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Anixter's A-LAB is now fully commissioned

19 June 2012

Fastener and 'C' Class component specialist, Anixter Fasteners has announced that its independent testing laboratory ‘A-LAB’ in Gloucester is now fully commissioned. Independently audited by UKAS and accredited to UKAS/ISO17025, the facility offers a comprehensive range of fastener testing and failure investigation capabilities.

Commenting on the new laboratory, which cost in excess of £450,000 to commission and establish, Richard Hawker, vice president of technical services, said:, “One of Anixter’s core values is quality and our culture is focused to deliver a zero defects standard, whilst supplying over 14 billion components annually, worldwide. As part of this commitment we have invested heavily in our technical capability.  Our UKAS accredited laboratory not only tests products that we supply, but also provides an independent investigation and product verification service.”


The services offered at A-LAB fall under five headings: metallurgical, mechanical, chemical, failure investigation and product finish testing.  The full list includes tensile strength, proof load, locking patch performance, torque tension, tortional/drive test, ferrite determination, hardness (surface and core) and micro-hardness, case depth analysis, grain size, elongation, decarburisation, coating/plating thickness, de-embrittlement, thread lap examination, particle size, porosity assessment, surface discontinuity, inclusion content, heat treated condition/structure, locking/sealing, coating thickness and failure analysis testing. Specialist equipment at the laboratory includes optical emission spectrometers, plus facilities to undertake specific tests such as salt spray testing. 


The tests that Anixter undertakes measure integrity and performance to standards compliance and beyond. Specialists at the laboratory seek to verify properties of engineering components as well as checking conformity and determining suitability of materials.  Metallurgist, Lee Pugh explains: “At A-LAB we offer over 25 different tests to scrutinise the integrity of a huge array of components.  We work to the most exacting standards of a broad range of industries, covering the specifications of BS, ISO, ASTM and Ford.”


The rigour with which A-LAB performs tests is proportional to the criticality of the purpose of the components according to Richard Hawker: “We support the largest OEMs, including a large proportion of the automotive industry.  The fasteners and components that we supply are therefore often application critical, for example in chassis build or construction of braking assemblies.  We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously and feel our duty to their customers just as keenly.  The testing work done at A-LAB is therefore an essential part of how we deliver an exceptional standard of quality, consistency and reliability.”


Anixter has 15 fully equipped regional quality laboratories globally, with ten technical centres across North America, three in Europe and one in China. Collectively these facilities conduct thousands of tests each year, critically inspecting and challenging the 12,000 standard product lines that the company carries and quality controlling the outputs of its approved suppliers in line with its ISIR, PPAP and FPA procedures.

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