Whether valves, pumps or control units: At Alfmeier Präzision SE, system solutions are developed in the fields of plastics technology, electrical engineering, mechatronics and fluid technology - and with the highest precision. The international, owner-managed company employs around 2,000 people. More than 50 years of success have ensured that Alfmeier today occupies a leading position worldwide in the automotive sector. The subsidiary Alfmeier Automotive Systems (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. is responsible for supplying components to the automotive industry. But before the components are installed, it is part of the Alfmeier Group's quality standard that each element is subjected to extensive testing.
Challenge and task
The path to an efficient and safe test laboratory: In order to test the behaviour of components in fuel, an Alfmeier laboratory must fulfil a number of requirements: Among other things, the storage, testing and test areas should be closely networked, explosion and gas protection components must be installed to protect the employees and the test lab must be set up indoors. Furthermore, it is important to design room systems in such a way that they can be used for long-term tests: A test can last up to 5,000 hours, or about 30 days - a long time. In addition, about 40 fuels are to be used for the tests. For the Shanghai site, the Alfmeier Group planned a laboratory that would meet all these requirements. That's why it made sense to commission the international expert in the fields of hazardous materials storage and technical room systems: together with DENIOS AG, Alfmeier Automotive Systems (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. developed an individually tailored three-chamber solution that is so ingeniously designed that all the requirements for a safe multifunctional room system are fulfilled and, on top of that, good accessibility and operability are made possible. In addition, the solution from Germany brought with it a considerable time advantage: as a self-contained and approved system, the DENIOS room system could be easily and quickly integrated into the existing production rooms.
The DENIOS room system: A perfect testing triple: As a multifunctional room system, the laboratory developed by DENIOS for the customer Alfmeier is a true hazard protection all-rounder. The three-room system is divided into a storage area where the fuels and additives are ready for testing, a test area where fuel and components are prepared for testing and further analysed before and after the influence of various thermal influences, and a heat chamber where the components are aged under the influence of various temperatures between 40-60 degrees Celsius. The storage and testing area is fully air-conditioned to ensure a constant temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. To ensure that the fuels for testing are available quickly, a pump can be used to transport substances from the storage area directly into the test area by simply pressing the foot pedal. The greatest possible safety is also ensured by the fact that numerous explosion-protected elements are installed there.
**Vaporisation is impossible: **When the test objects are under test in the heat chamber, the fuels may evaporate due to the effect of the temperature. In this case, staff would have to intervene in the test to refill them. However, this does not happen in the new room system: a cold trap, which is connected to the heat chamber via pipes leading upwards, intervenes in the system and ensures that the fuels do not evaporate but condense. The employees are also protected from gas development by a precise warning system. In each chamber, a 24/7 fan ensures that the air is constantly exchanged. In the event of a gas warning, another fan is automatically activated in each room - all-round protection for the workers in China.
Result and customer benefit
The sophisticated room system can be monitored or maintained not only on site: Interventions and remote diagnoses can also be made from Germany via a data memory that archives everything for 12 months. There is also good news in terms of construction: DENIOS also offers full service in the area of assembly, so DENIOS China took care of the assembly of the room system completely. At the installation site, only minor assembly work is required - the system can therefore be put into operation immediately.
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