Automating Hex Testing for 4x Test Capacity

Asetek, a leading provider of liquid cooling systems for gaming PCs, workstations, E-sport simulation products, and more, has experienced significant improvements in their testing processes since implementing Encida's test software SAFE.

Martin, a Thermal Engineer at Asetek, shares his experience of the transformation that has taken place in their testing process of heat exchangers. Martin is responsible for the development of Asetek's heat exchangers and cold plates.

3 Things Asetek has Achieved 

  • Reduced test time from 18 hours down to 4 hours without the need for test monitoring.
  • Asetek can now run multiple tests sequentially without being present.
  • Improved systems stability ensures more accurate performance evaluation

The Challenge

Before Encida's involvement, Asetek's testing process was manual, time-consuming, and required constant monitoring to ensure stability, particularly for liquid temperature. This resulted in a single test taking around 18 hours to complete, with a test operator assigned to oversee the process throughout.

"Before, each test would run for about half an hour. So, a heat exchanger would run for roughly 18 hours and we used to have a person sitting there the whole time to make sure the test was stable."

Realizing the need for automation and more stable data, Asetek turned to Encida for help. The goal was to create a fully automated test that would not only save time but also provide more stable and reliable data.

The Solution

The solution Encida provided involved automating the regulation of air and liquid flow during testing, reducing the time taken for each test to just 4 hours. This meant Asetek could run approximately 4.5 tests in the same amount of time it previously took to run one. Furthermore, the system can operate independently, allowing engineers to focus on other tasks instead of monitoring the tests.

Martin explains that the new system works by running six different airflows at six different liquid flows - a total of 36 tests per heat exchanger. The results are then evaluated to measure performance under various conditions.

"We have some gates we need to pass through, such as ensuring that there is fluid in the system, and that all our instruments are working. We perform these tests first to make sure everything is running as it should before starting the matrix of running 6 airflows at 6 different fluid flows.“

But Encida didn't stop at automating the testing process. They also streamlined the evaluation of the test data. Previously, Asetek had to manually evaluate thousands of data points from Excel spreadsheets. Now, Encida's system evaluates all the data and compiles a report that is uploaded to the cloud for easy access and immediate use.

Asetek, founded in 1997, is a leading provider of innovative cooling solutions for gaming PCs, workstations, and sim sports products. Their technology is used by popular gaming brands such as Nzxt, Asus, and MSI.

The Results

The improvements have not only saved time but also provided Asetek with more data than ever before, enabling them to make more informed decisions about their products.

"We can now run 4.5 tests in the same time it previously took to run one. This means we can evaluate around 4.5 heat exchangers in the time it previously took to evaluate one. This has made our testing process much more efficient."

Martin expressed his satisfaction with Encida's test software SAFE, noting the ease of setting up new test sequences and the quick response time by the Encida Team for any issues. With LabView, the process was often complex and time-consuming, requiring specialized knowledge to effectively use. In contrast, SAFE's straightforward interface allowed for a seamless and efficient setup process, even for those who are not expert software users.

"It's a damn good program. It's quick to get started with, and it's easy to set things up. I usually compare this with LabView because it lies in the same ballpark, but it's just easier to start setting things up in this than it is in LabView, I think."

Looking ahead, Asetek plans to expand its use of Encida's system to automate and characterize fan testing, further enhancing their product development process.

In summary, Asetek's partnership with Encida has resulted in a significant reduction in testing times, increased data stability, and an overall more efficient testing process.