Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) News

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New telecommunications equipment testing facility available at SwRI

San Antonio -- June 1, 2002 -- A 9,700-square foot dedicated facility for Network Equipment/Building Systems (NEBS) testing has opened at Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®). The new building, which also enhances SwRI's environmental testing capabilities, provides greater flexibility and scheduling for client testing.

"We will be offering improved, more dynamic test facilities with this expansion," said Timothy A. Fey, NEBS program manager and manager of the Mechanical Sciences Section in SwRI's Mechanical and Materials Engineering Division. "We saw a need to better meet clients' schedules and to help them get their products to the market more quickly. Most of our tests will be centralized in this building, which will provide greater safety and control standards for the clients' product. Product moves will be minimized, increasing efficiency in testing time and also reducing risk to the equipment."

NEBS testing, a telecommunications industry preproduction requirement, evaluates how equipment performs under various physical and electrical operating conditions. The Institute provides NEBS and environmental testing in categories such as temperature and humidity, fire, electromagnetic compatibility, electrical, seismic, acoustic, and others. SwRI has more than 15 years of experience in NEBS-type testing and more than 25 years of environmental testing. The full-range of NEBS compliance tests are performed at one location at the Institute's headquarters in San Antonio.

SwRI is incorporating additional environmental chambers in the new NEBS facility, including a large walk-in chamber and smaller test chambers, a large platform earthquake test facility, and various other equipment. The new equipment should be in place and fully operational by the end of summer, according to Fey.

"We are designing and building a new earthquake test facility to meet the clients' needs for more force and for testing larger items," Fey said. "The new building will have larger platforms for horizontal and vertical earthquake testing. It should be completed and fully operational by August."

The earthquake facility will test up to 10,000 pounds of payload, compared to SwRI's current capacity for up to 6,000 pounds for the NEBS Zone 4 severity level. It also will have longer strokes to allow for higher energy in lower frequencies, a characteristic of earthquake ground motions.

The new NEBS facility will provide four viewing rooms where clients can observe testing.

The SwRI Mechanical Sciences Section is compliant with an internationally recognized quality standard, the ISO 9000-2000 system, and is working toward certification this fall. SwRI is one of five U.S. facilities certified as a Verizon Independent Testing Laboratory.

For more information, visit the SwRI NEBS web site at or contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, Communications Department, at (210) 522-2256, Fax (210) 522-3547, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas, 78228-0510.

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