ADMET Retrofit/Upgrade Services

Retrofitting allows customers to extend the lifespan of their testing equipment, improve efficiency, and keep up with the evolving demands of materials testing. At ADMET, we have over 30 years of experience retrofitting material testing machines from different makes and models including Baldwin, Instron, MTS, Riehle, Satec, Shimadzu, Tinius Olsen, Zwick and others, regardless of age or machine type. ADMET’s retrofit services allow customers to upgrade their older mechanical testing machines with modern electronic control systems and software. This allows customers to save significant costs while enhancing the capabilities of their existing equipment without having to budget for a new testing machine purchase. 

Retrofitting includes replacing outdated analog controls with digital systems, incorporating advanced data acquisition and analysis software, and integrating computer closed loop servo control and automation features.

Material Testing Equipment Retrofit Options & Costs

ADMET offers various retrofit options to upgrade and enhance existing material testing machines. These retrofit solutions are designed to improve accuracy, provide greater control, data analysis and reporting capabilities and increase efficiency so you are able to perform more tests.  Each inquiry is treated uniquely, following is an explanation of the most common types of retrofits provided by the ADMET team:

  • Retrofit/Upgrade of a Manually Operated Testing Machine, Keep Manual Controls

ADMET upgrade packages for manually operated machines are most commonly installed on concrete compression testing machines and older manually operated hydraulic universal testing machines made by Baldwin, Reihle, SATEC and Tinius Olsen.  Upgrade packages range from installing one of ADMET’s standalone digital indicators to its pc-based MTESTQuattro® Materials Testing System.  If necessary, ADMET will also install a new load cell or pressure transducer for force measurement and an extensometer or displacement measuring device for measuring strain.  ADMET upgrades of manually operated machines will extend the ASTM E4 certified force range of your testing machine by lowering the minimum certified force and will increase the capability of your test system so you can perform more types of tests.  ADMET offers basic indicators that measure load, load rate, stress, stress rate; state of the art concrete testing indicators that can be used to perform tests according to ASTM C39, ASTM C78, and ASTM C469; as well as advanced indicators to perform tension, compression, bend, and peel tests according to many ASTM and ISO standards.  ADMET also offers MTESTQuattro®, a pc-based Materials Testing system which provides the most capability in terms of data acquisition, analysis and report generation. The price range for retrofit/upgrade packages of manually operated machines ranges from $1,000 to $15,000.

  • Retrofit/Upgrade of a Manually Operated Testing Machine, Convert to Automatic Servo Control 

Retrofits are most commonly performed on older manually operated hydraulic universal  testing machines made by Baldwin, Reihle, SATEC and Tinius Olsen.  If the existing manually operated hydraulic power unit is in good working order, ADMET offers a servo manifold retrofit package which is installed into the existing hydraulic console.  In addition, a displacement transducer will be installed to measure piston position and a pressure transducer is installed to measure force.  Some machines have load cells installed to measure force and in those cases the load cell will continue to be used.  Older SATEC and Tinus Olsen testing machines use LVDT based extensometers to measure strain.  ADMET offers LVDT conditioners to enable the older extensometers to be connected to our controllers and software.  Most often ADMET’s pc-based Materials Testing software and controller, MTESTQuattro®, is installed to perform accurate and repeatable closed loop servo controlled tests  according to ASTM and ISO standards.  MTESTQuattro® is a full featured data acquisition, control, analysis and report generation system so you will be able to perform existing tests more efficiently and run tests not previously possible on your manually operated machine.  If the existing manually operated hydraulic power unit needs to be replaced, ADMET offers new servo hydraulic consoles.  Here the existing hydraulic power unit is removed and the new one is put in its place.  The price range for a servo manifold retrofit with MTESTQuattro® is from $20,000 to $30,000.  If a new servo hydraulic power unit needs to be installed, the price range of the upgrade package is from $35,000 to $45,000.

  • Retrofit/Upgrade of a Servo Hydraulic Testing Machine with a New Controller and Software

Common servo hydraulic machine types retrofitted by ADMET include those manufactured by Instron, MTS, SATEC, and Tinius Olsen.  Instron and MTS test systems are usually fatigue based testers whereas SATEC and Tinius Olsen machines are capable of performing quasi static tests only.  ADMET upgrade packages of servo-hydraulic testing machines include replacing the existing controller with ADMET’s MTESTQuattro® Materials Testing System and incorporating an electrical panel to integrate ADMET’s controller with the existing hydraulic power unit.  In addition, adapter cables are usually provided so that the existing load cells, piston displacement transducers and extensometers can continue to be used with the system.  The price range of ADMET retrofit/upgrade packages of servo equipped hydraulic testing machines is from $15,000 to $25,000.

  • Retrofit/Upgrade of a Servo Equipped Electromechanical Testing Machine with a New Controller and Software

Common electromechanical machines retrofitted by ADMET include Instron, SATEC, Tinius Olsen, United, Zwick, MTS and Shimadzu.  ADMET upgrade packages of electromechanical testing machines follow three forms; 1) keep the existing motor and motor drive, 2) keep the existing motor but replace the motor drive, and 3) replace both the motor and motor drive.  In almost all cases adapter cables are provided so the existing load cells, displacement transducers and extensometers can be used with MTESTQuattro®, ADMET’s pc-based materials testing system.  If the existing motor and motor drive can be used, the price range of the retrofit is from $10,000 to $17,000.  If the motor drive needs to be replaced, the price range of the retrofit is from $17,000 to $25,000.  If both the motor and motor drive need to be replaced, the price range of the retrofit is from $20,000 to $30,000.

Costs of Retrofitting Servo-Hydraulic Material Testing Machines and Electromechanical Material Testing Machines

Purchasing a new servo-hydraulic testing machine is always more expensive than upgrading an existing machine with an ADMET retrofit.  New quasi static servo hydraulic testing machines typically range in capacity from 60,000 lbf up to 600,000 lbf and cost between $75,000 and $500,000.  New servo-hydraulic testing systems for fatigue testing range in capacity from 10kN to more than 300kN and start at roughly $75,000 and can exceed $300,000 dollars.  Installing an ADMET retrofit on both quasi static and fatigue based servo hydraulic testers will save between $50,000 and hundreds of thousands of dollars.    

Purchasing a new electromechanical testing machine may be less expensive than installing a retrofit package, however, it depends on the force capacity of the testing machine and if the motor and motor drive can be reused.  As a general rule, if the testing machine capacity is less than 50kN, then an ADMET retrofit package is only cost effective if the existing motor and motor drive can be used.  Between 50kN and 100kN, if the existing motor can be used then an ADMET retrofit is more cost effective than purchasing a new machine.  At 100kN and above an ADMET retrofit is always more cost effective than purchasing a new machine.  Depending on the capacity of the electromechanical tester ADMET retrofit packages will save from $10,000 to several hundred thousand dollars.   

Another benefit of retrofitting/upgrading your existing machine is that you can continue to use your existing grips and fixtures which will save you anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000 depending on your testing application.


To expand upon the points mentioned previously, by retrofitting an older machine the owner will gain clear cost benefits over the purchase of a new system. The reason for this is because the most expensive and durable part of a new system is the load frame. By keeping that old load frame in place and merely adding digital controllers and Windows-based software, you expand functionality with minimal investment. Equipment for a typical retrofit costs between $1,500 for the integration of a simple digital indicator to $35,000 for a new servohydraulic power unit with a Windows-based materials testing system. Since a brand new 200,000lbf capacity universal materials testing machine costs between $250,000 to $300,000, a retrofit will save more than $200,000 for a company. A smaller 60,000 lb. machine would cost $70,000 to $85,000 to replace. In this scenario, a retrofit would save between $30,000 to $40,000 for the customer.

Contact ADMET

If you would like to find out more information about an ADMET retrofit/upgrade package click here.  If you would like a quote for a new ADMET testing machine click here or call 1-800-667-3220 to speak to someone directly.  All ADMET retrofit/upgrade packages and new testing systems are manufactured in the USA and is backed by an ISO 17025 certified service team that can install, calibrate and train users on all ADMET testing system solutions.

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