7th September 2006, Silverstone, Northamptonshire
The new test centre that 3C Test Ltd moved into over the summer was officially opened by Damon Hill, ex-Formula 1 World Champion and current President of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC); the owners of the Silverstone racing circuit and it's associated business park. Viewing the new facilities alone was worth the trip, but the company made the event an even more memorable affair by laying on an extravaganza of entertainment and amusements as well.
Included in the amusements were a 4-lane Scalectrix circuit, a racing car cockpit set up to run a Formula 1 racing simulation game via a plasma screen and a number of classic cars lined up outside the entrance. The main entertainment was provided by a Jazz Band while canapés and drinks were served to all attendees.
The event was mainly populated by customers of 3C Test Ltd, both automotive and commercial electronic supply companies, and was very well attended with in excess of 200 people (our rough estimate). Many had no doubt come to see Damon Hill and visit Silverstone, but all I spoke to were similarly impressed with the new test facilities.
The new facilities include a large chamber, large enough to perform whole vehicle testing at 10m, which for a VCA technical service and given the geographic location, should prove very useful and a good investment. This chamber contains over 10,000 ferrite tiles and is one of the largest expanses of ferrite I think I have ever seen. There are two other absorber lined chambers at the site, although slightly smaller still sufficient for ESA testing and CE/FCC to 3m. The new test laboratory also has a dedicated power line testing capability for ISO 7637 and a separate ESD laboratory with both ISO 10605 and IEC 61000-4-2 equipment. The tours were provided by the 3C Test Ltd staff and all seemed equally as enthused with their new working environment and facilities they could now offer to their customers.
Attendees also received a "goody bag" of freebies to remember the day including a USB pen drive, mouse mat and probably more importantly a 10% discount on their first test day booked at the new site. The old 3C Test site at Grendon Underwood could be difficult to find for a new customer, but the Silverstone site is signposted all the way from the M1 motorway and within easy reach of Luton and Birmingham airports. It is good to see a UK EMC test service doing so well and having confidence in the automotive electronics industry. Although only UK customers were (to our knowledge) present at the opening I know they have several overseas customers and with a facility like this the customer base outside the UK will surely grow in the future.
Congratulations to 3C Test Ltd on an excellent opening ceremony and on an impressive new test facility.
The impressive facade of 3C's new test facility
The line-up of classic and sporting cars
James Gordon-Colebrooke (MD of 3C Test Ltd) and Damon Hill discuss the EMC characteristics of the Ferrari placed in the 10m chamber.
Damon Hill recalls electromagnetic induction from his school days during his opening ceremony speech.
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