Socomec has just opened its new, extended testing laboratory. Named ‘Tesla Power Lab’, this technological platform of nearly 2000m² has the resources to carry out the most comprehensive tests, certifying the quality of products designed and manufactured by the company, including electrical, mechanical, climatic and functional tests.
The Tesla Power Lab is also certified by international bodies (DEKRA and UL) to perform the toughest certification tests, an expertise that the Tesla Power Lab offers as a service to its clients and international partners.
An ever-changing platform
The reputation of Socomec’s electrical components and equipment since its inception in 1922 is largely due to its internal testing resources, implemented to ensure quality and compliance with the various international certifications.
Socomec’s first test laboratory opened in Benfeld in 1965 and doubled in size in 1995. In 2000, the test benches introduced high performance short-circuiting methods. Three high power test benches for testing endurance and overloads were installed in 2010. The new 500m² extension focuses on temperature rise tests up to 12,000 A.
More than 40 years of global recognition
In 1973, Socomec became a founding member of ASEFA (1) (certification body for low voltage switchgear).
In 1989, the testing laboratory was accredited by the RNE (French national testing network) which became the COFRAC (2) in 1994 (French Accreditation Committee).
With the creation in 1991 of the European organization, LOVAG(3) (Low Voltage Agreement Group), of which ASEFA is the French member, the Socomec laboratory went on to offer testing on its behalf.
Its collaboration with KEMA (DEKRA since 2011) dates back to 1992 and, in 2005, UL integrated the Socomec laboratory into its Client Test Data Programme, allowing it to conduct its own UL certification testing.
The laboratory also works regularly with other international certification bodies: CSA, ASTA, Bureau Véritas, etc.
Independent expertise offered to its partners
Originally intended solely for Socomec’s internal product certification, our test reports are now an essential sales tool in France and around the world.
As such, the Tesla Power Lab offers its expertise and testing methods for clients and partners to use so they can open up to new markets.
A certification strategy in the form of a Certification Body Test Lab is underway with the IECEE International Committee(4).
The accreditation audit, which implies a guarantee of neutrality and respect for stringent rules in test procedures, will be conducted in 2016.
Tesla Lab in figures:
- Investments in 2015: €1.5 M
- Investments since 2011: €4 M
- 500m² extension brings its total surface area to 2000m²
- A team of 30 experts
4 test categories:
- Short-circuits tests
- Temperature tests
- Overload tests
- Atmospheric tests: dust, leakage, vibrations, etc.
(1) ASEFA Certification body for low-voltage electrical appliances. Established in 1973, ASEFA is an independent certification body. It offers its clients testing platforms that are now the world’s most powerful resources in their short-circuiting capacity. ASEFA has an independent structure. Platforms linked to ASEFA by charter are accredited by COFRAC to ensure an ultra high-performance expertise, absolute neutrality and 100% reliable results.
(2) COFRAC French Accreditation Committee (scope of accreditation available on request). Government-founded in 1994, COFRAC allows its accredited laboratories and bodies to demonstrate their competence and impartiality. As such, it offers businesses, consumers and governments a true seal of trust in the results delivered by its accredited houses.
(3) LOVAG At European level, the EOTC (European Organisation for Testing and Certification) has certified the agreement group, LOVAG (Low Voltage Agreement Group), for the mutual recognition of qualifications among its members. This mutual recognition offers opportunities on a global scale.
(4) The IECEE is the conformity assessment scheme for equipment specifications and electrotechnical components. The IEC uses the name IECEE for the IEC System for Conformity Testing and Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment and Components that is better known as the CB System (source: Wikipedia)