Your Guide To Creating An Awesome Product Test Facility

Testing facilities are mysterious and interesting, as they are the cutting edge of any business. It's where ideas are put through their paces and unique designs are tested to see if they could work. It's also where your most valued and smart employees will be working. Therefore it's inherently top secret. Making sure that corporate espionage isn’t worry is a big factor in the longevity of your product testing facility. But how do you build such a structure? Surely it's got to be difficult and expensive right? Well, no not necessarily. You have to make the right choices for your construction and design of the facility so you can have your employees really get the most out of their experiments.

Designing your test facility

Firstly you want it to be closed off from the rest of the plant or office area. This should be done with the utmost commitment to keep it away from prying eyes. You don’t want employees who don’t have authorization to the facility to easily get inside it. You also want to keep the media at bay, and those pesky investigative journalists that are sniffing for a story.

The walls must be high, wide or solid. No gates or fences, you should have it closed off properly, using solid walls or metal barriers. It should also be given the space it needs for things to be delivered to the facility via freight truck or crane. You should have the ability to bring things into the facility and not expose what they are to the outside world. For example, you may want to test your product like a new composite carbon fibre, but you won’t want your rivals to know this.

The facility must also have good room size, and that can be changed as the facility grows. You can have a large space which can fit 6 rooms, but you only have 2 so far in the beginning. But later on, you can add more, so keep expandable space in mind.

Bringing the power

When your facility is being built, you will want to start bringing in the power. Use a trusted large commercial electrician company which is known to complete massive projects of the scale that your testing facility will be. They can fit the wiring for just about anything. Whether it's for the machinery that you will use, the lighting, the general power and or the conveyor belts that will transport items around the site.

Consider how much voltage you will need while bearing in mind that any testing facility should have more than the normally required amount for most working areas. You may want to test a product with a higher voltage to see if the materials can withstand a shock of a high magnitude. You may also need the extra power to charge the items you're making, such as battery technology. More power is generally better for a testing facility.

Security and safety

Keeping unwanted people out of the testing facility is more difficult than you might think. You have to think dickdastardly if you want to cover all bases. Imagine that you are a top smartphone brand and your rival hears about a new technology you’re testing. They don’t know anything about it, they are worried that you may trump them in the markets and they want to steal that technology if they can.

Wouldn’t you hire someone to pose as a security guard to gain access to the testing facility? Wouldn’t you try to hire someone to take photographs of it? You would do anything you could to gain as much information about it as possible.

So have a security system that requires biometric identification. Install technologies that require fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition to gain access. You should also have policies whereby the security guards check each other’s identification when they first begin their shifts.

Install CCTV cameras and laser motion sensors all around the area to catch those that are trying to gain entry at night. Eyeball or dome cameras are a great asset to your business. They are difficult to spot and avoid, since they have 360 degree vision.

Codes of conduct

Your employees pose the number one security risk so having great codes of conduct policies can prevent a lot of horrible events ensuing.

All employees working in the testing facility may want to follow the following rules, which are just posed as an advisory criterion.

  • Sign a contract agreeing to their silence about the work that goes on in the facility. In other words, a contract of confidentiality of the highest level. If worded correctly and in accordance with the law, if broken, the punishment would potentially be prison time.

  • Never talk to the media unless they are allowed to. The authority of this comes from the top, i.e. the CEO.

  • They must also treat the testing facility with the utmost care, remembering that the equipment and materials are very expensive and should be treated as such.

  • Employees working in the testing facility do so at their own risk. A lot of dangerous experiments are done in such facilities and it's up to the employees to be okay with that or not.

Experiment lab

The facility will have plenty of testing units and areas where you can challenge your products. However, an experiment lab is where you conduct many of the chemical tests which could pose a safety hazard to the employees, the environment and the general public.

Therefore you should have safety lock doors, which are airtight as they will prevent any harmful gases or liquids escaping the facility. Give your employees hazardous material training and the right equipment. You may also want to keep this part of the facility separate from the other zones and units as it's inherently a volatile part of the facility.

A great testing facility takes time to design and build but, once you get it done it will be the bedrock of your latest developments that could put your head and shoulders above the competition.

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