Connectivity is a buzzword in today's world. As a global leader in the design, manufacture, and supply of wire and cable products, Superior Essex helps power our interconnected society. From electric vehicles, power transformers, and commercial generators to data communications cables linking our homes and businesses, Superior Essex produces materials for a wide variety of industries including automotive, telecommunications, and industrial equipment. Ensuring its products meet strict industry standards is a top priority and the reason the company turned to ZwickRoell for its materials testing needs.
At the Product Development Center in Kennesaw, Georgia, Christin Ford and her team run numerous tests each day on materials such as metal tapes and armor, copper conductors, steel support wire, aramid and other textile yarns, and various plastics, to name a few. As the lab manager for over 13 years, she and her team use three ZwickRoell materials testing machines to test at both low and high forces, and perform tests such as tensile elongation, compression, friction, flexure modulus, and torsion on extruded and raw materials.
With a reputation for reliable test results and outstanding customer service, Superior Essex reached out to ZwickRoell for consultation over a decade ago. “ZwickRoell USA was so responsive. Our local sales representative visited our site to consult with us in depth about our applications before providing us with options," explains Christin. "Talking to him got me thinking hard about how we test and how ZwickRoell could help us create a new, more reliable testing scenario."
Superior Essex now has a lab with two ZwickRoell UTMs and a modernized competitor machine, which the team chose to modernize so that all three systems are in sync and running on the same software platform, testXpert. "Testing is easier because all of our systems run on a single software platform that is much more user friendly than our previous system. testXpert does the work for us and the System Configuration Builder ensures that our results are accurate every time," says Christin. With an average of 20 tests per day, lab processes that are straightforward and standardized are of the utmost importance.
The Superior Essex lab team also relies on technologically advanced accessories to support testing, which include a ZwickRoell long-travel extensometer and a non-contact laserXtens. “Some of our specimens are very tender. Other extensometers we have used in the past cut through our specimens. ZwickRoell contact extensometers have knife edges that tilt, which means specimens stay intact and we get the best test results.” Christin and her team plan to expand their testing lab to include a temperature chamber so they can also test both above and below ambient temperatures.
With a partnership that spans more than a decade, ZwickRoell USA and Superior Essex have been working together to find solutions for everything from standard testing to the most unique applications. Looking forward, this partnership will be vital to the industry as it expands to support new innovations in connected living.