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Australian manufacturer designs and installs test equipment in Japan

Archer Enterprises has successful installed advanced laboratory testing equipment it manufactured exclusively for the Japan Fire Equipment Inspection Institute (JFEII).

Based in the NSW Central Coast town of Somersby, Archer is a third generation designer-manufacturer of complex components and assemblies for performance-critical applications.

The company has developed a unique test device which is used by global manufacturers of automatic fire sprinkler systems in order for them to comply with the ISO 6182 performance standard and to attain certification.

The method for achieving this benchmark is via a scientific exercise known as the "plunge test” which determines Response Time Index (RTI) and Conductivity Factor (C Factor).

Archer is the only company in the world which manufactures the RTI Plunge Test Tunnel test equipment.

“The uniquely shaped wind tunnel is a fully integrated solution with process control for both gas (air) temperature and velocity, sprinkler response time control, and can measure pressure differences of less than 1 Pascal to a resolution of 0.0001 mmHg,” says Operations Director Russell Byrne.

"Before we developed it, organisations carried out testing in large test tunnels which were permanent fixtures of buildings. Our design is just over two metres in length. It is free standing, fully self-contained and easily transportable and has become the product-of-choice around the world.”

The JFEII tunnel was installed at Japan’s National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster which is where the nation’s fire fighters are trained. It is the 19th made by Archer to date.

Russell Byrne and Archer Managing Director, Brad Byrne, stayed in Japan for five days installing the tunnel, commissioning it and training the JFEII engineers.

“What was interesting was that they also sought out our expertise and experience to assist them with understanding the ISO performance standard for automatic fire sprinklers. They saw us as an authority in this field,” adds Russell Byrne.

“It’s one thing to manufacture a product, it is another thing to ensure that your customer understands it and will get the best return on investment from it," says Brad Byrne.

"When you are dealing with international customers it is vital that you go the extra mile. We are up against tough competition from overseas but I believe here in Australia we have the know-how to provide highly specialised technology to the world."

Archer EnterprisesLast year Archer was involved in another “Australian technology to the world” project. They collaborated with Granite Power to develop Australia’s first impulse turbine for their Granex Waste Heat Recovery demonstration model.

Archer manufactured complex stainless steel and titanium components with very fine tolerances.

The parts had to withstand extreme operating conditions: hot supercritical fluid moving through the turbine at more than Mach 1.7 with 60 bar pressure, driving the turbine blades at 70,000RPM, and internal temperatures as high as 260 degrees Celsius.

According to Archer, the Australian energy company commented that "it was more cost effective to design and make the parts in Australia than do it overseas."

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