Facilities engineers need to plan wisely for the purchase and installation of test chambers. Here is a handy checklist to follow:
• Think about humidity, temperature, vibration, weather conditions, surrounding environmental impacts, and by-products and emissions. And remember, size matters. Building a new structure is a bit different than placing a prefabricated test chamber on a bench and hooking it up.
• Talk to your R&D, operations, and manufacturing people; they need to be responsible for specifying the performance parameters. You need to be responsible for ensuring it gets correctly hooked up and functional.
• Don’t forget the details. Do they need access to handle the samples being tested? The ability to observe visually? Do you need to light the interior? (If so, be sure to compensate for any excess heat from the light source.) Would surrounding or episodic vibration be an issue? What other surrounding conditions could impact the test chamber operation, efficiency, or accuracy — electro-magnetic interference?
• Required life expectancy?
• Do you need custom, or will used do?
• Networking requirements?
• What level of user control and programming will be required?
• Calibration requirements upon installation and on an ongoing basis?
• Workflow and process considerations?