Mariner Systems offers type approval testing specifically for marine equipment including climatic, vibration and EMC testing. When they needed to expand their testing capabilities they came to Design Environmental (DEL) for assistance.
The requirement was for a walk-in environmental chamber to conduct temperature (-25°C to +70°C) and humidity (20% to 95% RH between +20°C and +70°C) tests on marine pc equipment. The walk-in room needed to be large enough to accommodate a number of 19in racking system allowing Mariner Systems to test full-height systems and larger equipment.
Although the walk-in room design brief was pretty straightforward for DEL there was an added twist: it had to be easily relocated at a later date. Mariner System’s current facilities at Enterprise City in Spennymoor covered three separate small units and they were running out of working space. Due to Mariner Systems’ ever-expanding business they were planning to relocate to a larger facility in 2009 but needed the extra test space that the walk-in room offered straight away.
DEL’s solution was to build the room on a rigid steel frame that was easily lifted by crane or large forklift truck, with a remote air-cooled plant in a weather-proof enclosure being moved as a separate unit once de-gassed and disconnected.
In August 2008 the Mariner Systems room was delivered fully built and installed in one of the company’s units at Enterprise City. It was put to work straight away and according to Stephen Lee (test lab manager) the room has almost paid for itself within the first year of operation.
Over a three-day period in July 2009 Mariner Systems relocated to new premises covering 7,500ft² on the Aycliffe Industrial Park in Newton Aycliffe. The walk-in room was de-gassed and the plant separated from the room, loaded on to the transport vehicle and re-installed at the new building with the plant now mounted outside the building. The room is now fully operational again and if business continues to expand Mariner Systems hope to add another facility in the future.