testing machines in various industries. 

The Future of and Potential Advancements

As technology continues to advance, the future of shock-testing machines looks promising. Here are some potential advancements to look forward to:

  1. Advanced Testing Capabilities. Future shock testing machines may incorporate advanced testing capabilities, such as artificial intelligence. We don’t think this will happen in the next couple of years but it will eventually. This will enable manufacturers, race teams, and workshops to gain even deeper insights into diagnostics and product performance. Imagine running a test, and the shock dyno shows which parts of the shock absorber are faulty and which areas need improvement.
  2. Improved Durability and Reliability. Although current shock-testing machines are advanced, we believe other manufacturers will follow LABA7’s lead and continue enhancing the durability and reliability of shock-testing machines.
  3. Enhanced User Experience. Well, in this case, the future has already arrived for the customers of LABA7. We design all our products to be user-friendly, and intuitive, and to provide real-time feedback. We estimate that at some point other players in the market will start including these features, too. 

Thank you for visiting this article about shock testing machines! 

We believe in continuous improvement of our products and the content we produce. Needless to say, will keep updating this article with new information, data, and insights!