Article: Q&A with Dan Spearman about Smithers Pira’s expanded vibration testing capabilities

At the end of last year, we refurbished one of our vibration testing tables - the Derritron VP700LT. We speak to Smithers Pira expert Dan Spearman to find out what this means for our distribution testing clients.

Tell us about the machine.

The machine is a Derritron VP700LT electromagnetic vibration table (or shaker) controlled using a new DataPhysics DSA5 power amplifier.  It is capable of performing multiple different vibrational tests such as:

  • Sinusoidal vibrational sweeps;
  • Programmed random vibration;
  • Synthesised shocks;
  • Sine-on-random (SoR), random-on-random (RoR), and sine-on-random-on-random (SoRoR)

This gives us a comprehensive range of tests to stress products in order ensure designs meet the requirements for distribution.

What product types will this equipment be used for?

The main uses for this kind of equipment are in the healthcare, automotive and industrial sectors.  These industries typically have quite strict regulations on the products which are released to market – the products must be able to withstand set vibration profiles or shocks.

Medical devices such as inhalers must be fit to withstand tests as prescribed by ISO 20072; syringes test against ISO 11608; and batteries must be fit to withstand the tests in UN 38.3.  Each of these standards details a suite of tests which includes vibration or shock which will use our electromagnetic shaker.

How does the vibration table enhance our distribution testing capabilities for Smithers Pira clients?

Smithers Pira now has 3 types of vibration systems operational and in regular use in its lab: Servohydraulic; fixed displacement; and electromagnetic.  The new electromagnetic shaker extends the frequency range in which our tests can be conducted.  Servohydraulic vibration systems can typically operate up to around 300-500Hz – the new shaker can operate up to 2,000Hz.

How does this equipment relate to our other testing capabilities?

With an electromagnetic shaker, we are able to perform resonance searches across a much wider frequency range (5 – 2,000Hz).  We can also perform shock and vibration tests on inhaler devices all within our Leatherhead site, covered by our UKAS 17025 accreditation.  Having an operational EM shaker reopens our options for shock and vibration studies and this equipment will be used most often in conjunction with our Lansmont 152 shock table (which is capable of performing much longer duration shocks).

For more information:

Distribution Testing Services >

Vibration Testing >

Contact Dan >