Automated control and test system for long time stess tests of microwave ovens
To be able to improve products extensive testing is required in order to find hidden flaws in the design. The earlier flaws are found the higher are the probability that they can be corrected before the product is released onto the market. If the tests could be carried out all hours of the day every day of the week, this would introduce another level of stress to the product. More stress than if the product would be tested only during working days and it may reveal issues that could be corrected to improve the product further. Although a similar test environment already exists at Whirlpool Sweden AB, there are requests to rethink and improve these tests so that the microwave ovens are tested in an environment more close to reality. This thesis will present a concept proposal of how to improve the tests. Further, the thesis will include initial construction of a machine that could perform automated tests with the ability to interpret errors and report them. In the end, the machine should press buttons on the microwave oven, look at the display with a camera, open the door and so on.
The mechanics for the machine is bought, so a big part of the thesis will be electronics design. The project will include an embedded system design with a 32-bit ARM micro controller that is going to control the machine. As this part is quite big the thesis will include the hardware design, but not much programming.
The hardware design of the embedded system did work as expected, without any revisions. The hardware has been verified by electrical tests and basic software to test the general functions of the hardware. In the future, the hardware needs programming and the machine has to be equipped with a mechanical finger to be able to press buttons.
Keywords: Embedded system design, ARM, Cortex-M3, , Linear guide, Stepper
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