Many engineering departments incorporate an element of practical teaching into their syllabus, which over the years has defined a global market of engineering education equipment providers. It’s a competitive market place, with TecQuipment positioning itself as a leader in its sector by delivering high quality products with a 5-year warranty. The company, based in the Midlands, has been established for 60 years and exports to over 100 countries with more than 1500 customers.
One of TecQuipment’s core competencies is the development and manufacture of laboratory apparatus for teaching fluid mechanics. In particular, one of the most interesting products devel-oped recently focuses on open flow channels.
Peter Skinner, principal mechanical engineer at TecQuipment, explained: “These are used to simulate rivers and canals as well as various features found that may affect flow and current: such as weirs and sluice gates.”
TecQuipment’s FC300 range of open channel flumes were built to provide students and academics with the opportunity for advanced research and student study on a wide range of fluid flow topics. The large open channels that range from 5 to 15 metres long, can simulate different naturally occurring and man-made conditions with some of these requiring the functionality to incline to various gradients. This calls for an ‘inclination box’ that measures the tilt of the flume. This contains a printed circuit board (PCB) inclinometer, displaying the angle of the flume.
The PCB is highly accurate and has a resolution of 0.05 degrees. However, the device is also extremely delicate, and any water splashes or spills can heavily damage it, compromising the entire equipment. In addition, as TecQuipment products are distributed worldwide, any protections for the PCB needs to meet international standards, including European, U.S. and Canadian regulations.
In need of a high-quality solution to protect the PCB installed on the FC300 range, TecQuipment chose Spelsberg UK as its enclosure supplier having previously specified its enclosures for the company’s very popular digital hydraulic bench. Spelsberg is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electrical equipment enclosures and distribution boards and, like Tec-Quipment, has a long tradition of tech-nical innovation and quality products.
Dionne Knowles, marketing manager at TecQuipment, commented: “With our reputation for quality, we ensure every component used is super-efficient and reliable, like those provided by Spelsberg UK. Spelsberg also provides solid customer service, with teams that work closely with our engineers to test and install the right product with the quality that we demand for our equipment.”
Thanks to in-house certified testing facilities located at its German headquarters, Spelsberg products can be used with confidence in TecQuipment’s overseas markets. In fact, Spelsberg can independently conduct analyses and certifications according to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), for the U.S. and Canada, and VDE and DIN EN, for Europe.
The enclosures chosen by TecQuipment and Spelsberg UK to house the sensitive PCBs belong to the TK range of enclosures. These are industrial enclosures designed to suit a wide range of applications, ie they are available in different sizes and materials.
More precisely, based on the specific FC300 Open Channel Flume design requirements, the TK enclosures selected are made of high-strength polycarbonate and feature IP68 rating against dust and water ingress, IK07 protection against external mechanical stresses, and a transparent lid to read the PCB display.
In addition, while the TK series are available in a range of standard formats, Spelsberg worked with TecQuipment to design and supply a customised solution to deliver improved performance. The customisation service was carried out in-house at Spelsberg UK’s headquarters in Telford. With four CNC machines and an assembly production line, Spelsberg is able to produce bespoke turnkey solutions. As a result, the enclosures models with the optimal design were provided to TecQuipment within two weeks.
Dionne Knowles and Peter Skinner agreed that the collaboration with Spelsberg UK was extremely fruitful and contributed to the creation of high-quality teaching equipment. Dionne added: “The product is selling well around the world, from Derby, UK, through to Columbia and Peru. With such a wide customer base it’s so important to be working with supply partners we trust.”
Clare McCusker, area sales manager for Spelsberg UK, concluded: “We have been working with TecQuipment on a number of projects, supplying customised high-quality enclosures. The company is well known worldwide for its state-of-the-art products and services and we are happy to play a part in the continued success of their business as well as their mission to maintain a number one position in their market.”