Digital test methods at company's in-house test rigs

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“digiTEST” offers flexibility in terms of time + space as well as lower costs

"Time to market" is a decisive success factor in the new development of window, door and facade systems as well as in the project business. That is why many manufacturers and licensers have their own testing facilities. Nevertheless, additional test evidences from an independent notified testing body are required for CE marking and approvals by the building authorities. For this reason, ift Rosenheim and ift MessTec have developed the "digiTEST" method, which enables certain tests to be carried out on company-owned test rigs worldwide and without the need for an ift test engineer on site. This brings much better spatial and scheduling flexibility as well as eliminated travel time and costs. This applies all the more when the test facilities are more than a day's journey away from Rosenheim. However, increased technical and organizational requirements must be created at the client’s test rig to ensure perfect testing and valid results, as well as to meet the strict requirements from accreditation and notification.

ift Rosenheim and ift MessTec have developed the digiTEST method, which enables legal tests to be carried out worldwide on company-owned test rigs without the need for an ift test engineer on site. (Source: ift Rosenheim/ift MessTec)
Functional test of hardware and software by ift MessTec to ensure safe and stable operation during on-site testing in the "digiTEST" method. (Source: ift Rosenheim / ift MessTec)
The accurate and tamper-proof recording, evaluation and documentation of points of water penetration is the heart of the ift "digiTEST" method. (Source: ift Rosenheim / ift MessTec)

Development engineers and project managers are justifiably proud when the new window, facade or door system or special constructions in the project business meet the required technical characteristic values on their own test rig. The next step is to have the values verified by an independent and notified testing body. The frustration is then great when a short-term appointment cannot be obtained or the travel costs for a "notified" test engineer are disproportionately high.

The appropriate solution to this problem is the "digiTEST" method, which was developed by ift Rosenheim and introduced on the occasion of the corona-related contact restrictions. Thanks to the new service "digiTEST", it is now possible for ift Rosenheim to carry out many of the test procedures performed on company-owned test rigs without the physical presence of an ift test engineer on site. The results of the test are documented in an official test report/”ift-Nachweis”, which is necessary for CE marking or approvals by the building authorities. Thus, the "digiTEST" test method brings greater flexibility for scheduling and considerable cost savings by eliminating the need for travel. In addition, the necessary further education, training and regular professional exchange (monitoring) of the company's own testing personnel with the ift experts bring a considerable gain in competence.

Currently, the "digiTEST" method can be used to test windows and doors for air permeability, watertightness, resistance to wind load, resistance to repeated opening and closing, and resistance to impact; methods for other properties are in preparation.

The test is digitally performed, monitored and evaluated by an ift operating testing officer. For this purpose, a suitable and calibrated test rig with remote control is required, which enables permanent control and monitoring of the test rig as well as video surveillance of the test. The mounting of test specimen as well as the operation of the test equipment are implemented by trained personnel of the client according to ift instructions. For this purpose, the client’s personnel must be trained by ift Rosenheim.

However, the bar set by the accreditation body for the notified testing body is very high, so that the technical and organizational requirements are met and the procedure is approved. Prerequisites for using the "digiTEST" method are test rigs and measuring tools with valid calibration from an accredited ILAC/DKD calibration laboratory (for example ift Rosenheim), secure and stable Internet access at the test rig, experienced and trained test personnel on site, tamper-proof hardware and software components for reliable control, monitoring, evaluation and documentation of the test, and a contractual agreement (ift test contract).

The software and hardware of ift MessTec ensure that the test rig works reliably on the basis of the valid calibration, is adjustable and that changes/manipulations to the test system can be safely excluded. For the safe and stable operation of a "digiTEST" test, it is generally recommended to use a coordinated solution for all technical components. Therefore, ift MessTec offers a professional software and video package as well as modules for "remote" calibration.

Contact persons are Stephan Lechner (lechnerspam for software, measurement and testing technology and Alexander Rost (rostspam for the coordination of the framework conditions within an iftTEST contract.

Jürgen Benitz-Wildenburg

Head of PR & Communication

ift Rosenheim is committed to communicating the knowledge it has acquired to building professionals, planners and interested house owners dealing with windows, facades, glass, doors, garage doors and building materials.

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