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TRaC expands test facilities in the North West

19 July 2010

Testing, certification and validation company, TRaC has announced a major expansion of its operations in the North West of England. A new 15,000 sq ft centre of excellence in Up Holland, Lancashire is the largest commercial facility in the North and the only one of its kind in the North West of England that places a comprehensive testing service within easy travelling range for customers in the region. TRaC is already the biggest British test and certification company and the new facility strengthens the company’s presence in the North, complementing the existing Hull facility that is the largest in the North East.

TRaC has invested more than £1 million in the new Lancashire location which has been supported by the North West Regional Development Agency. The company is currently hiring for key positions and plans a second wave of recruitment later this year to support the anticipated growth of its existing business in the region.

TRaC provides a testing service that ensures and certifies that its clients’ products comply with EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) regulations; wireless, radio and telecoms standards; and environmental and safety requirements. TRaC holds a comprehensive range of accreditations to issue product approvals to national and international standards: through a combination of its own facilities and worldwide partnerships, the company offers global reach.

In today’s regulatory climate, few products achieve certification in a single visit to a test laboratory; in contrast, TRaC’s involvement with many of its clients’ projects begins early in the design process. Support that begins with design analysis, and continues through pre-certification testing, ensures that projects stay on track at the final certification stage. Local, quick and easy access to expert assistance and test facilities is an important element of customer service in the test services sector; TRaC’s new premises are ideally placed for travel from anywhere in the north and North West of England, being minutes from junction 26 of the M6 and Junction 1 of the M58.

“With intense competition and an economic environment that remains challenging, our customers are under intense pressure to reduce the time to test and certify their products,” said Mark Heaven, TRaC’s Chief Executive. “By providing facilities across the country TRaC can work closely with our customers in the design, test and certification stages of a project, removing the hassle of dealing with remote test facilities, reducing the risk of products failing certification and helping customers get their products to market sooner.”

The Up Holland site offers extensive EMC facilities in five absorber-lined shielded enclosures, or ALSEs – that house the full range of radiated and conducted testing regimes. The rooms were constructed by Rainford EMC Systems Ltd, and provide the largest commercially available testing facilities in the North of England. Additionally, the site carries out environmental and safety testing to certify compliance to standards such as the Low Voltage Directive (LVD), or to DSEAR/ATEX requirements for dangerous and explosive materials. With state-of-the-art test and measurement equipment TRaC employs the maximum possible level of test automation to ensure rapid access to its test facilities.

In another development, TRaC has announced that it is to collaborate with BSI in offering an approvals programme for equipment designed to operate in explosive atmospheres. Mark Heaven says the agreement represents a major step forward in terms of the support TRaC can offer the industry, and for TRaC itself. "We are delighted that BSI, with its global reputation in certification services, has selected TRaC as its Test Partner in this demanding industry sector,” he says.


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