Massive test facility installed in UK

25 August 2009

A test facility, part of a £2.5 million (€2.9 million) investment, has been installed at electrical engineering specialist, Qaurtzelec’s Rugby premises in the UK. The facility, one of the largest in the UK, receives large machines from all over the world for testing.

Tony Croucher, Quartzelec’s design manager in the sound-proofed control room
Tony Croucher, Quartzelec’s design manager in the sound-proofed control room

The investment also includes new offices on a mezzanine floor and the acquisition of two companies – Clarich, a coil manufacturing business, and TS Sheet Metals, specialist metal fabricators and engineers.

The new testing equipment, that includes four DC generators, and AC generator and test set for loading, weighs more than 200 tonnes and is housed in a machine hall the size of two tennis courts.

Next door, the test area is supported by two overhead cranes each capable of lifting 50-tonne machines into place. These are then electrically connected to the generators in the machine hall.

The testing is monitored in an elevated and sound-proofed purpose-built control room. It houses a new control system that incorporates continuous data logging.

‘We test anything that rotates from the largest motors and generators through to gearboxes and drive shafts,’ said Tony Croucher, Quartzelec’s design manager.

‘We test power output and input, vibration, acceleration speeds, temperature and thermal stability. Many of the machines take about three days to set up, and to reach thermal stability we can be running for over 16 hours.’

A recent customer is Joy Mining, an international mining manufacturer. It sent two 13-tonne gearboxes to Rugby for testing before being shipped to a mine in Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.

‘Quartzelec was the only test facility in the UK that had the flexibility and capability to test our gearbox assembly to the specification and timescale we required,’ said Robert Webb, mechanical engineer from Joy Mining.

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