R & D / Testing
The modern world of windows is one that is far removed from 20 or even 10 years ago. Ever-evolving standards require a portfolio of products that keep pace with the times. To facilitate this development, Alspec have a complete R&D and testing facility on our site in Loganlea, Brisbane. The facility supports the development of our innovative product offering across all aspects of the product range.
The R&D lab combines full fabrication facilities along with testing facilities and offices for our Product Development team. The testing facility is accredited by NATA, the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia, for AS2047 testing of Windows and Doors, as well as AS5041 testing for Security Screens and Doors.
These facilities ensure we get the best possible value out of our R&D team, so that we continue to lead the industry in customer focused product design.
We have two test rigs for AS2047 window and door testing, used for different sizes of products and various wind pressures.
Test Rig 1 is 3220mm (h) x 4610mm (w) and Test Rig 2 is 2450mm (h) x 2440mm (w).
The test rigs are used for AS2047 certification of Alspec systems as well as testing of new ideas/innovations from the Alspec R&D team.
These rigs apply large volumes of water to the outside of the windows at the same time as positive and negative pressure. This process simulates exposure of the products to very high wind loads, and the effects of wind driven rain.
We can simulate wind speeds of up to 440kmh at the same time as exposing the exterior face of the window to 3ltrs of water per sqm every minute. This allows testing in accordance with Australian Standards to the most demanding cyclonic conditions in Australia.
May 2018 saw the accreditation of the lab for AS5041 testing. This rig tests to all elements of AS5041 including:
- Dynamic Impact
- Lock and Hinge Jemmy Test
- Pull Testing
Dynamic Impact consists of swinging a standard impactor into the test specimen with 100 joules of energy for 5 repetitions without door failure at a specified corner impact location.
The Jemmy test consists of inserting a standard narrow bladed lever to locking, fastening and hinging points and applying a force of 1.5kN.
Pull tests apply specified loads at varied locations to a door or infill material. Loads ranging from 1.5kN – 2.0kN are applied to ensure a security screen door or window grille are fit for purpose.
We also have a test rig for cycle testing. This is used for in-house testing of hardware components. On the rig we can do both sliding and hinged door testing.
Some of the testing conducted in the last 12 months included:
- Sliding cycle test for door rollers to 100,000 cycles
- Hinged cycle test for security door hinges to 100,000 cycles
The R&D lab manufactures all the samples that are used in testing as well as samples of new system design and product samples. To enable this fabrication, the last quarter of 2017 saw the introduction of two new machines. The machines installed were world class Emmegi products manufactured in Italy, a Double Head Mitre Saw and a 5 axis CNC. In addition to fabrication, these provide a customer showcase for how CNC machines can integrate into a window and door factory.
For the technically minded, the Emmegi Comet T6 HP 4+2 CNC machining centre has 4 controlled axes. It has two modes of operation: either full work area mode for bars up to 7.7 m long or else in double mode with independent work areas which can cater for 6 individual pieces of extrusion. The COMET T6 HP has 2 extra axes for vices and reference stop positioning which enables the vices to be positioned in concurrent operation time when the machining centre is running in double mode. The 4th axis allows the electric spindle to be controlled by the N/C continuously in the range 0° to 180° for machining the profile contour. It is equipped with an 8-place tool magazine, capable of containing 2 angle machining heads and a side milling cutter which allows machining of the 5 faces of the work piece. It also has a moving work table which makes work piece loading/unloading easier and increases the machinable surface area of sections considerably. The CNC is fitted with a barcode scanner to scan the labels printed from the saw for easy operation.
The Precision T2 Double-head saw has 3 controlled axes with automatic movement of the mobile head and electronic management of all 45° (internal) to 15° (external) angles, with a precision of 0.1 degrees across the range. Blade advancement is adjustable and driven by a hydro-pneumatic cylinder and a 550mm-blade with a useful cut of 5m which allows sections up to 450 x 300mm to be square cut. The saw also has an auto feed cut system to allow for high volume repetition cuts of small sections. The saw is fitted with a label printer which prints a label after cutting including all relevant section information and a barcode for the CNC.
Alspec work with both Softtech and Orgadata to program the machining details for Alspec suites into estimation software.
Alspec supply punch tooling for our key product areas. The punch tooling is sourced from either Australian or Italian manufacturers depending on the requirements of the tooling. All tooling is supplied complete with all necessary elements to be bolted down at a fabricator, connected to air or hydraulics and start working. The R&D department work with our tooling suppliers to continually improve the quality and reliability of our tooling options.
On the same site as our R&D facility is our joint venture extrusion partner, Inex. The two Inex presses, this one and the Melbourne press are a key part of the Alspec supply chain. New extrusion dies that are cut at Inex can be run on this press and sent across to Alspec R&D for approval. This ensures a fast turnaround for new die development.
Above the Testing lab is the office for our Estimation Software support and development. From here we support our customers with the development of our Software databases in AiQ (V6) and Logikal. We also provide the customer phone support for AiQ.