Testing Lab: Moving and Lots of other News
21. 12. 2016 - Innovations prepared and plans made by the development testing laboratory of SWELL for the next year have been revealed by Mr Jaromír Kejval, Head of the Testing and Simulations Department.
“I must say that the last months have been very hectic in Swell. The good news for us is that the number of customers is growing, which brings an increased number of inquiries and orders. Therefore, we have decided to obtain another three climatic chambers and one xeno-chamber and thanks to them we will manage a higher volume of work again for some time,” Mr Kejval enumerates the news. “With respect to new testing technologies, we have also grown significantly in terms of staff this year, as our team expanded by taking on eight new colleagues. The testing department of Swell has also changed into a somewhat larger complex with about thirty people. This growth is mainly related to project and human resources management. We are learning to be more systematic,” he says.
The big news is the construction of a new testing hall that will allow our growing team to breathe more freely with the increasing volume of orders. At least for a time - the project was planned about a year and a half ago and the development, meanwhile, was so precipitous that today we are in a condition that we expected to be in 2018.
“We are looking forward to the new premises. The building was finally approved in mid-December and we are now preparing to move, which we would like to have finished between the Christmas holiday and the first weeks of the new year. It is a pretty big event, as the moving will concern also the engineers and economic department, basically everyone who now resides in the building situated on the square,” admitted Mr Kejval. “Our testing department has never experienced something like that before. We will move about thirty chambers, five vibrating machines, plus all the facilities and equipment,” he continues.
The Swell testing laboratory also has to take some steps in terms of accreditation. A five-year period during which the Czech Accreditation Institute performs annual surveillance audits ends in February. After the expiry of the five-year period, all accredited tests will have to be reassessed, or, in other words, reaccredited. Moreover, a completely new team of reviewers will be established for the re-accreditation.
We are planning to embark on the accreditation of new areas of tests, such as measuring the emission characteristics, chemical tests, and other analytical material tests, which we have carried out for some time. Within the operational tests, we have successfully completed also the inter-laboratory comparison with foreign laboratories.
“In the existing areas already covered by our accreditation, we want to add some additional methods and standards. This concerns, for example, flammability tests, solar radiation tests (i.e. xeno-tests), or temperature-climatic tests or vibration tests,” says Mr Kejval. “We perform several accredited tests also for Volkswagen and we now plan to add also the methods of GM and PSA Group, for which we have worked recently to an increased extent,” he adds.
And for the prospects for the next year? Except for moving the testing lab, they mainly relate to the process equipment. “The new building will also house the area for new testing process equipment. Of course it depends on how we will fare economically. The tender procedure has been commenced for a new vibrating machine with a force vector of 50 kN, which will be the most powerful one we have ever had.” At the same time, it will be a special sliding system with two tables, each with a different size. The machine is intended to be used with a larger climate chamber, while one of the new vibration laboratories for both is being constructed now.
“We are waiting for this as the area of vibration test has recently been overloaded and this will bring us a great relief,” says Mr Kejval. “It will help us to broaden our field of activity by including also small parts with heavy frequency and vibration loads. And thanks to a larger chamber, on the contrary, we can focus on larger parts of up to 140 cm.”
Finally, Mr Jaromír Kejval adds his insight into the more distant future: “We have figured out further areas of development of the testing lab and process equipment - the focus is likely to be targeted at the existing areas of our activities, i.e. mechanical, climatic, corrosion, and electrical influences. It is still too early for the description of specific process equipment. Now, I am probably getting ahead of ourselves a lot,“ says Mr Kejval with a smile.