SATRA’s test equipment team
Introducing the expertise behind the design and production of SATRA’s wide range of test machines and devices.
Accurate assessment of finished footwear and individual components requires efficient test equipment. Having designed, manufactured and sold test machines since the 1940s, SATRA has an impressive legacy of innovation and technical expertise, which allows us to design and build some of the best equipment available.
This enviable position has been achieved in no small part by the hard work of members of the dedicated test equipment team, and their close liaison with other SATRA teams, including research and footwear testing. This interaction has led to the global success of SATRA test equipment. Research into a specific challenge has often been initiated when SATRA members contact us to ask such questions as: “how do I determine the external temperature and activity level at which my product is comfortable to wear?” or, “how can I validate a product’s water resistance before making claims about my footwear?” Such enquiries have resulted in the development of new test methods, the design of prototype machines and, ultimately, the manufacture of production equipment – Endofoot and Pedatron being just two examples. Such machines are trialled in SATRA’s own laboratories, where their ongoing development allows for further enhancements.
SATRA has a catalogue of over 300 test machines and devices, designed and manufactured in the UK. These are supplied into many industries, including the footwear, leather, personal protective equipment, automotive, furniture, flooring, textiles and garments, safety products, rubber and printing sectors. SATRA equipment is now being sold in more than 70 countries around the world, and ‘authorised equipment suppliers’ representing SATRA are located in all the key markets.
Because SATRA has developed much of its test equipment range from the initial concept, particular machines can often be adapted to meet a specific requirement if needed. The design of completely bespoke test equipment is also possible.
Who buys SATRA test equipment? A variety of organisations which need to confirm an item’s fitness for purpose, including brand owners, manufacturers of finished footwear and components, retailers and tanneries. SATRA machines are also purchased by independent test houses, government institutions, research establishments and universities.
SATRA can supply all the test equipment needed to fit out a complete laboratory – from simple devices, such as crockmeters, to highly complex, computer-controlled machines, like the Pedatron. Never a company to sit still, SATRA has an ongoing programme to continually develop existing test machines and the regular introduction of new equipment.
The test equipment team
John Upton, head of the test equipment department, joined SATRA in April 2013 and with his team is committed to the development and supply of high quality equipment, customer support and aftercare. Having an extensive background encompassing a wide variety of market segments, he has experience in lean manufacturing, and communicating change in vision and strategy in order to promote new ideas.
Working in conjunction with other SATRA teams, members of the test equipment team care for all aspects of machine and device production, including design, purchasing, manufacturing (using our own engineering department), marketing, sales and logistics.
The test equipment team’s responsibility does not end with the supply of a piece of test equipment. If needed, members of the team can visit a customer’s facility to provide training to operatives. Servicing of SATRA test machines can also be cared for in situ by SATRA representatives or approved suppliers, or at SATRA’s UK base.
Without a doubt, the decades of experience in the design and production of first-class test equipment that SATRA has accrued, in addition to the human expertise available within the company, has put SATRA at the forefront of global product and component testing.
The photograph at the top of this article shows some of SATRA's test equipment team.
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This article was originally published on page 44 of the February 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.