Breaking stuff is good.
There’s value in pushing things to their breaking point.
People say our job must be fun! We get to design, make and break things. It’s true; breaking stuff can be a lot of fun, but the real reason we test things is to save our clients’ money. We use test results to make products leaner and better tuned for market.
It’s often said that “all computer models are wrong, but some are useful” and we fully agree. Theories, design equations and computer models are useful, but they rely on assumptions and approximations like material properties, load paths and second order effects. These assumptions lead to over-engineering and waste. If you want to know the full capacity of a system, you need to push it to its limits and remove assumptions.
Testing-led design leaves no room for assumptions. Results show a product’s true capacity and unlock ideas for cost savings. In most cases, physical testing confirms the product is much better than calculations show. This is not surprising; engineers make conservative assumptions and as a result the economics suffer.
For our clients, the space between predicted performance and actual performance costs money. Physical testing means products can be refined while maintaining performance. This leads to products being cost-effective and fit-for-purpose.
Time and again we prove the benefits of this approach. Like the time we reduced a product’s steel content by over 50%, or when we extended a product’s life by 450%.
The great thing is testing-led development is an approved alternative to calculation in most design standards, so results can be used as evidence of compliance. But just to be sure, we do rigorous statistical analysis of results to make sure that final products are still 100% fit for purpose. Product safety is our number one concern.
The commercial gains of testing-led design are impressive. So, if you want to make your product better, you might need to break it first.