View Full Version : Summary: MTS vs. Instron

unknown user
04-17-1997, 11:36 PM

I want to thank all the people that took the time to write and give me
their opinions about MTS and Instron testing machines. On the positive
side, their were very few outrightly negative comments about either
company, which speaks well for both of them. Overall it seems to me that
there were more positive comments about MTS. I have posted all the
replies that I received and people can draw their own conclusions. If
anyone else has any comments about MTS vs Instron (especially as it
relates to their twin screw machines, I would still be delighted to hear
from you.

e-mail: dbackman@labsun1.med.uottawa.ca


Faculty in our department have had access to testing machines of both
companies and although I am more familiar with the Instron, there are
areas that one or the other works best with.

We have had the Instron for about 20 years and it is a well built
that has been used on many projects. We have recently added our own
digitizing adapter to allow measurementsto be collected by computer.

Most use has been for soft tissue research and for orthopedic biomechanics
of bone and joints.

Since ours is the model 1100 I suspect that the newer models have left
this one in the dark ages. It still works well.

If you have any spepcific questions I can try to answer them directly.


Marvin Sherebrin
M. H. Sherebrin, Associate Professor
Dept. of Medical Biophysics Phone (519) 679 2111 ext 6549
Univ. of Western Ontario Dept phone (519) 661 3053
London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C1 Dept fax (519) 661 2123

email: sherebrin@uwovax.uwo.ca


We are using an Instron 4400 for both teaching and research and
have found it to be reliable and easy to use. We teach sophomore
engineering student how to run it and they do all their own
experimental development from this instructions. The programs
supplied are good for standard analyses but we have written many
of our own for more sophisticated work.

Jim van Putten


I only have exp. with MTS (since ~ 1980). Ask about tech support, both
and hardware - MTS is tollfree, no cost. I'm sure I have called dozens of
I had heard other companies charged per call, etc. (sort of like some
companies offer tech support but it costs you a lot!).
MTS service has also been top rate. Ovrall I am extremely pleased with
but again, I have not had any experience with Instron. You may also want
compare the costs for maintenance contracts. MTS has some flexibility
with different plans and features depending upon the amount of service you
require (i.e., calibration 1X/year, 2X/year, etc.).
Hope this little bit of info is useful.

Kevin A. Thomas, Ph.D. Voice: 504-568-4680
Associate Professor 504-568-2254
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Facsimile: 504-568-4466
Louisiana State University Medical Center
2025 Gravier Street, Suite 400
New Orleans, LA 70112



Hi David:

I've used Instron screw-driven testing machines for years--as well as both
Instron and MTS servo-hydraulic systems. At the moment, I would have to
that Instron has a technical edge over MTS in the degree of digital
interfacing and options for upgrading etc. Plus they wrote the book on
driven systems.

More importantly, MTS has dissolved MTS Canada and given everything over
Intertechnology as their rep. It seems we're not as important as we used
Intertechnology as their rep. It seems we're not as important as we used
be. Either way, Instron's service has been outstanding to the point where
even look after our MTS equipment here at Dalhousie.

In short, stick with Instron for this one.

J. Michael Lee, Ph.D. (902) 494-6734 (Voice)
Associate Professor (902) 494-2527 (FAX)
Biomaterials jmlee@is.dal.ca
Dalhousie University
5981 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia (902) 494-2162 Tissue Mechanics Lab
Canada B3H 3J5 (902) 494-6784 Tissue Structure Lab


Dear Dave,

It is interesting to see that you are considering purchasing MTS or
Instron, we are also looking at the two different companies. Hence I would
be interested in reading any replies you recieve.

I would also like to say that I have spoken to a number of people that
at one of Swedens testing agencies (SP). They work with both MTS and
machines, they seem to like Instrons interface, the operator panel. Plus
I'm told that for the machine that was purchased was cheaper from Instron
than MTS, (8516 a hydrolic fatigue machine).

I have to admit that I do not know anything about the two machines that
are evaluating at the moment. But you mention that the Instron 4400 is a
twin power screw machine. I would have thought that that using screw
threads (opposed to hydraulic systems) would greatly limit the testing
frequency that you could use in fatigue testing. Probably not a good thing
when testing orthopaedic implants.

Perhaps you would also want to concider Instrons 5500 series medical
systems, the 8511 series biomechaics system and the 8502 series biomedical
research systems, or the MTS Bionix machine. They all have been designed
for the medical testing, hence the acctuator is above the test area which
should be a consideration when testing in fluids.

I would also like to suggest that you go for the biggest and the best
machine that you can accord, the testing machine is a long term investment
and will last you along time. (our screw thread test machine from instron
is over 12 years old, and still going strong, although we are limited to
only failure tests, no fatigue tests) Hence for a research institute if
would be good to try and foresee the future and get a machine that will be
able to do that. i.e. you might be testing knee implants today, in five
years a new lower limb prosthesis and in ten years tiny screws for finger

Good luck with your decision making


Julie Matthews. M.Sc
The Institute for Applied Biotechnology
Medicinaregatan 8B
413 46 Gvteborg
Phone 46 (0)31-416337 or 411241
Fax 46 (0)31-414560
email Bioteknologen@swipnet.se

Dear Dave,

I have installed both MTS and Instron equipment in test labs and found
to be excellent. One aspect that I have found extremely important is the
level of support from the technical sales engineer and service engineers.
you have the opportunity, speak with other facilities in your area that
have the same support personnel as you and find out how they rate the
support. Hope this tidbit helps.


Brent Parks
The Union Memorial Hospital
Biomechanics Research Laboratory
Dear Dave,

I don't want to endorse either of the manufacturers you mention. However,
in describing our choice, I will tell you about my experience. So, please
consider it just as a personal point of view.
We recently bought two hydraulic machines, and after careful comparison,
chose for the MTS (we bought a uniaxial and a biaxial MiniBionix).

The reasons we did so are that:
- the MTS software (Testar+Testware) from my point of view is more
than the Series IX we normally use on our Instron 8502
- the electronics on the MTS look much more robust: all the controls seat
centralized (in the tower), and you see and give the same instructions
the PC or from the front panel.

Against MTS: they are more expensive than Instron.

About the service: our short term experience with the MTS service is good.
Our recent experience with the Italian branch of Instron was not always

I hope this is of some help. Please do not hesitate to ocntact me should
you have more questions.

Best regards.

Luca Cristofolini

Luca Cristofolini
Luca Cristofolini
Laboratorio di Tecnologia dei Materiali tel.
Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli fax.
Via di Barbiano 1/10
40136 Bologna, Italy


We currently use an instron model 1321 servo-hydraulic machine. it is an
older model but the machine works well. however, the service from
instron is bad. i am not familar with MTS.

C. Alex Depaula
Doctoral Candidate
lab: 908 235-5755
fax: 908 235-4030
email: depaula@umdnj.edu


In regards to your question about the MTS vs Instron systems, I understand
dilemma quite well. We did not purchase the same type of system that
looking at (we bought a biaxial servohydraulic one) but we found the same
of problems in making our decision. The systems for the two are probably
comparable; both MTS and Instron have a good reputation for their
What eventually swayed our decision was MTS's excellent reputation for
and standing by their warranty. The reason for our decision has turned
out to
be worthwhile: MTS has gone above and beyond the call of duty in
providing us
excellent service and warranty repairs in many many ways. This has been
not only for our Bionix system but also for the MiniBionix systems we
more recently.

lease note that we also have an old screwtype Instron we purchased almost
years ago. I can't say that Instron has been bad about providing service
that system, but I will say that I am much more impressed with MTS.

Hope this helps! I'm sure you won't go wrong either way. Feel free to
call or
write back if you have further questions.

Lisa Friis, Ph.D.
Orthopaedic Research
Via Christi Regional Medical Center
929 N. St. Francis
Wichita, KS 67214
(316) 268-5455

I'm not familiar with the specifics of the machines your
but I
am familiar with MTS and have been delighted with their customer support.
I have an MTS Bionix 858 biaxial setup in the Orthopaedic BioMaterials Lab
at here at Ohio State which we have upgraded and added on to several times
including the addition of TestStar software for machine control and data
acquisition. As a result I've had lots of contract with MTS sales,
service, and central office. In every instance, the response has been
stellar. Whether its test design, advice about a programming question,
preventive maintenance, or repair we have had excellent support from MTS.
Though not familiar with the screw-driven instruments, I can tell
I've been more than satisfied with our hydraulic system. If TestStar is
option I would strongly recommend it. It's expensive (as are most MTS
Though not familiar with the screw-driven instruments, I can tell
I've been more than satisfied with our hydraulic system. If TestStar is
option I would strongly recommend it. It's expensive (as are most MTS
purchases) but we've found it worth the cost. TestStar simplifies lab
considerably and is improving with every iteration. [Just got the Windows
NT upgrade but haven't put it on the system yet.]
One opinion for whatever it's worth.....

Alan S. Litsky, M.D., Sc.D.
Assoc. Prof. of Orthopaedics
and Biomedical Engineering

Hi Dave,

While most of my experience is with servo-hydraulic systems, we also have
some experience with screw driven machines. The department has both MTS
and Instron machines (servo-hydraulic and screw driven). My experience is
that if you need to do repetitive ASTM type testing, either is fine. If
need to be more creative and flexible, as we are in biomechanics, MTS
gives you more control. The down side is that an MTS system takes longer
to learn, and given the "idiot proof" philosophy of Instron (including
hardware recognition) if the system will be used by a large number of
students, that may be the way to go ( I have always found the when you
try and make a system idiot proof, someone just makes a better idiot).
Have you seen the Synergie systems from MTS, they provide additional
flexibility in size and performance.

Good luck,


Ed Wachtel Fax: (510) 642-6163 *
Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory Phone: (510) 642-3787 *
2166 Etcheverry Hall e-mail:efw@euler.me.berkeley.edu *
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering *
University of California

I am a materials engineer with the University of Mississippi Medical
Center in Jackson, MS and we have numerous mechanical tesiting equipment
by MTS. I can say that we have been very pleased with the software
quality and service. We recently purchased a screw machine from MTS which
was actually made by Sintech who MTS recently bought out. The software
was written by Sintech and is very useful to us.

Sorry I cannot give you any experiences with Instron equipment because we
do not have any. I have used one in the past, but it was a much older
machine with out dated software.

If you have any other questions please fell free to give me a call.

Darrell Mitchell, Senior Materials Engineer Tel. (601)984-6170
Biomaterials and Orthopaedic Surgery Fax. (601)984-6087
University of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 North State St.
Jackson, MS 39216 E-mail. Dmitch@fiona.umsmed.edu

Hope everyone finds this helpful



David Backman, Mechanical Engineer
Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory
CHEO - Research Institute
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
E-mail: dbackman@labsun1.med.uottawa.ca