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Stefan Devenish reveals new product development test rig

Strongdor Test Rig

Product Development Director, Stefan Devenish tells us all about the new steel door testing rig installed in the Strongdor factory.

What is the test rig?

Constructed from steel, the rig has frame sides that can expand and retract to suit a variety of door sizes up to 3150mm high and 3000mm wide. Used to install steel doors, it enables testing of new ideas, product developments and special hardware, easily and in-house.

Running cycle testing for over 80 hours a week, the system enables us to emulate the effects on a door of regular opening and closing. For example, when testing a closer with a certain hinge type, the rig would automatically use the mechanical arm to open the door at a set force and allow the closer to shut the door before repeating in a cycle.

All the data gathered for each test is stored in a specialist computer that logs every cycle, dates and success. Giving us a wealth of data to not only improve our offerings but to provide added confidence in the strength of our doors. Our first test is already at 100,000 cycles and counting!

Test Rig

What else are we testing in the rig?

We currently have another new product now being tested, which has already reached 50,000 cycles and is still going strong! As for what it is… I’m afraid that’s top secret so you will have to wait and see for future announcements!

What are its capabilities?

The rig can hold either 4 single doors, 2 doubles or a mix, giving lots of flexibility. Inside the frame is a run of mechanical arms, which are used to imitate the operating functions of a door opening and closing. By running cycle testing, we are able to find any areas which have the potential to weaken over time, enabling us to continually refine and improve our product offerings.  

How will this impact Strongdor products?

In the past, if we wanted to install special hardware on a door or tweak our manufacturing processes, we relied on third party data, external testing centres and design engineering to ensure the product met the Strongdor standards. With the new test rig, we are able to quickly test new products and ideas in-house, enabling us to speed up the development process for special and new hardware.

What does this mean to you?

I have been the Product Development Director at Strongdor for over 10 years now and this is a huge step for us as a business. It enables me and the team to trial things quickly and in house, without the need to invest heavily until we are certain it will work. I am extremely excited for 2022 and the capability the new test rig will give us to keep innovating and launching new and improved products to the steel door market.

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