02 Mar 2022

Which is better? Does one compliment the other? How does each test function as a legislative tool?

CORROSHIELD® SA had the opportunity to ask Mr. Jason Hoo, Managing Director of Engineering Edge (Singapore) Pte Ltd, about Real World vs. Laboratory Testing in the Roofing/Fastener industry.

Industry experts conduct laboratory testing within a controlled environment.

The focus is to maintain consistent contamination factors, providing control over the intensity of our testing to achieve specific results. Test results become inconclusive if we have other variables that interfere with the outcome of each particular test.

Our process

Laboratory testing provides a conducive environment for repeatability, which is essential when assessing results across multiple settings and products. Essentially, the convenience of repeating a test under exact conditions gives you the flexibility and accessibility of replicating an assessment with different samples.

Additionally, laboratory tests provide a high degree of objectivity among multi-sample comparisons while facilitating the easy addition of variables.

Many industries, such as medical science and aerospace, adopt laboratory testing due to its cost-effective results and seamless integration with existing manufacturing and administrative processes across organisations.

It is essential to note that laboratory testing operates with a statistical objective. You should handle each step of the process with care, as slight deviations in time can sway the results.

For example, it is common for some manufacturers to acquire a single laboratory test report and use it as a baseline accreditation for all of their product’s quality and consistency. Such a report usually remains in effect indefinitely. However, such a rigid and short-term approach often produces an inaccurate reflection of fastener performance beyond initial test results.

At Engineering Edge, we prefer to carry out similar tests with multiple parties for all products (including CORROSHIELD® and TAPPERMAN® brands). Our comprehensive approach involves tests at production, QA. R&D, and 3rd party level to achieve and maintain accurate results.

Our team performs the evaluations on every product batch over an extended time. Through constantly dedicated data collection and analysis, we acquire accurate product information that drives the consistent manufacturing of quality products.

With a combination of fixed parameters and distributor feedback from the Delivery Irregularity Report (DIR) protocol, Engineering Edge modifies products promptly to fulfill specific applications and end-user requirements.

In my years as a manufacturer, I observed that most local fastener importers lack a real say on testing processes and related data when purchasing from an exporter. In most cases, manufacturers may conduct multiple one-time tests followed by short-term comparisons that define the product “quality”.

Such practices lead to confusion and unreliability among the local market. On the contrary, laboratory test results should remain dependable and, they ultimately rely on how manufacturer performs their tests.

We are EN 10204 Compliant
Real-World Testing

With all other considerations aside, real-world testing does offer one advantage. It gives us an alternate perspective. Despite uncontrollable and unaccountable variables, such as changing climate, pollution levels, and workmanship, the real-world testing results give us a snapshot of how products perform during a given duration within a specific location.

However, regarding professional bodies and their opinion on real-world vs. laboratory testing, I cannot imagine real-world testing adopted as a unit of measure for performance. The main issue lies in its inconsistent unit of measurement, and I hope that these professional bodies can see this objectively.

Today, algorithmic decision-making (computer-based management of vast quantities of quality data used in processes, tests, and analyses) is the future.

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