Hydraulic test bench designed by Comatec to strengthen Millog’s maintenance functions

Millog Oy’s armoured vehicle department in Hattula, Finland is responsible for the maintenance of the Finnish Defence Forces’ armoured vehicles. Comatec has designed a test bench for Millog to be used to check and test cylinders and other hydraulic components of armoured vehicles during maintenance. The test bench strengthens Millog’s maintenance capability and enables the company to provide advanced testing services to an even wider customer base.

The design phase began with the mapping of Millog’s needs. Soon it became clear that the extensive list of requirements would pose many challenges for product design.

“The list of requirements came from our component maintenance team’s operating environment. The smallest components to be tested are the same size as a matchbox, while the biggest cylinders are nearly three metres long. Additionally, our testing requires pressure and flow rates, which cannot be reached with commercial testing devices”, explains Mr Jukka Pesonen, Department Manager of Millog’s armoured vehicle department.

“To my knowledge, there are no similar testing devices in Finland, or in the world, at least on the free market. Thus, the project focused on our needs, which Comatec took into account from the onset”, Pesonen continues.

Comatec’s wide-ranging design expertise in full use

The control system and user interface of the test bench have also been designed by Comatec.

Even though the hydraulic test bench looks simple, the design of the high-tech device required a wide range of design knowledge.

Comatec was responsible for the initial design of the test bench, automation design and programming, safety engineering, technical documentation, the device’s power unit and automation components as well as the preparations for the roll-out and end-user training. Nestepaine Oy complemented the project’s hydraulic expertise and acted as the equipment supplier for the test bench. Overall, the test bench took about a year to design and manufacture.

“Because the test bench is unique, the definition phase took the most time. There were many pieces in the puzzle, which had to fit together. For example, the device includes an electric motor that is efficient enough to produce the required pressure and flow rates. The test bench also contains advanced computer-based automation in one package”, highlights Pesonen.

Domestic preference as a procurement criterion

Millog strives to develop its own operations in such a way that it can increase its service and maintenance expertise regarding the Finnish Defence Forces’ armoured vehicles.

“The recently introduced hydraulic test bench strengthens the armoured vehicle department’s maintenance services in terms of both equipment and staff competence. Consequently, the project has had a significant impact on the preparedness of both Millog and the Finnish Defence Forces”, explains Pesonen.

Millog also strives to utilise domestic expertise in equipment procurement, when ever possible.

“We have worked with Comatec before so we knew that they could provide us with the design expertise we needed in this project. As Nestepaine Oy makes the spare and working parts of the test bench, we can be sure to receive the parts we need easily and quickly also in the future”, Pesonen notes.

Long product life cycle as a design goal

Mr Jukka Pesonen is satisfied with the hydraulic test bench as well as the project itself.

“From my point of view, we now have a modern and reliable testing device, which addresses our needs perfectly. Even though the project came across many challenges, they were all solved thanks to skillful project management. What is more, collaboration with Comatec worked well.”

The hydraulic test bench was a significant investment to Millog, which is why the project addressed also the future needs of the company.

“The Finnish Defence Forces’ equipment is renewed regularly, which is why the test bench must also be suitable for the testing of new component types. The design of the basic structure guarantees the longevity of the device since the test bench will require only programming updates in the future. This means that we will continue to collaborate with Comatec also in the future”, Pesonen states.