Engine Build Series – Day 4

Employees skipped the first Thursday of the month for the Fourth of July holiday and instead stayed late on July 11th to make some additional progress on the Power Test Budget Engine Build.  This project is a chance for Power Test employees to share their engine building knowledge with their co-workers, test their work on one of our performance engine dynos, and build comradery along the way.

— Transcript —

We’ve got an LS that we’ve been putting together over the last couple months. We got it running and feel comfortable with how it’s running want to get a baseline on the dyno. We went through initially to do a compression check. we’re going to do a leak down check just to show everybody what the difference is between the two, how to troubleshoot and how to get a baseline so we know if we have a problem. Later, the LS will get pulled out from there we’re going to upgrade the cam and change valve springs so the LS will be ready to go back in the test so next month.
In the meantime, Russ has this big block here that’s going to go on his personal car. We’ve kind of got that set up the way it’s going to go in the car we’re going to run that to get a baseline for him. We’re going to go through a little bit of carburetor jetting, set and timing, kind of show what advance and retard does, show what lean and rich will do on the carburation side. John and I kind of decided that even though the big block is is old-school, the effects of what changing jets and timing do are the same thing we’re going to do through the ECM on the LS, so it’s just another way to show those that are here or the changes do.
The whole crux of us doing this is that we’re a company that predominantly used to test diesel and now we’re knee deep in the automotive world, specifically the racing world. There’s a few folks that are into cars automotive and making things go run better and faster. Our customers are into this knee deep. It’s their living and we’re trying to make our employees have a sense of what our customers are talking about, what they’re doing and why they’re doing it so when they go on-site they have a they have a real strong connection with the customer because they know their way around an engine.

The Tiny Dyno

Power Test is always thinking of new ways to show off our industry leading testing products, especially as we kick off trade show season.  Unfortunately its tough to bring a test cell to life our 10×10 booth, so we had to think outside the box.  Enter the ‘Tiny Dyno’ a 1/16th size fully functional, replica Flat Deck Chassis Dynamometer, complete with data acquisition and a Power Test branded truck.

The Tiny Dyno was built in preparation for the TMC Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN and was a welcome side project for the many Power Test employees who had the chance to work on it. Everyone from Engineering to Assembly to Electronics had fun with our newest marketing vehicle and the final product is something we’re proud to show off.

Let us know what you think of our Tiny Dyno and keep an eye out for it at our next trade show.

Webinar: AC Regenerative Solutions


Custom Engineered Solutions: AC Regen Webinar

From the Custom Engineered Solutions Division at Power Test, learn about different braking technology featured in our dynos and see if an AC Regenerative Solution may be right for you.

On Tuesday, February 7th, Rob Kazmier will explore, in depth, a number of topics including AC Regenerative Technology, Applications for AC Regen, and Technological Decision Factors. He will also answer any questions you might have in this conversational and consultative webinar.

Rob, a Senior Sales Engineer at Power Test, heads our Custom Engineered Solutions division, developing innovative testing procedures for uncommon challenges. Though Power Test has an extensive catalog of standard products, there are often unique circumstances that require a custom approach. Often times this need for customization is framed around the need for technology alternative to water brake or eddy current systems. AC Regenerative Technology is a clean and efficient solution that may make sense for your testing needs.

Register for our upcoming webinar or contact Rob directly if you have additional questions about what this technology can mean for your installation.

We encourage you to register for our webinar whether or not you are available during the slotted time.  All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar and the accompanying documents for you to review at your convenience.

Power Test to Attend TMC


TMC Annual Meeting

From February 27th through March 2nd, Power Test will be attending the TMC Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  The annual meeting, dubbed the Transportation and Technology Exposition is an event hosted by the American Trucking Association, a group that seeks to improve safety, efficiency, and profitability for the trucking industry.

This multi day show features a complete schedule filled daily with seminars, task forces, town halls, forums, and extensive opportunities for interaction. Companies from across the country represent nearly every aspect of the industry, from carriers, to electrical component manufacturers and everything in between.

Power Test will attend to lecture on the benefits of our chassis dyno systems; a necessary component for complete engine build/rebuild shops.  Our President, Pat Koppa, will be on hand to work through the logistics of adding a chassis dyno to your shop.  With multiple daily seminars, he’s made himself available to personally address any questions or concerns that you might have.

Look for us in Booth #2948 and let us know if you’d like to set up a time to meet during the show.

Chassis Dyno Cutaway

Christmas Tree Lighting Party

Every year, Power Test hosts its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Party on the company grounds.  Employees, families, and community members are invited to hangout on our ‘Break Pad’ and enjoy snacks, cocoa, and caroling from the Sussex Hamilton Choir. Held in early December, the event is one of the first opportunities of the year to get festive for the holidays.  This year as part of the fun we had a bonfire, photo booth, and even a visit from Santa for all of the kids in attendance. The hot chocolate, cookies, and good company were more than enough to fend off the cold temperatures and the turnout was fantastic.

As the sun set, it was time to light the Christmas Tree and kick off the holiday season.  This year, Power Test held a raffle to see who got to ‘Flip the Switch’ and turn on the lights. The lucky winner performed beautifully and the tree was lit for all passersby to see.

This years event was held in support of Sussex Outreach Services. During the weeks leading up to the party, Power Test held a toy drive for local families and our employees donated generously.  Additionally Power Test made a substantial donation to the charity to help Sussex Outreach Services furnish their new home in downtown Sussex. SOS serves nearly 500 families a year, with a good deal of them visiting during the holiday season.  Events like the Christmas Tree Lighting go a long way to helping them in their mission.

Power Test Lights its Christmas Tree

Where You Can Find Us – August

Power Test Dyno August Plans
As summer marches on, so too does your Power Test sales rep as they work to Make It Better for our customers both domestically and abroad.  In the past month, we’ve seen our team members visit and consult around the globe with customers in Mexico, South Africa, France, South Korea, Canada and many locations across the U.S. to gain a better understanding of your testing needs.  Their on-site visits give them the perspective and knowledge to address your challenges and opportunities with thoughtful solutions that can drastically change your business.

We love our little corner of the globe in Sussex, WI, but it’s our willingness to visit yours that sets our offering apart.  Take a look at where we plan to be in the coming month, and let us know if we’re in your neighborhood.

International Visit Locations:

NC, GA, KY, & TN
August 1st – August 5th
Dan Jens

Vancouver, BC
August 16th
Rob Kazmier

Indonesia  |  South Korea
August 20th- August 24th
Rick Ballo

Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico
August 22nd – August 26th
David Lanser

Vancouver, BC | Edmonton, Calgary, AB
August 22nd – August 26th
Wayne Mohler

If we missed you in July and you don’t see your region on the list for August, just let us know! We schedule are trips based on where our customers need us and we’re more than happy to come visit you.

We Make It Better – June 2016

Powertest Plan June 2016
Power Test is committed to making it better for our customers, for our employees, and for our community.  Our day to day efforts of building exceptional products and providing unsurpassed support fulfill that mission for our customers, but its the work we do outside of the office that make it better for every one else. Connect with us on our social media channels and follow our blog to stay up to date on our activities all month long. IMG_1766

We Make It Better

Blood Center of Wisconsin Blood Drive

On June 3rd, employees from Power Test participated in a company wide blood drive for the Blood Center of Wisconsin.  36 employees took time out of their day and gave one of the greatest gifts you can give, because they believe in the Power Test mission statement of Making It Better.  Their generosity will help 93 people who are need of donations.Blood Center of Wisconsin

Your time, talents and resources will give patients
another smile, hug or moment with a family member.
Please thank everyone that participated in the event.
I hope all will feel a great sense of pride at what was
accomplished. Truly, you and the donors are all
SUPER HEROES. – The Blood Center


Alzheimer’s Association – The Longest Day

Through a substantial Power Test donation, employees enjoyed a Brat Fry in support of the Alzheimer’s Association and their longest day campaign.  Members of the Alzheimers Association (Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter) came to Power Test and served 10″ Sheboygan style brats and educated our employees on the disease and offered a number of resources that could help those families that are affected.  It was a wonderful example of a mutually supported event that was beneficial to both Power Test and the Alzheimers Association.  Though their dedicated advocacy day has passed, the work the Alzheimer’s Association does continues on.  Visit them and see how you can help support their organization. Alzheimers Association


Power Fest 2016

On July 8th, Power Test will celebrate 40 years of Making It Better.  In an all day event featuring industry related seminars, golf outings, cookouts, car shows, and Brewer games, Power Test employees will celebrate the work we’ve done for our customers, our community over the years.  If you’re in the area, please RSVP to stop by and learn a little bit more about how Power Test has been ‘Making It Better’ for 40 years.

Where You Can Find Us – July 2016

Power Test Plan – July 2016
Every month, Power Test Sales and Service professionals travel the globe making sure our customer’s needs are met.  We believe that on-site, personal interactions with our customers is key to Making It Better.  By consulting with you directly, we hear firsthand of the challenges and opportunities you’re presented with.  Our team of highly knowledgeable reps work with you to explore every possible solution to all of your testing needs.

This July we have a number of international travel destinations already scheduled, with more to be confirmed as the month moves on.  As always, reach out to us if you see that we’ll be in your area, or let us know if you’d like to schedule a visit.  Each of our sales and service team members makes it a priority to visit customers on a monthly basis, and we’re always looking for an excuse to come visit you.


International Visit Locations:

Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico
July 17th – July 30th

David Lanser will be visiting Mexico towards the end of the month to meet with existing and potential customers.  Reach out to David if you’d like to schedule a visit, or hear more about the regions that he serves.


South Korea  |  Japan
End of July

Rick Ballo will be traveling to South Korea and Japan in July to consult on an active project, but has made some time to schedule visits with customers and partners.  Let Rick know if you’d like him to stop by.


The rest of our sales team has some specific appointment dates set up for the month of July, and always has time to schedule more.  Visit our Contact Us page to set up an appointment or to get in touch with us with any questions you may have about your testing needs.

Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing Systems

Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing Systems


Testing of military vehicle components has long been crucial to ensuring reliable operation in the field. As vehicle technology advances, and as government initiatives seek greater vehicle operating efficiencies, vehicle component testing is even more important.

“Military vehicles are commonly operated in conditions far more adverse than civilian vehicles. Any military vehicle could end up in a theater of operation, so it’s always been imperative that all the engine, transmission and chassis components are fully reliable,” said Shane Classen, senior project manager at Power Test, Inc., a manufacturer of dynamometers, heavy equipment testing systems and related data acquisition and control systems used by the militaries of nations throughout the world. “It’s also extremely important that those testing and data acquisition systems are easy to use, especially as vehicles become more advanced and as governments watch resources more closely,” added Classen, who spent 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining Power Test.

Today’s military vehicles are increasingly controlled by electronics. And systems to enable self-driving land vehicles with an even greater reliance on electronics are in testing stages. For example, a new generation of ground-based vehicles designed and manufactured by Oshkosh Defense is now in production. The vehicle features a General Motors diesel engine and Allison Transmission, but can be fitted with Oshkosh’s diesel-electric powertrain to improve fuel economy. All Oshkosh vehicles are tested on Power Test equipment before being delivered to military customers.

Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing SystemsAdvances are also being made in vehicle fuel efficiency as military research is seeking ways to further reduce fuel requirements of ground-based vehicles and to lessen the dependence on diesel fuel, which is costly and logistically challenging in the field. Alternatives include hybrid electric engines and hydrogen fuel cells.

“There are significant benefits to going electric,” notes Power Test’s Rob Kazmier. “Along with fuel savings and the alleviation of the risks and challenges of transporting diesel fuel, electric motors offer stealth benefits as well. These products provide a significant reduction in noise, heat and exhaust generation that could alert an enemy or guide incoming thermal-targeted missiles.”

No matter what the research focus, test systems such as those manufactured by Power Test bring efficiencies to the process.

“With a multi-axle chassis dynamometer designed for military vehicles, you can test a diesel-powered vehicle and then immediately test a vehicle with an alternative power system in laboratory conditions allowing fully repeatable tests that simulate real driving conditions,” Kazmier said. “You don’t need to have a driver running the vehicles up and down hills at a proving ground, so it’s a lot more efficient. And because the testing is done in a lab, test conditions can be perfectly controlled to compare different vehicle efficiencies or capabilities.”


Custom Engineered Solutions


Through its Engineered Solutions division, Power Test custom-manufactures test equipment such as its multi-axle chassis dynamometers to the needs of customers such as Oshkosh Corp, whose employees use them for break-in and power verification of every military vehicle that comes off its line. Water brake, eddy current, or AC regenerative versions are available.

The Engineered Solutions division also designed a system for a customer who sought a single machine to test any cross-drive transmission found in military vehicles. The solution was the X-2000 Cross Drive — an extremely versatile cross drive dynamometer. The machine features up to 2,000 HP continuous input power capacity; precise input and output speed and torque control; shifting, braking, and steering servo actuators; locked rotor and clutched output absorbers and in-line torque measurement for all rotating connection points. The system was provided with mounting kits to test cross drive transmissions found in military vehicles ranging from the M-1-2A Abrams tank to the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.


Ease of Use


Beyond research and end-of-line testing by equipment manufacturers, Power Test works closely with remanufacturing depots on military bases around the world, where ease of use is an important factor in testing equipment and data acquisition. “A serviceman assigned to a depot is likely unfamiliar with the equipment,” Classen noted.

“The military vehicle maintenance scenario is very different from that on the civilian side,” Classen said. “While employees of maintenance facilities in the civilian world tend to have many years of experience, enlisted servicemen assigned to handle vehicle testing and repair are generally younger and change duty stations every two to three years.”

Ease of UseThat means testing systems must be easy to learn and operate, as well as reliable in their results.

“A military testing and repair shop needs to have total confidence in the vehicles they’re sending back into use,” Classen said. “When we’re designing testing systems, we need to make sure a younger, less experienced serviceman can conduct testing as reliably as a seasoned person.”

Also different from the civilian world is the military’s need to receive new and repaired vehicles ready for full use – without an in-use break-in period. Power Test’s premier dynamometer systems fulfill the break-in process by simulating all of the operating conditions the vehicle could face, and provide field-ready vehicles right out of the shop. The break-in is a critical part of the testing process that, if not done correctly, could lead to a vehicle being out of commission and a serviceman out of action.

“We want everything to go exactly as planned, which is another reason we design our testing systems to be easy to use,” Classen added. One way that’s done is by having a common software platform across all types of testing systems. “A serviceman whose duty includes use of a dynamometer is likely to have a similar duty upon being transferred to a new station, but might be working with equipment to test different components. With the common software platform we provide, he or she can quickly get up to speed at a new station, working on different kinds of vehicles or different components. It doesn’t matter if they’re working on an engine, transmission, chassis dynamometer or hydraulic test stand; within 30 minutes, the serviceman would be able to fully run the testing himself.”

Along with wheeled and track ground vehicles, military depots use Power Test’s equipment for testing components on ships with power systems up to 10,000 HP, and aircraft, including unmanned systems.


Recoverable Assets


With operations throughout the world, the ability to easily establish engine or transmission testing in remote areas is required by the U.S. military and armed forces of other nations. Power Test’s fully containerized and transportable engine and transmission testing units respond to that need, and allow easy recovery of assets after deployment.

The U.S. Army and Marines have utilized 20-foot containerized engine and transmission dynamometers in war zones since the first Gulf War.

“A containerized unit fits in the back of a C130 for easy transportation into and out of fields of operation,” Kazmier said.

Power Test’s Wayne Mohler noted the containerized systems eliminate the need for a building and can be operated in locations that lack basic utilities – such as the middle of a desert.

Power Test’s Fully Contained Transportable Trans Dyno and the FCT Engine Dynamometer System each come ready to use in its own shipping container that doubles as a testing facility. It contains everything needed for testing, including all the testing components and a sound-insulated room for the data acquisition and control system.

Recoverable AssetsThe FCT Dynamometer System includes Power Test’s 50X series dynamometer to testing electric motors, gasoline and higher speed diesel applications, with power ranges from 50-1,000 HP and speeds to 6,000 RPM.

The FCT Transmission Dynamometer System uses AIDCO’s 450H Transmission Test Stand, the Model 265 Valve Body Test Stand, and the AIDCO ESC electric shift control. AIDCO is a Power Test brand.

The test container can quickly be relocated by simply disconnecting the non-spill hydraulic hoses and power extension cables.

Both the engine and transmission containerized units are paired with a containerized support unit for power generation, water recirculation, cooling, heat exchange and water holding.

While the containerized units allow armed forces to retain the value of the equipment, other initiatives seek to reduce operating costs or use of water, which is often an integral part of component testing.



Water shortages in some areas, and general government sustainability concerns regarding conservation are also issues for dynamometer and testing system manufacturers.

“Conserving water is very important to the current administration and to branches of the U.S. military,” said Mohler. “The U.S. National Guard, for example, uses water-free chassis dynamometers for testing multi-axle vehicles.”

Compared to a water brake chassis dynamometer, an air-cooled, water-free eddy current dynamometer uses no water and significantly less electricity. That eliminates the need for a water supply or a water recirculation system. The eddy current system uses just enough electricity to create the electrical field needed for the test. This is in contrast to a water brake system that requires constant power to run the pumps.

Reduced energy costs were not the initial focus of one nation’s navy that was seeking upgraded testing equipment, but Power Test came up with a solution that would recoup virtually all the power used in the testing of hydraulic pumps and motors. As part of a base renovation project, basic hydraulic pump and motor test stands were specified. The navy needed one unit for testing ship components and another for testing submarine components. Its existing system was old and crude, without variable speed, safety guards or other features. “It was really a dangerous system and had very limited capability,” Kazmier said.

Along with increased safety, the navy wanted to implement a fully capable testing system.

“There was a significant variety of hydraulic components they wanted to test, so flexibility was key,” Kazmier said. Power Test proposed a solution that would not only provide all the flexibility the navy needed for component testing, but one that would also result in a significant reduction in energy demand.

The HTS-100×2, dual 100-HP regenerative system, developed through Power Test’s Engineered Solutions division, recoups and reuses a majority of the energy in its operation. While it wasn’t an originally specified feature, the navy saw the energy savings as a bonus to the testing capabilities it was seeking.
“Our solution was a safe product with excellent flexibility, offering them complete control of any variable speed for the load or input,” Kazmier said.


Along with the containerized systems and custom solutions mentioned above, testing systems commonly used by military original equipment manufacturers and at repair depots include:

PTX Engine Dyno SystemEngine Dynamometers — Power Test’s PTX Water Brake Dynamometer is used in multiple U.S. Defense Office of Logistics facilities, dozens of U.S. Army National Guard facilities, U.S. Marine Corps facilities and private industry repair depots that support the U.S. military via engine rebuild contracts. It is available in 500 HP and 1,000 HP configurations. The system features a through-shaft design that allows either end of the dynamometer to be driven and for dynamometer mounting systems to be attached and used.

EC-Series Chassis Dynamometers — This heavy-duty chassis dynamometer features air-cooled eddy current load absorbers, therefore requiring no water or cooling system.

Transmission Test Stands — The AIDCO 450E transmission test stand supports testing of all Allison transmissions – commonly used in military vehicles, including some military-specific transmissions. Numerous military and private-sector repair shops use the AIDCO system. AIDCO’s Electronic Shift Control is used in conjunction with the transmission test stand.

All Power Test dynamometers and test stands interface with PowerNet 3.0 data acquisition and control packages.