The international security technology manufacturer Paxton tests its products at its in-house test facility, ensuring high-quality and short product development lead times. The facility is also open for innovators to book and test their products, saving them time compared to national test houses.
Brett Glass, Paxton’s Compliance Manager, explains: “In recent years, we have adopted market-leading technology, and as a result, the need for testing and re-testing our products during the design stages has increased.
“The driving force of building the facility is to increase our in-house test capability and to remove the obstacles of testing externally. As a result, our Test Facility has enabled us to speed up development and reduce compliance costs and the risk of validation test failure.”
The Paxton Test Facility is located at the Paxton Technology Centre, part of Paxton’s UK head office in Brighton. As part of Paxton’s worldwide operations, the Test Facility tests and prepares products for regulatory compliance. This can help Paxton increase the chances of passing validation tests and get its products ready for sale, not just in the UK but in the 63 countries worldwide they distribute to.
Quality and Time are of the Essence
Testing electrical hardware products for conditions such as component performance or environmental factors and assessing how long they can be serviceable is key to ensuring the units comply with all required industry regulations and product quality expectations. Paxton offers an industry-leading five-year guarantee on all its products. Therefore it’s vital to test the lifespan of their products to provide the best experience for their customers.
The general lead times for UK test houses are approximately six to eight weeks, and it takes about three months on average to test a product thoroughly. Therefore, the product test and certification cycle could add up to around five months. The Paxton Test Facility effectively shortens the lead times. In addition, it helps Paxton prepare and check the chances of the products passing EMC tests, especially when you consider that 50% of new products fail the first time.
“Before the Paxton Test Facility, we had to wait six to eight weeks before getting our products into a test house. Then, if we discovered problems, we had to bring them back to our Development team to work on them. After we resolved the issues, we needed to wait again for the next available test slot at the test house.
“With in-house testing, we can eliminate the lead times, and our engineers and designers are just a doorstep away. The testing process is much smoother this way.”
Inside the Paxton Test Facility
In addition to shorter lead times, building their test facility allows Paxton to create a test environment that fits their own testing needs, as many Paxton products are installed and exposed to external elements. This can further ensure the quality and reliability of their products. For this reason, Paxton has a wide range of test equipment, including EMC compliance and environmental test chambers.
The EMC Chamber can perform emission and immunity tests at three metres. They also have the equipment to carry out Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), surge, transients, and power quality tests. Every product that enters the Paxton Test Facility is subjected to a rigorous assessment process to ensure it complies with industry regulations and meets the needs of its product users.
Brett explains: “In the EMC Chamber, we do radiate emissions testing to check up to 18 gigahertz. In addition, we can do radiated immunity, where we can radiate a field onto products, testing up to 6 gigahertz and conducting emissions for mains and wired network ports.”
Environmental factors can affect the performance of electronic products, parts, and components or even cause failure. Considering this, Paxton has invested in its Environmental Chambers to enhance its Test Facility further.
Brett continues to explain: “In the Environmental Chambers, the products can be tested against the impact of environmental factors, including high and low temperature, UV, moisture, and humidity. These powerful machines stress test to determine a product’s expected lifespan and can be used to test the sustainability of components during the design process.”