The custom designed temp-over-vibe chamber is located at the NTS Silicon Valley laboratory. (Photo: Business Wire)

The company is adding new capacity with a $700,000 investment during the pandemic

ANAHEIM, Calif.—National Technical Systems, Inc. (NTS) has expanded its environmental testing and EMI/EMC testing capabilities at its Silicon Valley laboratory, investing $700,000 in additions that include multiple, combination temperature-and-vibration testing chambers, the company said in a release.

In addition to the new combination testing chambers, NTS expanded its automotive EMI/EMC testing capability, added a new electro-dynamic shaker, and procured new equipment for testing ingress protection. The company said that the new investments are important for increasing the lab’s overall capacity to meet customer schedule demands. The expansion comes during a pandemic in which many testing facilities are contracting or closing.

“Even during the pandemic, we have had multiple customers in our immediate area require these chambers for their testing, so we are thrilled to provide this key service and investment at a significant time,” said Anuj Kumar, general manager at NTS Silicon Valley, in the release.

The NTS Silicon Valley, custom designed, temp-over-vibe chambers are height adjustable for vibration testing in the X, Y, and Z axis. Each of the new chambers features a window that allows visual access during testing. The custom designed and fabricated temperature isolation plates provide separation between the equipment under test and the shaker table mass.

With load capacities of 1,500 pounds, temperature ramp rates of 5+ °C per minute, and vibration test frequencies from 5Hz to 2000 Hz, the 20,000-pound shaker/ temperature chamber system makes NTS suited to meet the wide scope of testing requirements in multiple industries, the company said.

Combined temperature and vibration testing is commonly needed for many ruggedized automotive, military, and aerospace tests as part of the complete product lifecycle from R&D to qualification to manufacturing acceptance (ESS) testing. This type of testing involves traditional sine or random vibration testing on an electrodynamic or servo-hydraulic shaker while the equipment under test is simultaneously exposed to extreme temperature conditions.

Additionally, a new Unholtz-Dickie electro-dynamic shaker was secured for the Silicon Valley laboratory. This shaker boasts a 2.0-inch displacement and 13,000 force pounds with frequencies from 5 Hz to 2000 Hz. The horizontal slip table is 42 inches X 42 inches, and the vertical axis can be used with head expanders up to 48 inches X 48 inches in size.

“We’re excited to use NTS to ensure the integrity of our next generation satellites,” said Will Harden, operations manager at Astranis, in the release. “This shaker will test the survivability of our satellites during their journey to space. Using a trusted name like NTS with its multi-decade history in environmental and dynamics testing provides assurance in the testing process.”

According to NTS, its Silicon Valley lab now has the needed EMI/EMC components and sub-assemblies to test to the following ISO standards:

  • Radiated and Conducted Emissions CISPR 25
  • Radiated Immunity, Absorber-Lined Shielded Enclosure – ISO 11452-2
  • Bulk Current Injection (BCI) ISO 11452-4
  • Immunity to Magnetic Fields ISO 11452-8
  • Portable Transmitter ISO 11452-9
  • Immunity to Conducted Disturbances in Extended Audio Frequency Range, ISO 11452-10
  • ESD ISO 10605
  • Conducted Transient Immunity ISO 7637-2; ISO 7637-3

These new capabilities, coupled with the environmental testing capabilities, are said to provide electric vehicle manufacturers “a one-stop shop for all their automotive sub-assembly testing needs.”

The NTS Silicon Valley test facility offers advanced environmental, mechanical, EMI/EMC, wireless, and dynamics testing capabilities to serve customers across multiple sectors.

“This recent investment, during a pandemic, demonstrates our continued commitment to our customers and expanding capabilities to ensure them the best test experience possible,” Kumar said in the release.

National Technical Systems, Inc. (NTS) provides qualification testing, inspection, and certification services to a broad range of industries, including the civil aviation, space, defense, nuclear, telecommunications, industrial, electronics, medical, and automotive end markets.

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