Thursday, 22 November 2012

Advanced Force Gauge video

New video

Find out more about our Advanced Force Gauge in the new video hosted on our website.  The AFG not only measures force from its built-in loadcell, but can also use plug in torque sensors as well.  With settable alarm limits and an RS232 interface, the AFG can be used on its own or can be built into a dedicated system.

see the video at:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

BFG product video

Basic Force Gauge video


BFG the video - No, not Rould Dahl's "Big Friendly Giant" but  our BASIC FORCE GAUGE for compression or tension measurements on the go or in the lab.
Follow the link to see the video at:


Tornado product video

Tornado torque tester

Tornado - the portable torque tester with a big memory and small footprint.  Measure opening or closure torque, and capture "slip" and "bridge" torque on Child-resistant closures.  Set "Pass" and "Fail" limits and save or print the results.

See the new video at:

Monday, 5 November 2012

Advantage ITF

A tennis ball is just a tennis ball - right?  Well yes it is, fine if you just intend to play "fetch" with the dog, but if you want to play in a tennis competition then the ball has to be type-approved by the International Tennis Federation, the ITF.  Ball manufacturers have to submit samples of their balls to the ITF for testing, and there are a surprising number of different balls available from large, foam balls for beginners to high altitude balls for use when you are playing at more than 1219 metres (4000 feet) above sea-level.

As you can imagine with lots of different ball types and many different manufacturers wanting to get type-approval, the ITF need to test an awful lot of tennis balls.  Having had a previous machine built by Mecmesin several years ago, the ITF specified a new automated ball testing machine so they could cope with the demand for type-approval testing for the expanding range including the slower balls used by small children and beginners.
The new tester can be set going then left unattended to:
  • Pick up a ball from the carousel;
  • Measure the diameter of the ball;
  • Place it on the test platform where it is compressed to measure forward and return deformation;
  • Rotate the ball so measurements can be made on each of three perpendicular axes:
  • Transfer the ball to a precision balance and weigh it;
  • Put the ball back on the carousel; 
  • Make all the calculations needed and print out a report;

The automated placement of the ball is more accurate and therefore more reproducible than can be achieved by hand, and means the ITF technicians are free to perform other tasks - maybe even take the dog for a walk...

Take a look at the video at:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Special torque applications: dental abrasive disks

Abrasive discs are used by dental technicians to sculpt and polish dentures. The discs are spun on the technician’s motorised hand piece at speeds of up to 20000 rpm. The abrasive surface applies sculpting and polishing friction, so high torque loads are normal. In order to reduce the possibility of the disc’s two parts – centre ring and abrasive disc – separating during use, the manufacturer wanted to test the torque performance of the join between them.

The specially made adaptor/jig fits directly over the rotating drive shaft of the Vortex-i torque tester to hold the sample securely and centrally, so that drive-shaft and centre ring are exactly aligned. Once the disc is placed in the recessed holding plate (reversible to accommodate the two sizes that the disc comes in), the clamp plate is screwed down over it. A probe, which is connected to the torque-sensing transducer, is lowered till its point penetrates the centre ring and can travel no further.

This video introduces the adaptor and shows the test being set up.

The test is designed to test to destruction the join between the centre ring and the abrasive disc. Pressure from the clamp plate ensures the abrasive disc does not spin inside the jig but rotates in unison with the jig.

The jig is rotated to 90 degrees clockwise and then 180 degrees anti-clockwise. If the centre ring and abrasive disk remain aligned (the radial marking will indicate this), the join between them is good and the disc passes the test. If the quality of join between centre ring and disk is insufficient, the centre ring will rotate independently of the disc and the sample will fail.

In this picture, the post-test misalignment of the markings on the disc indicate that the outer abrasive disk has slipped around the centre ring, so this sample has failed. The torque data is exported via the Vortex-i’s RS232 port to the PC for monitoring, analysis, and storage.

Packaging: bottle cap torque testing

Torque testing of PET bottle closures is performed to identify the torque required to open a closed cap. Systematic testing informs line managers that their capping machines are applying sufficient torque to produce the necessary degree of seal - but not excessive torque, which would make opening difficult.
"Spinners" are an unwanted occurrence in capping and can be caused by materials or excessive capping torque. Normal spinners are of two types:
  1. Following slip (initial break) torque, the cap's bridges do not break and the cap spins around the thread but is not separable from the bottle, resulting in a bottle whose cap is unscrewed but still attached.
  2. When closure torque is applied, the lid or cap does not bind to the thread and come to rest creating a tight seal, but continues to travel. The cap spins around the thread and returns to its state prior to tightening. Subsequent tightening results in the same.
Testing closure torque alerts managers to such problems, saving costs resulting from waste, downtime, and returns.

An Orbis torque tester is ideal for simple pass/fail closure torque tests. The following describes a typical test procedure:

  • An acceptable torque range is defined by registering minimum and maximum torque values (1 and 1.5 N, for example) on the Orbis. For enclosure opening tests, counter clockwise is specified (clockwise if measuring tightening torque).
  • The user places the bottle on the platen, then winds in the pegs to grip it securely. This prevents the bottle rather than the cap rotating when torque is applied.
  • The user zeros the display to cancel any torque detected during placement of the bottle, and then twists the cap in a counter-clockwise direction as if opening the bottle normally.
  • The Orbis detects the peak torque and reports this as the torque required to open the container. If this reading is between the minimum and maximum, the sample passes. If the torque required to open the container is outside the specified range (i.e. above the maximum or below the minimum), the sample fails. The torque reading will reveal if insufficient or excessive torque was applied by the capping machines. If several samples fail, a production line supervisor would call a technician to increase or decrease the torque exerted by the capping machines.
The Tornado torque tester is capable of all the functions of the Orbis, but has an additional, vital function: tamper evident testing.

Tamper-evident closures are a standard quality feature of beverage bottles and containers of other liquids that would degrade if adulterated or exposed. Tamper-evident closures consist of two parts - a cap and a band, which are connected by a “bridge” of regularly spaced, fine plastic tags. The content of a bottle that is capped with a tamper-evident closure can be accessed only if the cap is fully rotated counter clockwise (i.e. opened). This rotation will snap the bridge, resulting in separation of cap from band. A broken bridge provides visible evidence of prior opening or tampering.

To measure the torque required to breach a tamper-evident closure, the Tornado takes two peak torque readings: “slip torque”, which is the first and normally higher reading, and “bridge torque”, which is the second, normally lower reading. Slip torque identifies the torque required to initiate rotation of the cap around the thread of the bottle. Bridge torque identifies the torque required to initiate rupturing of the bridge. The Tornado can be easily configured to report these two torque readings.

A tamper-evident test can be quickly and easily configured with a simple push-button procedure:
  • %Tamper-evident is selected on the Tornado's menu screen, and a % selected (5% is the default - meaning the Tornado will identify a second peak when it detects a torque that is 5% below first peak)  
  • The bottle is placed on the platen and the user winds in the pegs to grip the bottle securely.
  • To cancel any torque reading resulting from bottle placement, the user zeros (resets) the Tornado.
  • The user then twists the cap and continues rotating it until the bridge is broken.
  • The first and second peak torques appear on the Tornado’s display and identify slip and bridge torque respectively.
The tamper-evident test reveals whether or not the cap can be removed and the bridge broken using pre-specified torque. Testing slip and bridge torque informs the bottlers that their product is leaving the production line properly sealed for integrity and consumer safety.

A Vortex-xt (pictured) motorized tester can provide much more sophisticated torque testing of container lids and caps. The Vortex-xt can output torque data in realtime to its touchscreen display/interface (Vortex-xt) or to a computer, where data can be displayed as a graph. Data and tests can be stored on the touchscreen or a computer for future retrieval. Test results can be overlaid for purposes of comparison. The grips and motorized rotation provide far greater sample stability and uniformity of torque, creating higher accuracy of results and reducing the influence of the variables that occur with manual, handheld testing.

Automotive: rotary selectors

A typical car dashboard features several rotary selectors. Temperature, vents, blowers, and headlights are operated by rotating dial-type switches. Automotive manufacturers test these components to determine whether the torque required to operate them is within acceptable limits.

A selector can be neither too stiff nor too slack. If too stiff, the driver will struggle to operate it efficiently and safely; if too slack, selection will be uncertain and slippage could result. Rotary selectors must also provide definite tactile feedback, to provide indication of the selector's position when visual contact is a problem, such as when the vehicle is in motion and the driver cannot be distracted. Working from carefully derived ergonomics parameters, manufacturers define torque ranges for their selectors. Samples of the finished component will undergo testing as part of the quality control process. The test will obtain measurement of the torque required to rotate the selector, so the test device must emulate the human motions involved and capture an accurate picture of the selector's torque performance.

In this photo, a rotary selector (temperature dial) is undergoing torque testing on a Vortex torque tester.
The long pegs grip the switch’s housing securely to the lower platen, so that unwanted movement does not influence the torque reading. Accurate torque measurement is possible only if the switch's axis, the tester's drive shaft, and the transducer are in direct alignment. While the alignment of transducer and drive shaft are engineered into the design of the Vortex and are unchangeable, the switch's axis is potentially variable, especially if the switch's surrounding housing is irregular in form. The housing must be held level and stable throughout the test. The holding mechanism could be component-specific or adjustable. An adjustable mechanism, such as that shown here, is a more economical solution for manufacturers who have a range of components and require short setup times and easy, simple reconfiguration of the test device. The Vortex's adjustable pegs and mounting table allow components of various shapes to be held level and central so that correct axial alignment can be achieved.

The switch's selector bar is gripped by the upper set of pegs. These upper pegs (also adjustable for neat, secure gripping of the selector bar) are fixed to a static platen and hold the selector immobile while the component housing is revolved by the lower platen. Together, these platens, via their fixtures, apply to the rotary selector the pinching and twisting motions performed by the human user.

The upper, static platen is connected to the torque-sensing transducer. The transducer reads the torque experienced by the switch during the test and sends this to a display or computer, where it is reported in graph form for analysis and stored.

(Axial alignment of stalk-mounted rotary selectors can be difficult, but the adjustable holding mechanism fitted to this Vortex-xt provides an effective solution.)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Torque in medical: insulin pens

Insulin pens are used by diabetics to self-administer insulin shots. The user turns the cap section of the “pen” to select an insulin dosage. The pen manufacturer needs to know that the torque required to turn the cap does not exceed the ability of an ordinary user.

Dosage-identifying numbers are printed around the circumference of the cap, so selection is by rotation of the cap till the required number is aligned with the raised pointer on the body section of the pen. This rotation requires reasonable effort on the part of the user and distinct clicks provide resistance and response. The notches allow the user to select a dosage if they are experiencing vision problems or are administering in poorly lit environments.

Rotating the cap through the notches requires torque. The pen manufacturer specifies an acceptable range of torque and will conduct periodic torque testing to determine quality and uniformity of product. Insufficient torque would cause the selector to slip around too easily, complicating selection; excess torque would prevent less dexterous or weaker people selecting their insulin dosage with ease.

Testing insulin pen rotation torque requires a sophisticated torque tester. Mecmesin’s Vortex-xt (pictured) is such a device. The Vortex-xt holds the pen, gripping it between pegs at the pen’s base and cap. The Vortex-xt’s base rotates while the cap is held static under the torque transducer. This action simulates the user’s rotation of the cap and the resultant torque produces a stream of data that is reported in graph form on the touch screen display connected to the frame of the tester. The graph will identify the pen’s torque performance through one full rotation, revealing uniformity or discrepancy of torque between notches. Graphing occurs in real time, and data from multiple tests can be stored for later analysis.

Torque in pharmaceutical: childproof containers

Childproof closures are a standard safety feature of pharmaceutical containers. Their effectiveness is a critical quality concern for manufacturers of pharmaceutical packaging. These closures (caps) require accurate torque testing. They have to preserve the contents while protecting children from them, and provide accessibility to older but possibly frail persons.

Torque with Top-Load
The Vortex-xt torque tester features a weights tray that is connected by rods to the torque transducer. When loaded, the tray provides the pushdown (top-load) force necessary for simulating the manual compressive force that users apply when opening childproof caps. The platen rotates the container to simulate the user’s twisting of the cap (torque).

The Vortex-xt’s components are a torque-sensing transducer and a motor-driven platen that provides rotational motion at a specifiable speed (1-20 rpm) to a specifiable angle, time, or force (e.g. rotate to 180 degrees; rotate for N seconds or minutes; or stop at 5.5 Nm). Test results can be displayed on the touch screen (interface) attached to the stand (Vortex-xt) or exported via the RS232 port to Mecmesin’s Emperor software running on a computer. Graphing, analysis, and storage of test data are possible on either configuration.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Torque testing adjustable lens dials

How is a Mecmesin torque tester helping an international optics company deliver vision to sight-challenged people in poor countries?

Adlens is a maker of adjustable lenses with an Innovation Centre in Oxford, UK. Their liquid- filled lenses allow the wearer to self-adjust the magnification of their spectacles manually. The lenses are adjusted by thumb-and-finger rotatable dials on the frame and are detachable once the correct magnification has been selected. This highly practical, low-cost optical technology provides profound benefits to vision-impaired people in less developed countries where optical services are inaccessible to many. Adlens, the innovative company behind the adjustable lens technology, use a Mecmesin Vortex-i torque tester to ascertain that the rotating components of the lenses are reliable and ergonomically acceptable.

You can find more details here.

Pot peel testing

Discover how a famous food manufacturer uses a Mecmesin peel testing device to reduce wastage resulting from seal adhesive defects and provide their customers with a safe, well sealed edible product at minimum cost. Efficient, economic peel testing of the seals of their microwavable pots reveal the force required for peeling and identify inconsistencies in the adhesive layering between seal and pot. Using their Mecmesin peel test solution, they are able to observe materials performance and adhesive layer performance in detail, store multiple tests, and overlay results for comparison purposes. The results are cost savings through elimination of excess adhesion, reduced wastage, and greater batch consistency, which translate to fewer returns, fewer customer complaints, and contribute to a successful, popular product. Full story here.

Torque testing at Água de Luso

Why does one of Portugal’s oldest and most famous mineral water companies use a Mecmesin digital torque tester? At the Água Luso bottling plant in Luso, Portugal, bottles are routinely tested for correct closure torque. Capping machines must cap bottles at a torque that provides a quality-assuring, leak-preventing seal but allows persons of ordinary strength access to the bottle’s contents. No bottler wants leakers: product is lost, transportation and storage become messy, and retailers will complain. Worse still, a degraded product could become a health hazard to the consumer, with ramifications for company image and sales. A quick, easily performable torque test provides an effective solution. Mecmesin's Tornado digital torque tester is a compact, portable, extremely usable device that offers packaging manufacturers line-side pass/fail and tamper-evident (slip and bridge torque) testing capability. Get the details here.

Whisky stopper testing

A famous Scottish whisky maker uses a specially designed, dual-function Mecmesin tester to measure the forces required to remove and reinsert a whisky bottle stopper. The Mecmesin device has been specifically configured to provide a combination of simultaneous pull/push and twist (compression/tensile and torque) forces to emulate the natural human movements involved in stopper removal and insertion. Testing stopper torque and force reassures the whisky maker that their product is unlikely to be compromised by inferior packaging. The test ensures that separation of the bar top and cork portion of the stopper does not occur, and that the cork portion will tolerate the torque and compressive/ tensile stresses it will experience during extraction and insertion. Data from the two tests, which occur concurrently, is exported to a PC, on which graphing and deep analysis can be performed.

Failure to test for stopper quality would likely result in broken stoppers that spill cork chips into the whisky, spoiling the product and damaging the company’s prestige. Since the company’s best selling lines include $1000 bottles of whisky, they rightfully take quality-assurance very seriously, and have chosen a custom-adapted MultiTest 2.5-i to assist them. Find the full story here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

New videos from Mecmesin

Two new videos have been posted on Mecmesin's web-site

A car steering rack transfers the turning effort from the steering wheel to move the road wheels left or right. The new video "Testing car steering rack" shows how the MultiTest 25-i force testing stand was used by a car manufacturer to test the force needed to move the steering rack from fully right to fully left.  The MultiTest 25-i stand is controlled by Emperor software to move the rack backwards and forwards, and also collects the force data, presenting it as a graph displaying the peak and average force needed to operate the rack.

Follow this link to see the video

The second video show the Vortex-i in action testing some torsion springs for quality control purposes.  Special two-part mandrels have been made for each type of spring to be tested.  Emperor torque software controls the Vortex-i which is programed to rotate the springs to a fixed point and measure the torque at two specified angles.  For each type of spring upper and lower torque limits are set, and Emperor software shows if the sample has passed or failed.

Follow this link to see the video

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Preconditioning or “Scragging” for Compression Testing of Samples

In compression testing, “scragging” describes the process of preconditioning or exercising an object or material with elastic properties. Components such as springs, and objects such as tennis balls are scragged so that a representative measurement of their resistance to load can be obtained.

Since very few objects are single-use only, measurement of an object’s resistance to compression during operationally typical conditions is necessary. Scragging induces in a material or object physical conditions that approximate the state of the material or object during intended usage. For example, scragging a tennis ball would provide simulation of the conditioning experienced by the ball during play. Without prior scragging, a tennis ball – even fresh from its pressurized container – would display atypically low resistance in a compression test. Tennis players will precondition a ball by bouncing it several times prior to serve. Bouncing warms the ball, which raises its pressure, providing it with increased elastic performance, ideally resulting in a more powerful serve.

To the layman, such preconditioning processes might be simply recognised as “warming up”, which is a fairly accurate description. Depending on their temperature, elastic materials can exhibit differing resistance to force, so scragging a ball prior to compression testing allows for a more realistic reading of the ball’s elastic properties.

So what governs the preconditioning procedure? To what limits is a material or object to be scragged? Spring scragging will depend on the requirements of the manufacturer, who might stipulate a scrag count of several hundreds. Tennis balls might be scragged only a dozen times, but manufacturers will usually submit their samples to a regulations body that will perform scragging and testing to ensure the balls perform to official standards.

When scragging has been completed, a test of the sample’s resistance to compressive force will be taken. Scragging and testing are normally performed on the same machine. A motorised force testing stand fitted with load cell, self-levelling plate, digital gauge, and compression plates is a typical configuration. UK-based Mecmesin are long-established makers of such equipment. The sample is placed between the compression plates and the test is run manually, or through a computer using software such as Mecmesin’s “Emperor”, or via a programmable controller.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Eurofilm Mantzaris Chooses Mecmesin Tensile Tester

In 2011, leading producer of polyethylene (PE) films, Eurofilm Mantzaris SA, approached Mecmesin seeking a sophisticated but simple-to-use tensile strength testing device. Mecmesin, a British company, was delighted to offer Eurofilm Mantzaris its 30 years of experience in engineering force and torque testing solutions.

Eurofilm Mantzaris, which produces PE films primarily for packaging and agricultural applications, wanted its product to provide higher tensile strength at yield and break, and an elongation limit that meets the DIN 53455 standard. They also required a device that could automatically generate statistical calculations and report immediate feedback on the performance of individual specimens and batch trends.

After defining Eurofilm Mantzaris’s needs, Mecmesin supplied a MultiTest 0.5-i – a highly capable and popular test device driven by Mecmesin’s own powerful Emperor™ software. The device’s stand features extended travel, to accommodate the heights required in tension testing of PE film and similar highly elastic materials. The MultiTest 0.5-i tests elongation limit, tensile strength, and other material characteristics of polymer products against the specification of industry standards, which in the case of Eurofilm Mantzaris include the DIN 53455. In the test, a PE film sample is secured between two parallel grips that are steadily separated under the precise control of the test stand, stretching the film until rupturing occurs. The stand’s onboard controller records and plots the force applied against the deformation experience of the sample. Tests on the MultiTest 0.5-i are fully automated. The software accepts the test parameters and displays test progress graphically in real-time, revealing exactly how and when the film fails under tensile force. Mecmesin’s Emperor™ test software stores results and the raw data that produces them. It can also display a sample’s performance in simplified form, as a colour-coded “pass” or “fail”.

Eurofilm Mantzaris chose the MultiTest 0.5-i for its combination of affordability, usability, and sophisticated statistical programming capability.

“The MultiTest 0.5-i is a very good and reliable machine and the Emperor Software brings great advantages. It’s a very useful tool for these kinds of tests. It’s fully programmable and offers an in-depth analysis of results. It’s a precious tool for everybody involved, especially those who work with plastics and their mechanical performance.”
Nikos Michopoulus, Quality Control, Eurofilm Mantzaris S.A.

* MultiTest 0.5-i (column height: 1200mm)
* ILC-S 100N loadcell
* Emperor™ software
* Parallel grips (provided by Eurofilm Mantzaris)

Mecmesin Systems Test Beauty Product Closures

A Greece-based manufacturer of skin, hair-care, make-up, and sun-care products has recently replaced their outdated torque testers with up-to-date digital torque testers supplied by Mecmesin, a British company with over three decades of experience in engineering force and torque testing systems. The beauty manufacturer, whose wide ranging key lines include numerous well-known personal care products, acquired the torque testing devices to ensure consistency in production quality, focusing on the integrity of seals, which are vital to leak prevention and maintenance of product quality.

The manufacturer required torque testers with the ability to test the tamper-evident closures of various plastic and glass bottles and pots for slip and bridge torque. In addition, the torque testers had to feature clear, intuitive controls, easy-to-read pass/fail indicators, onboard memory for storage of statistical test data, and waterproofing to withstand the splashing that is common on the production floor.

Mecmesin supplied the company with two Tornado 10Nm digital torque testers. These devices are comfortably capable of testing the torque required to open tamper-evident closures, which is a critical specification in the design of packaging for personal care creams and liquids. The Tornados are fitted with a four-peg clamping frame (shown in the illustrations). These frames provide the versatility required by the manufacturer, since their adjustability allows them to secure a large variety of containers while their seals undergo torque testing. During the test, peak torque readings are clearly displayed, and operators have the option of exporting the test data to a statistical printer or other output device.

Mecmesin’s Greek distributor, George Gousoulis and Co., provided the manufacturer with several after-sales services, including training and technical instruction. The manufacturer was pleased to say that reliability and value for money were their main reasons for their choosing Mecmesin’s Tornado digital torque tester.

Plastic pot placed on Mecmesin Tornado torque tester

• Two Mecmesin Tornado 10Nm digital torque testers

• One Mitutoyo DP1VR printer

Mecmesin Screwdriver Tests Torque of Cereal

The Netherlands’ top agricultural and horticultural school, the University of Applied Sciences HAS Den Bosch, in conjunction with Wageningen University, another leading Dutch institution, acquired a Mecmesin Static Torque Screwdriver and Advanced Torque Gauge to help in their research into improving the yield and quality of Teff, a gluten-free cereal.

Teff – Latin name: eragrostis tef – originates in Ethiopia but is currently grown in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Teff contains no gluten but is rich in protein, calcium, fibre, and iron, so is potentially important as a health food product and as a wheat alternative for sufferers of coeliac disease.

But teff has struggled to bring growers commercial benefits. The quantities of Ethiopian-grown teff sold on world markets are low, and the cereal failed to grow well in the early stages of its introduction to Europe. Researchers at Wageningen University discovered that a major cause of inhibited yield was the lodging (permanent displacement) of plants. Several field trials were conducted to identify the causes of this lodging.

The University of Manchester supplied the Centre for Crop Systems Analysis in the Netherlands with a Mecmesin torque testing screwdriver to perform tests in the field. For over 30 years, Mecmesin, a UK-based maker of torque and force testing devices, has been providing innovative and affordable measuring solutions for a broad range of applications.

In these tests, entire plants were measured and the three largest shoots carefully removed. The centres of gravity of the entire plant and each separate shoot were obtained by balancing the plant/shoot on a thin, smooth metal tube and measuring the distance between balance point and base end. The gravitational moment of plants, shoots, and panicles under 0, 3, 45, and 60 degrees was obtained using a custom-designed lodging meter, made from a highly sensitive Mecmesin digital torque screwdriver that reads up to 1.5Nm of torque in steps of 0.0001Nm.

The Dutch researchers adopted the Mecmesin device on the advice of their colleagues at Manchester University and praise it warmly for its simplicity and usability.

“The Mecmesin digital torque screwdriver was simple and straightforward to operate and it was very helpful that the user guide PDF was on the net.”
Sander H van Delden, Teacher/Researcher at the Department of Plant-Soil Interaction, HAS Den Bosch, Wageningen University

• Static Torque Screwdriver – recommended for torque applications requiring fewer than 180 degrees of rotation
• Advanced Torque Gauge – for reading of torque and storage of test data

Mecmesin torque testing screwdriver, enclosed and fitted with lightweight metal tube to measure dislodging torque of teff shoot

For details about the study in which the Mecmesin device was used, please see Delden, S.H. van; Vos, J.; Ennos, A.R.; Stomph, T.J. (2010). Analysing lodging of the panicle bearing cereal teff (Eragrostis tef). New Phytologist 186 (3). - p. 696 - 707.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Garage doors – avoiding limbo and lumbago

Is it just me or are some children naturally perverse?  I said “Don’t try to open the ‘up-and-over’ garage door by lifting one corner – use the handle in the centre”.  But advice from parents is often “In one ear, and out the other”, and in the case of this door it proved to be “In one runner and out the other” – one of the little wheels had jumped out of its track and now the door was well and truly stuck.

Fortunately it was open just enough to allow me to crawl underneath (a certain loss of dignity here), and prise the running wheel back into its channel and get it open just enough to get the car out.  After one glance at the rather formidable looking counter-balance springs, and thinking about how they might suddenly “un-spring”, I decided that in this case, a repair was best left to an expert.

So, I think the phrase “Sense of humour failure” is probable quite apt when the subject of garage doors is mentioned.  However back at work, I see that we at Mecmesin have helped out a French manufacturer of garage doors to improve their Quality Control by testing the raw material and the finished product to make sure that their doors always perform perfectly.  If only my door had been one of theirs I wouldn’t have needed to re-boot my sense of humour when my colleague suggested I take up limbo dancing.

Take a look at how we helped the French company by following this link:

Why test top-load? Because top-load testing cuts down waste and brings savings to packagers

The article “Why Test Top-Load?” explains what top-load testing is and highlights the business case for effective and economical testing. The essence of the case for top-load testing is dual – less material usage and wastage, which means greater savings and compliance with environmental standards.

Many packaging manufacturers might find the prospect of investing in materials testing technology daunting, with complexity and cost as reasons for deferring a decisive move toward acquiring a good system. It seems however that top-load testing can be very straightforward – for typical applications, operators will require no re-skilling. Budget worries are likely similarly unfounded – sophisticated test platforms are in most cases not necessary. Easy-to-use touch screen-operated machines are available, and at a price that will not scare the accounts department. Of course, more sophisticated solutions are available too, and the article introduces the many options and advantages that higher end systems offer to businesses whose test needs are more specific.

If you still feel that investment in a top-load test system is a gamble, perhaps you should consider the alternatives – products whose material volume exceeds minimum requirements make expensive landfill. In packaging, less is definitely more. Less volume is less weight to ship and ultimately less waste to process. For businesses, this translates into more savings and more freedom from worries about environmental regulations.