While virtually all automotive components are modelled using , computer testing can only take you so far. To really gauge how suitable a component is for a vehicle, physical endurance testing is the only sure-fire way to prove a component or assembly can function properly in the real world. This is why businesses such as Mark Water Pumps Limited (MWPL) operate in-house automotive testing facilities, offering the aftermarket industry an opportunity to independently prove component performance.
MWPL has invested in its Automotive Testing Centre in Colwyn Bay, Wales, to help prove the performance of external products, as well as its own range of OEM equivalent PROFLOW water pumps. The dedicated testing centre has the capability to test water pumps, expansion tanks, thermostats, cooling systems, clutches, clutch bearings, brakes, oil pumps, timing belts, wheel bearings and belt tensioners as well as a host of associated components. Endurance and destruction testing is equally available, ensuring that customers have the means to prove quality, operational suitability and performance of products.
Such a breadth of testing facilities can be invaluable when introducing a new product to the aftermarket. While a product or component may pass computer simulations, nobody really knows how a component will perform until it is subjected to real-world operating conditions. It’s a vital part of product development, ensuring that when a new component is released to market, the risk of recalls or premature component failure is effectively minimised.
Conversely, physical testing is another important part of failure analysis. Being able to accurately replicate failure conditions for a component can provide manufacturers with greater data when carrying out fault analysis. Again, it can serve to identify design or operational limitations to allow further development of the component or product in question.
Either way, a customer can gain from greater quality assurance, as David Lewis, Plant Manager at MWPL explains: “When you buy an OEM component, you can be sure that the manufacturer has carried out physical endurance testing before it was released to market as part of the original vehicle. However, in the aftermarket this is not always the case, as manufacturing and testing standards can vary. In this case, importers and distributors can also ensure the replacement component they are buying meets the standard of components they are expecting”
“Utilising independent testing facilities such as the Mark Automotive Testing Centre means you can get this all-important assurance. It should be at the forefront of product development activity for aftermarket manufacturers and distributors, and this is something consumers in the aftermarket should be looking out for.”