Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012 - (Page 142)
www.intertek.com / Headquarters: London / Employees: 30,000 / Specialty: Quality and safety solutions / Tim Hubbard, regional vice president of the automotive group: “Primarily anybody who makes something or sells something could potentially be our customer.”
testing for the electrostatic discharge of an electric vehicle is just one of the types of testing intertek does.
verifying components, products and systems is one of intertek’s services for the auto industry. by russ gager
An international standards and testing organization with more than 100 years of service headquartered in London can be and is located practically everywhere. But Intertek did not want to miss out on having its automotive business line headquartered in what is still the automotive capital of the United States if not the world – southeastern Michigan. “Making a significant investment in our center of excellence in Plymouth, Mich., to address and build up our auto testing and electric vehicle test capability is an indicator of our belief in the ongoing recovery of that geographical market and the auto industry as a whole,” says Tim Hubbard, regional vice president of Intertek’s automotive group. “We think renewable and cleaner energy – whether electric or fuel cell 142
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“We’ve made some significant investments in a specialized lab and are in the process of expanding that lab in Plymouth, Mich., to focus on electric vehicle battery and ancillary electric vehicle component tests,” Hubbard reveals. “We replicate – in different types of environmental chambers and fixtures – heat, humidity, cold, vibration, etc., and charge and discharge batteries over extended periods of time, simulating consumer usage in a vehicle if they were driving an electric vehicle down the road – whether in Michigan, the mountains or the desert.” Intertek also simulates plugging in the electric vehicle and recharging the battery thousands or tens of thousands of times to determine compliance with the auto companies’ criteria for performance and quality. The ancillary components – including wire harnesses, chargers and battery control modules – which are the computerized brains of the systems that provide an infrastructure for the battery – also are tested in a similar fashion.
Intertek frequently is involved in three steps of automotive component design and production: design validation, which includes a series of tests of a proposed new component; product validation, in which a component that is being assembled in a vehicle is sampled and tested for quality at the time of initial production; and spot checking and retesting of critical components annually on a schedule determined by the manufacturers themselves. “Primarily anybody who makes something or sells something – a product, commodity or even a service – could potentially be our customer, and by that I mean, from the automotive perspective, all the different components that go into the car, all the way up to the full vehicle itself,” Hubbard says. This includes different services that revolve around the quality of the com-
or cleaner fuels – are all things Intertek is investing in. We see great potential as the industry continues to evolve, research and bring newer products to the market to combat the challenges we face with fossil fuels.” Southeastern Michigan is just one of three automotive centers of excellence Intertek has established. The other two that Hubbard also oversees are in the major automotive design and engineering regions in Munich and near Shanghai. With more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and 30,000-plus employees in more than 100 countries around the world, Intertek provides third-party auditing, inspection, testing, quality assurance and certification for OEM manufacturers and their components and products suppliers.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012
Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012
Applied Energy Solutions
Carter Control Systems
Global Technology Systems
Tampa Tank Inc./Florida Structural Steel
Fullerton Tool Co. Inc.
Honda of South Carolina
Sapa Extrusions North America
ACE Controls Inc.
Vendors Exchange International Inc.
EXEL North America
Capewell Components Co.
U.S. Sugar Corp.
Industrial Magnetics Inc.
Lakeside Plastics Ltd.
Norpak Handling Ltd.
Mid-State Machine Products
TenCate Protective Fabrics
The Dupps Co.
Western Manufacturing Ltd.
Wisconsin Plastics Inc.
LaSalle Bristol LP
DAP Products Inc.
Honsa Ergonomic Technologies Inc.
Engineered Material Solutions LLC
Master Spas Inc.
U.S. Chemical & Plastics Inc.
Votaw Precision Technologies
Banker Steel Co.
Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012