Category Archive: Uncategorized

Testing for eMotors: A Case Study

Custom spin rigHigh-speed rotating components in eMotors require accurate spin testing to ensure safety, reliability, and performance. At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we offer the most advanced balancing and spin testing services on the market. View the case studies below for a better look into how we serve clients in the electric mobility industry with our expert testing capabilities.

EV Case Study

A prominent automotive OEM client approached SCHENCK to test a new rotor design for an EV drive system. The team at Test Devices by SCHENCK designed and performed a spin test to evaluate the at-speed behavior of the rotor in its operating environment (including temperature).

The data collected in-situ during the spin test, as well as the pre- and post-test precision unbalance measurements revealed unexpected structural instability that would have otherwise compromised the quality and performance of the client’s end product.

The experts at SCHENCK and Test Devices worked with the client to thoroughly analyze the data and identify any potential root causes. Doing so allowed us to alleviate the issue and improve the overall rotor design.

E-Propulsion Case Study

A leading aero-propulsion OEM client has been working with Test Devices by SCHENCK to test a rotor for a new eVTOL propulsion system. We have spin tested several prototypes to identify the at-speed behaviors of each rotor under its operating conditions. 

During the spin testing process, we measure the change in the rotor outer diameter (OD), or inner diameter (ID) if accessible. Using this data, we can determine the average growth or create a growth map as a circumferential deformation profile (expansion measurement). The former helps us understand the bulk material behavior of the rotor, and the latter provides a visualization of the deformation shape at speed.

We measured the rotor deformation shape with SCHENCK’s Rotor Expansion Measurement System (REMS). Analyzing this data allowed us to identify undesirable inter-part interactions that required modification prior to finalizing the design for production release. By detecting design and manufacturing flaws at the prototype stage, we were able to help the customer avoid expensive and painful in-field issues.

Contact Test Devices for Spin Testing Services

Test Devices by SCHENCK has extensive experience performing various spin tests for electric vehicles, eVTOLs, ePropulsion, eDrive and eMobility applications. From our state-of-the-art facility in Hudson, Massachusetts, we offer industry-leading spin testing equipment and services for clients around the world.

Our expert team is dedicated to providing superior-quality products and services that meet or exceed customer requirements. We achieve this through ISO 9001 and AS9100 certification, process and product innovation, and continuous improvement of our quality management system.

For more information about our spin testing capabilities for eMotors, contact us or request a quote today.


New ISO Certifications

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we have an unparalleled and proven reputation for innovation and safety. We deliver the world’s most accurate and advanced spin testing services and equipment to clients in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, energy, defense, electric motors, medical, and commercial space. To illustrate our commitment to safety and the environment, we’re proud to have acquired our ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certifications.

ISO 14001:2015: Environmental Management Systems

ISO 14001:2015 outlines the requirements for an Environmental Management System (EMS) that a business can use to improve its environmental performance. More specifically, it requires that you maintain proper documentation that proves your EMS meets the required standards. It outlines clear requirements regarding the type of documentation you must provide but does not dictate how you must record the evidence or how to operate your EMS. 

The primary purpose of the documentation is to ensure an organization maintains robust environmental processes. These documents also illustrate that your entire organization acknowledges and is working towards your environmental objectives and goals. The ISO 14001:2015 certification is essential for organizations seeking to systematically manage their environmental responsibilities and uphold their dedication to sustainability. 

Why is it Important? 

ISO 14001:2015 is important because it helps businesses achieve the intended goals of their EMS, providing value for the organization itself, the environment, and any interested parties. Intended outcomes of an EMS include:

  • Achievement of environmental objectives
  • Fulfillment of compliance obligations
  • Improvement of environmental performance

ISO 45001:2018: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

ISO 45001:2018 highlights the requirements for an organization’s occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system.SCHENCK USA ISO 14001 Certificate By providing direction for the use of OH&S management systems, this standard helps businesses provide a safe and healthy work environment by preventing work-related illness and injury. 

Why is it Important?

The ISO 45001:2018 standard can be used partially or in its entirety to improve OH&S performance. However, an organization will only be able to claim conformity to the standard if every requirement is incorporated into its OH&S management system and is fulfilled. These requirements include:

  • The development of investigation processes
  • Reporting any nonconformities and OH&S incidents to create corrective action plans
  • Documentation of any activities and corrective actions to further improve plan development and ensure effectiveness


Which of Our Services Do These Certifications Affect?

Having these certifications improves our ability to provide safe and environmentally conscious services, including:

Spin Testing Services

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we offer spin testing services to customers that work with high-speed rotating components found in cutting-edge machines that face challenging conditions. These components are often found in high-speed electric motors, turbomachinery, jet engines, and energy storage systems. We serve a wide range of clients, including the world’s leading OEMs, with innovative solutions that solve challenging issues in manufacturing spin processes and engineering testing. Our spin testing and rotor balancing services support critical engine part certifications, design validations, and manufacturing processes. 

Balancing Services

Unbalanced rotating components can result in catastrophic machine failure as well as harm to personnel and machinery. Accurately balancing a rotor requires a high level of expertise. Not all service providers are the same, and it’s important to work with a balancing provider that is capable of providing the necessary level of consistency and quality. At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we can provide precise balancing surfaces to prevent further issues that could otherwise lead to higher costs.

Green Technology

SCHENCK’s spin testing and balancing services for the green technology industry are part of a worldwide movement to reduce noise and air pollution caused by traditional transportation. The goal is to mitigate and adapt transportation to address climate change. Electric vehicles and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are just two examples that are gaining ground in their respective industries.

ISO Certified Spin Test Services and Equipment From Test Devices by SCHENCK

Test Devices by SCHENCK offers ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018-certified spin testing services and equipment to clients across several industries. By acquiring these certifications, we further illustrate our dedication to quality, safety, and environmental sustainability. Whether you require spin testing or balancing, our experts are here to deliver innovative solutions that meet your needs. For more information about our ISO certifications, or to learn more about our service capabilities, request a quote today or contact us at 978-562-6017. 

Doing Our Part: Test Devices’ Community Outreach

Test Devices is a business unit of Schenck USA Corp.; we perform engineering tests, and we also have outsourced production services at our other Hudson location.

In early August, we welcomed a group of students from Brockton High School. As a part of their summer program, the students visited Test Devices to learn what we do, specifically for the Aerospace industry. The event was organized through AIAA New England Section as well as Empower Yourself MA.

The day started with a demonstration of a small gas turbine engine, followed by a tour of the Test Devices facilities, and concluded with a Q&A session with engineers and technicians over lunch. It was an exceptionally hot and humid day, but nothing deterred the students! They stayed focused, asked many good questions, and went home with a good understanding of how gas turbine engines and spin pits work!

The visit positively impacted employees at Test Devices, too. The student’s enthusiasm and curiosity rubbed off on the engineers and technicians who interacted with the Brockton students. Beyond that, for some employees with similar socio-economic and racial backgrounds as the Brockton students, it was particularly meaningful to see the Test Devices community contribute to a great initiative in collaboration with educators like Cedric Turner.

Cedric is an educator from Brockton High School. He founded the non-profit organization, Empower Yourself MA, to promote STEM and financial education for students at Brockton public schools, especially for children in minority and underserved communities. Learn more about Cedric and his experiences here.

“A country with more engineers and scientists is a wealthy one; a country with basketballers is not…”

Cedric believes in the importance of giving the kids exposure to potential paths other than athletics and music careers in their formative years. Most recently, he was nominated for and won the Trailblazing STEM Educator Award from AIAA for his ongoing work through Empower Yourself and his commitment to promoting STEM education.


Demo of Centrio to Brockton students

Presentation by Test Devices’ Michael Holman on the Schenck Centrio 100 Spin Test machine.

Brockton student

Peter Dentch, a summer internship student from WPI, is describing a gas turbine control system to an inquisitive student (right).

Brockton students

Test Devices’ President, Dave Woodford, and CTO and AIAA New England Section’s Chair, Hiro Endo, describe the types of work Test Devices does for the Aerospace industry.

Brockton students and Test Devices group photo

A group photo to wrap up the day!

Green Technology: The Mobility of Tomorrow

While the COVID pandemic has posed significant challenges worldwide, it also created an opportunity for us to slow down and reflect on vulnerabilities and inefficiencies in many areas of our social and economic structures. One of the concerns is our efforts towards sustainability, especially in regard to transportation. Dramatic reduction in transportation traffic during the COVID shutdowns revealed what kind of positive impact we could make if we curb the CO2 emission, especially in large cities.

Currently, as the largest producer of CO₂ emissions, transportation accounts for 24% of the total amount, with 74.5% coming from road vehicles. It is becoming increasingly evident that effective strategy to combat global warming requires a focused effort in city and transportation planning. Developing and deploying the transportation modes that are not dependent on fossil fuel is a key piece of this puzzle. 


Most of the electric modes of transportation in the future will contain an electric drive system, at the heart of which is a rotating rotor that requires balancing to assure the lowest possible vibration and thus offer the smoothest operation of the vessel in motion at optimized sound levels.

Continuing urban growth is a major contributor to sustainable transportation. Reducing traffic congestion, decreasing the need for private vehicles, and increasing available urban space are some of the key factors in our societal and environmental success. Thanks to the innovators and industry leaders who are hard at work in driving the digital revolution and green technology, which are the vital components in transforming our cities to be more efficient and sustainable.


 What Are Some Key Trends in Urban Mobility?

As we face the continuing growth of our cities,  we must reimagine the future of urban mobility with the climate and social impact of our decisions in mind… Here are some key trends in urban e-mobility: 

Urban mobility

  • Sustainable mobility: Electric vehicles (EVs) such as electric cars and hybrids, delivery trucks, mopeds, and motorcycles are part of the sustainable transportation (no tailpipe emissions). Electrified vehicles provide minimally polluting transportation in the cities. Future mobility may also include air-taxis and delivery drones that may alleviate the congested ground transportation and offer a faster path to reach your destinations.
  • Shared mobility: Up to 40% of total inner-city traffic is caused by those searching for a parking space. Shared mobility may open a new path in sustainable urban transport. On-demand, highly-accessible vehicles, offered as a service (vs. owning a car) would reduce the need for parking spaces without compromising convenience. Shared mobility would be not only more economical for individuals, but also contributes to reductions in traffic and carbon emissions.
  • Self-driving vehicles: Autonomous vehicles offer enormous potential to eliminate incipient human errors that amount to inefficiencies (traffic jams) and accidents. Autonomous vehicles is a key to reduce these factors and harmonize the traffic movement to attain higher efficiencies in ground transportation. The autonomous capability is a critical feature for the air-taxi and delivery drones that needs to operate safely and efficiently in the congested urban aerospace environment. 
  • Connected mobility: High-speed / High-data rate communication technologies (5G+) is the essential means to connect devices, vehicles and people, and facilitate the efficient mobility services mentioned earlier. Thanks to advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT), the future vehicles will be smarter, interactive and integrated. For example, cars will be able to receive information on available parking spaces or hazards beyond the passengers’  view, traffic lights will operate autonomously depending on the amount of traffic and pedestrians present. All these will culminate into improving safety and efficiency of the transportation system, and ultimately enable the large-scale introduction of autonomous transportation. 

How Can Test Devices Serve “Green Technology” Trends?

Efficient and well-crafted rotating parts are the heart of many high-performance machines. This remains true for future e-mobility machines: Emerging classes of high-performance electric motors and compact power generator rotors are some of the examples. To support the continued development of sustainable technologies, Test Devices offers industry leading balancing equipment as well as the expert engineering services to meet your needs:

  • Engineering Services
    • We have 10 spin test facilities in two Centers of Excellence (COE) in the US and Europe, operated by experienced teams of testing experts.
    • Spin testing: Proof / Overspeed test, LCF tests, burst tests, heated or cryogenic conditions – with various types of sensors and instrumentation for test
    • e mobility data measurement.
    • Rotor balancing: Including consulting for balancing strategy, strategy and process development for optimum production balancing for high volume production, and outsourced balancing services.
    • Outsourced Production Services: Overspeed/proof spin tests, seasoning motor rotor, and CNC machining work.
  • Production Equipment
    • Schenck is the industry leading provider of precision balancing machines and blade moment weighing scales. We provide the equipment with the highest industry standard to support your production needs to scale and achieve efficiencies.
    • We offer engineering consultation on balancing strategy and process – An often underappreciated area of production that could cause a headache if ill prepared.
    • Excellent after sales care: Unexpected downtimes are costly events, and must be avoided in a production. We have an experienced and well staffed team of technicians and engineers who will respond to your service needs who can address your needs in calibration and certification of balance machines, scheduled maintenance and repair work, as well as emergency troubleshooting.


Choosing an Industry Leader in Test Devices

At Test Devices, our reputation for quality and innovation is proven and unparalleled. We offer industry-leading expertise and equipment to solve engineering problems for eliminating rotor unbalances and vibration problems for both new products in development and for manufacturing at a large scale. 

We serve clients in the aerospace, aviation, automotive, energy storage, power generation, air handling, electronics, and medical devices industries, offering our customers the world’s most advanced and accurate spin testing, rotor balancing, and blade moment weighing equipment and services.

Testing Equipment and Services from Test Devices by SCHENCK

There is no doubt that the mobility of the future will be cleaner, more diverse, smarter and efficient. Green technology is a key initiative in achieving sustainable future transportation and vibrant cities.

If your company is developing mobility solutions, Test Devices by SCHENCK can help you lower the cost of testing, reduce the risk of engine test cell failures, improve the accuracy of your models, and shorten testing programs. Contact us for more information about our services.

What are the Benefits of Merging With SCHENCK?

Test Devices by SCHENCK has built a strong reputation in the spin testing business. Since SCHENCK acquired Test Devices in 2017, we have been able to expand our services and improve our capabilities. We provide end-to-end services in spin testing, from one-off engineering testing to high-volume spin test processes for production. By combining our knowledge with SCHENCK’s global network, we can deliver broad expertise in both high speed spin testing and precision rotor balancing.

The financial backing and the support of SCHENCK grant us a competitive edge and give our clients access to services at a larger scale. Whether you require engineering consulting, test project management, balancing, or spin test services, we have the unique expertise to meet your needs.

The benefits of merging with SCHENCK include:

The Opening of a New Research Facility and Expanding Capabilities

Our Hudson site, Test Devices by SCHENCK, is now The North American Center of Excellence for testing. SCHENCK has heavily invested in this facility to upgrade its equipment, increase its capacity, and prepare for growing demands in spin testing resulting from the electrification in aircraft, vehicles, and other industries.

One of the recent and significant investments SCHENCK  has made is the addition of the new Centrio spin testing system at our Hudson facility. The system is the same one used by our Germany-based parent company SCHENCK ROTEC. Sharing the same system enhances the collaboration between the groups, the sharing of knowledge base and forms an excellent foundation to grow our testing capabilities for the betterment of our clients and their products.


What Is the Centrio Spin Testing System?

It is the “cutting-edge” spin testers in the world, giving us the capability to perform various advanced tests and data measurements to evaluate the customers’ rotors, especially for emerging e-mobility applications.

Being Able to Target New and Emerging Markets

Precision balancing and spin testing services also are essential elements in the production of EVs and other electric propulsion or mobility products. With the financial and technological backing from SCHENCK, a recognized global brand, Test Devices by SCHENCK is now positioned well to serve the growing needs of our customers beyond engineering testing. We offer some of the innovative and dependable solutions for customers with:

  • Mass production automotive parts
  • Large-scale production aerospace components
  • eVTOLs such as drones and air taxis

air taxiSCHENCK has a deep customer base in both the automotive and aerospace sectors. We offer innovative testing and production support services with the highest standard of process integrity and quality. SCHENCK is very familiar with and equipped to meet the rigorous pace of mass-production work required in the automotive industry.

A One-Stop-Shop Facility

Test Devices by SCHENCK is dedicated to delivering top-quality products and services that meet or exceed customer requirements. We achieve this through continuous process and product innovation, ongoing improvements of our quality management system, and compliance with ISO9001 and AS9100 standards.

test devices by schenck

As your one-stop shop for engineering testing and outsourced production hub, we offer balancing, spin testing, and semi-finished machining services. We are equipped to handle all your needs from one-off pilot projects to managing your outsourced manufacturing operations.

See How Test Devices Can Help Your Organization Today

Turn to Test Devices by SCHENCK today for expert testing processes and more. Through support from our parent company SCHENCK USA, we offer a comprehensive range of spin testing services for the automotive, aviation, and transportation industries. Contact us today to learn more.

Intro to Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing for Electric Motors

Regarding material and machine components, the term “fatigue” refers to cracking or fracturing in an object caused by stresses that are within its operational envelop, and often within its elastic range. These cracks and fractures grow, and they can eventually lead to a failure of the component and damage or destruction to the greater assembly if left untreated.

fatigue testing

Fatigue testing is a testing procedure used to determine the fatigue strength and life of a component. It is commonly utilized to identify potential areas of concern in a design. Test operations can be classified into two categories: low-cycle and high-cycle (LCF and HCF). The former involves subjecting the component to the fluctuating loads, typically from the machine’s operational cycles, while the latter involves subjecting the component to higher frequency, typically from a vibratory load related to structural resonance.

Why Is Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing Important?

High-speed rotating components (e.g., centrifuges, engine rotors, fans, impellers, etc.) regularly experience stresses that can lead to fatigue damage and, eventually, a failure. Since failure can damage equipment and endanger operators, it is vital to take measures to prevent it and, if that is impossible, mitigate the consequences.

Low-cycle fatigue testing (LCF) simulates the operational cycle of a machine. The LCF test is used to verify that a component is durable enough to withstand the use in the intended application over the intended duration of its operational life, so users can trust them and reliably operate the machine. Additionally, it could help manufacturers identify and resolve potential premature failure before the part or product goes into full production.

Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing Applications for Electric Motors

Nascent high-speed/high-performance electric motors, ones used in EVs, undergo low-cycle fatigue testing. These tests are necessary for a number of reasons, including:

  • Testing new designs
  • New materials
  • Validating and tuning numerical models and component life prediction methods

In addition to electric motors, many other rotating components also undergo fatigue testing, such as:

  • Centrifuge or compressor rotors
  • Flywheels (including flywheels for energy storage)
  • High-speed fans
  • Industrial gas turbine rotors
  • Jet engine rotors
  • Rocket pumps
  • Turbochargers

Advantages of Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing for Electric Motors

electric motorFatigue test data enables electric motor manufacturers to understand the durability limit of the motor rotors, develop a dependable product life model to define appropriate product servicing life as well as establish a maintenance service schedule – the goal is to prevent any unexpected failure in the service life of the machine. Additionally, the data allows engineers to proactively plan for design improvements and modifications.

Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing Solutions From Test Devices by SCHENCK

Test Devices offers low-cycle fatigue spin testing services to customers working with high-speed rotating components in demanding applications. By choosing to work with us, you benefit from:

  • Better Productivity: Our spin pits and test facility are designed to test through a component’s complete speed range and contain high-energy failures.
  • Schedule: Our drive system offers the fastest acceleration and deceleration cycles for short testing schedules. Use of Test Devices’ patented Real-time Crack Detection System (RT_CDS) allows customers to expedite the schedule via reducing the need for interim inspections. Also, RT-CDS has proven its high dependability in halting the LCF test by detecting the onset of crack initiation before rotor failure, which saves customers from the need for time-consuming failure investigation work.
  • Quality: Test Devices audits LCF cycle data to ensure the accuracy of the test and the integrity of the data. Our testing operation also conforms to AS9100 Aerospace standards.

To learn more about low-cycle fatigue testing or our testing capabilities, contact us today.

What’s Happening With E-Mobility and E-Propulsion in 2021?

The effect of global warming is ever more visible today. Industries around the world are ramping up the urgency to deliver sustainable solutions. There is a strong focus in electrification of transportation, and the technological advancements in greener power generation methods and the distribution infrastructures.

Evidence of this global shift to sustainability can be seen in the ambitious goals made by leading manufacturers and governments globally. For example, General Motors recently vowed to end producing fossil fuel-dependent vehicles by 2035. Leading eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) companies are planning on launching air-taxi services as soon as 2023, and in 2020 the United Kingdom announced it would ban fossil fuel vehicles beginning in 2030.

What Key Insights Are We Seeing in E-Mobility and E-Propulsion?

Within the next decade, the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell and battery-powered electric vehicles (EV) will likely occur. While automotive companies are at the forefront of electric vehicle adoption, aerospace companies are also developing proprietary technologies behind the scenes, and many of their smaller-scale prototypes are yielding promising results.


Leading automakers are currently producing more EV models than ever before, with approximately 400 new battery-powered vehicles expected to hit the market by 2025. At the same time, leading eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) companies are certifying new vehicles with the FAA/EASA in preparation for a commercial service rollout as early as 2023.

The incumbent aerospace OEMs are beginning to reveal their hybrid e-propulsion and long to mid-range electric passenger aircraft concepts, and are working towards 2030 release timeline. According to a recent MarketsandMarkets forecast, by 2023 the electric aircraft market is expected to reach $122 million, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 4%. Meanwhile, UBS predicts that the electric aviation market will reach $178 billion by 2040 after experiencing a robust growth period due to the expected release of the first hybrid electric 50-70 seat aircraft around 2028.

What Are the Benefits of E-Mobility and E-Propulsion?

While their prevalence is steadily decreasing, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are currently responsible for approximately 60% of the world’s air pollution. The potential environmental benefits from removing these vehicles from the road have already been demonstrated during the global COVID-19 lockdown when air pollution levels rapidly decreased.

e mobilityTo combat the global warming, electrifying the cars and airplanes are not enough. We must think of a way to make the whole energy supply chain green. Starting from how we generate fuel (or energy), transport and distribute it, and eventually how the byproduct of the fuel impacts the environment – the new greener supply chain must be a sustainable close-looped cycle.

Besides being the key element of the solution against the global warming, there are many benefits of the electrified mobilities. Electrification will directly contribute to cutting down the emission of toxic byproducts from burning the fossil fuels. Air pollution, such as soot and toxic gas in the exhaust, is an increasing health concern, especially in densely populated cities. Furthermore, extraction and production of fossil fuel generally damaging to the environment.

With the electrification of our vehicles, technology is constantly evolving. Governments around the world, including the US and EU, have issued statements that they believe electrification will bring greener technologies and innovations that will expand economic growth, creation of new types of jobs, and national security.

Contributing to the Sustainable Future

E-mobility and e-propulsion technology are becoming more visible in our everyday life and news. As the benefits of adopting these technologies become too significant to ignore, more companies are adapting their mobility solutions. In the past decade or so, we are seeing rapid increase in the number of innovations in the design of drive motors, power electronics, and transmission systems.

The new technologies emerging from the concerted electrification efforts inspire and enable new ideas and machine designs. As seen in the EVs, electric vehicles require much fewer moving parts and dramatically simplify the drivetrain design. The same benefit is anticipated for the electrified versions of aircrafts, ships, and other electrified machines.

Though simpler design borne many benefits, many fundamental challenges in high-performance rotating parts remains similar. Schenck and Test Devices serves the e-mobility and e-propulsion industries with new part manufacturing, spin testing, and rotor balancing services. These services support the development of sustainable technologies such as advanced propulsion system parts and new electric motors. As an AS9100 and ISO 9001 certified business, we have been committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations for over 40 years. To learn more about our capabilities for the e-mobility and e-propulsion industries, contact us today.

A Comprehensive Guide on CNC Machining

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining has proven itself an ideal method for mass producing metal and plastic parts. Even as other manufacturing methods like 3D printing have gained prominence in recent years, CNC machining has remained one of the most popular choices for a wide variety of fabrication needs. The aerospace sector relies heavily on CNC machining for the production of complex and mission-critical parts and components.

By leveraging the precision and automation of computerized control, CNC machining allows for the creation of intricate and accurate designs. In the past, manual machining processes relied on highly trained and skilled human operators to control the machinery. While some machine shops still use skilled machinists for prototypes, small-volume orders, or parts where repeatability or tolerances aren’t important, CNC machining has virtually eliminated the risk of human error in many manufacturing operations. Advanced programming regulates precise cutting patterns to ensure part-to-part uniformity and reliable adherence to tight tolerances.

What is CNC Machining?

CNC machining is a modern manufacturing process that takes in specific programmed instructions and uses that information to direct tooling as it cuts into the workpiece. CNC machining is not limited to one tool or piece of machinery. A spindle holds numerous tools, and CNC machines can often use multiple tools simultaneously from different angles. The term “numerical control” simply refers to the automated control of a machining process. The most common computer language for CNC machines is called G-code, though another language known as M-code is also sometimes used.

How Does CNC Machining Work?

To use a CNC machine, a skilled professional must program the computer. Once the machine has been activated, it reads through the program and enacts each of the instructions, employing a variety of tools and fabrication processes along the way. The CNC machine will follow its program under the assumption that all tools have carried out their function flawlessly. Small mechanical margins of error still exist, especially when the CNC process involves simultaneous cuts or other complex instructions. By and large, however, well-maintained CNC machines reliably perform in accordance with their programming.

machined pad

While numerical control machines of the past read instructions through punch cards, today’s CNC machines require advanced computer programming. Operators enter the instructions into a computer and save the file into the machine’s records, where it can then easily find and invoke the instructions over and over. While many technicians are familiar with G-code and M-code languages, machine shops most commonly use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software, which can turn a computer-aided design (CAD) drawing into usable instructions for CNC machinery. This type of software makes the operator’s job much easier.

What are the Common Types of CNC Machines?

Numerous types of CNC machinery exist, enabling machine shops and manufacturers to conduct an expansive range of automated machining processes. Some of the most common CNC machine types include:

  • CNC mills. CNC milling machines can cut a wide variety of materials in multiple dimensions. Most milling machines include an X, Y, and Z axis, which allows for exceptional detail and complexity. Cutting-edge machines may include additional axes for further precision and detail.
  • CNC turning centers/CNC lathes. These specialized manufacturing tools are ideal for creating parts with symmetry around a central axis, such as pipes and shafts. CNC technology gives lathes an added level of precision that can be used to create more intricate parts.
  • Plasma cutters. Plasma cutters seamlessly slice through material by using electricity and compressed-air gas to form a plasma torch. Plasma cutting requires conductive material, so it is mostly used to cut conductive metals such as steel, copper, brass, or aluminum.
  • Water jet cutters. Water jet cutters create an intense stream of water that cuts through tough materials. Adding abrasives to the water stream facilities cutting of harder materials, such granite and titanium.

What are Some Popular Machining Techniques?

With many CNC machining processes available, it can be difficult to determine which ones to use for a specific project. While there is some overlap, most machining methods lend themselves to specific project or design needs. Here are some of the most popular and versatile CNC machining techniques:

  • Roughing and semi-finish machining. These processes get most of the way to the final product, while leaving some excess material on the outside for fine-tuning by more precise machinery. Semi-finish machining reveals the final part geometry, but only strips the material within about 0.05” of the target dimensions. Also called roughing or rough machining, this process often uses CNC machinery to produce high volumes of roughed parts ready for final machining.
  • Turning. Turning is one of the oldest manufacturing processes, but modern CNC lathes use advanced tooling and precision control to create highly accurate cylindrical parts with numerous features. As the workpiece rotates at high speeds, cutting tools move along the length of the piece to cut away material. More advanced turning centers can conduct additional processes, such as drilling holes.
  • Milling. Milling holds the piece steady while a spindle with various cutting tools rotates around it, making precise cuts in accordance with the programmed instructions. Although the workpiece is mainly held horizontally, the cutting tool functions in the X, Y and Z directions. Four-axis and five-axis CNC milling machines have become increasingly common in recent years, offering further precision, speed, and complexity.
  • Solid Sink EDM. Unlike the other processes, which all involve direct contact between tools and the target surface, solid sink electro-discharge machining (EDM) uses a an electrode that releases a powerful discharge that forces material to strip away from the metal surface. The material must be immersed in a dielectric fluid during the manufacturing process, and the electrode requires frequent replacement.

What are the Benefits of Machining with Test Devices?

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, our skilled and experienced staff brings extensive expertise to the manufacture of safety-critical rotating components made from challenging aerospace alloys. With a great deal of experience creating or adhering to the frozen manufacturing processes used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the aerospace sector, allowing us to guarantee a high rate of repeatability across each production run.

Test Devices by SCHENCK has become a premier provider of precision machining services for aerospace OEMs. We serve a customer base that accepts nothing less than the highest levels of accuracy, quality, and compliance with industry standards. Our manufacturing operations operate in strict compliance to AS9100/ISO 9100 quality management standards.

All our customers know we can respond and adapt quickly to project changes with minimal impact on production and delivery schedules. All of our teams, including machining, spin testing, balancing, and logistics operate in unison to provide end-to-end efficiency on every project.

For more information about Test Devices by SCHENCK and our machining capabilities for the aerospace sector, please contact us today.

Why Partner With Test Devices for Your Overspeed Spin Testing Needs?

Spin testing is a critical step in the manufacture of rotating components. While some original equipment manufacturers (OEM) may have the resources to perform these testing operations in-house, many do not. As such, they have to outsource these operations to a third-party spin testing service provider. Unfortunately, this option increases the potential for tight timelines or production delays as some service providers have long turnaround times (three or more weeks) even when two weeks or less is possible. These extended estimates can typically be attributed to a lack of communication between the client and provider, which, in addition to introducing uncertainty about when parts will be delivered, reduces the likelihood of a return customer.

We reduce lead times and costs associated with overspeed spin testing.

You can improve your product build and delivery efficiency by reducing process lead times. However, efficiency is not the only factor on which you should focus. You should also emphasize reliability, which influences whether you can consistently meet your customers’ order requirements  in a timely manner.

over speed testing

Equipped with extensive spin testing experience, we have what it takes to offer efficient and reliable overspeed testing solutions. We have  to accommodate high test volumes. All work are carefully and quickly planned, tracked, and executed. In many cases, we can cut turnaround time by two or more weeks (a 33–66% reduction in lead time compared to our competitors), which makes it easier for you to meet your product delivery timelines and positively affects your cash flow.

We have a dedicated service team.

In today’s manufacturing world, flexibility and responsiveness are essential. Regarding OEMs, this means ensuring on-time delivery and remaining aware of and being able to respond to changing demands. Having a reliable production and supply chain is key to achieving these goals so you can stay ahead of the competition and retain your customers.

Our dedicated  service team is ready to help keep you on track. We quickly review and execute spin testing requests, so your customers do not have to worry about delayed shipments or long wait times between order placement and fulfillment. This reliability can help improve your customer retention rates, leading to a larger customer base and expanded capabilities over time.

We are ISO9001/AS9100 certified.

over speed testingWe are committed to providing high-quality spin testing services and products that meet or exceed our clients’ requirements. This dedication to quality is reflected by our maintenance and adherence to an AS9100/ISO 9001 certified quality management system. Our quality management system is updated on an annual basis and subjected to regular internal and external audits to ensure its robustness. We also employ certified inspectors to dimensionally inspect 100% of all hardware manufactured from drawings.

Connect With the Experts at Test Devices Today

At Test Devices, we are a trusted spin testing  and service provider for leading OEMs in many industries. To learn more about our products and services or partner with us for your overspeed testing needs, contact us or request a quote today.

What Is Rotor Balancing and Why Is It Essential?

Rotors are a critical component used to convert electric or electromagnetic energy into rotational motion. For rotors to operate reliably, they must maintain even weight distribution across the rotational axis. Too much weight on one side creates uneven mass distribution known as “unbalance”.


Rotating parts in any mechanical assembly can become unbalanced. Uneven weight distribution of a rotating component causes the part’s rotational center to be out of alignment with the geometric axis. When unbalance occurs, the operational efficiency and safety of the system in which the rotor operates are compromised. Rotor balancing can help to prevent issues caused by unbalance, reducing noise and vibration and extending the life of your system.

What Are the Various Rotor Groups?

Rotors are grouped into two categories: rigid and flexible. Rigid rotors can be balanced at lower speeds, as long as there is sufficient centrifugal force to detect the unbalance. Flexible rotors, on the other hand, deflect outward from the rotational axis, and the center of rotation moves away from the rotational axis as the speed increases. Unlike rigid rotors, flexible rotors must be balanced in stages, starting with lower speeds and slowly working up to operating speed.

Why Is Rotor Balancing Essential?

High levels of vibration caused by unbalance can cause equipment to operate less reliably, which results in increased energy usage, decreased operational efficiency, and reduced equipment service life. The force exerted by the dynamic load from an unbalanced rotor will cause wear to the rotor itself, the bearings and mountings holding it in place, and the machine’s structural support. Although the severity of the dynamic load varies depending on the degree of unbalance and the rotation speed, any unbalance can cause problems.


Vibration from an unbalanced rotor creates excessive noise and resonance, which will ultimately compromise the structural integrity of the equipment that supports the rotor assembly. The damage caused by unbalance is especially apparent in bearings, suspension equipment, support housing, and the equipment foundation. These components are typically exposed to the highest level of stress caused by the excess dynamic load due to unbalance. With ongoing exposure, these components will be more likely to suffer premature wear.

In addition, the high vibration caused by unbalance can loosen fasteners such as screws, nuts, and bolts, rendering the structure less stable. Pipes, electrical cables, wiring, electrical connections, and switches can also be negatively affected. With extended exposure to high levels of vibration, even nearby equipment and structures can be compromised, creating the potential for greater damage and injury.

What Are the Various Types of Unbalance?

When balancing your rotor, it is critical to understand the different types of unbalance. There are three types of unbalance, including:

  1. Static Unbalance. This type of unbalance occurs when the mass axis is displaced parallel to the shaft axis. Static unbalance is corrected only in one axial plane.
  2. Couple Unbalance. Couple unbalance occurs when the mass axis intersects with the running axis. This type of unbalance is typically corrected in two axial planes.
  3. Dynamic Unbalance. Dynamic unbalance is typically a combination of static and couple unbalance and occurs when the mass axis does not intersect with the rotational axis. This can usually be repaired by correcting the balance along two axial planes.

Reliable Rotor Balancing by Seasoned Professionals at Test Devices by SCHENCK

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we are dedicated to providing our customers with expert balancing solutions for rotating and oscillating equipment in a wide range of applications and industries. With more than 50 years of experience, we have the knowledge, equipment, and skill necessary to provide superior balancing services for everything from modular drills to industrial crankshafts and wind power turbines. We are skilled in servicing equipment of all sizes, from miniature dental motors of only a few ounces to 400-ton steam turbine rotors.

rotor balancingOur expertise extends to dynamic balancing, static balancing, couple balancing, and much more. With an international team of over 900 experts, we work tirelessly to design, research, develop, and produce actionable balancing solutions for customers in the automotive, aerospace, electrical, and mechanical engineering industries. In addition, we offer maintenance services and quality control testing to ensure that your rotor equipment is operating within applicable industry standards and regulatory guidelines.

We are committed to providing superior rotor balancing services to our customers around the world. To learn more, contact us today.

Figure 1,  A Rigid Test Rotor mounted on a Schenck Hard Bearing Balancing Machine.