Eric Sonnichsen’s Message from the Chairman

November 2, 2016

Eric Sonnichsen
For 43 years, innovation has been integral to Test Devices’ success as the world’s premier source for advanced, accurate spin testing equipment and services. Our customers’ needs continue to evolve and we evolve to meet those needs. We have been hard at work on a variety of developments we are excited to share with our customers.
Here are some of the advances we are making now:

  • We have created a new subscale turbine test rig, using it in support of work for one of our customers measuring the emissions and effect of engine exhaust as a function of fuel chemistry and contaminants. The subscale turbine test rig expands our testing capabilities in jet engine emissions and related performance factors. Test Devices will provide manufacturers with helpful testing data that measures emissions and changes in engine performance with a range of alternate fuel compositions. The engineering team will continue to conduct tests with the subscale turbine test rig into next year, with modifying the test rig necessary to simulate conditions in full-size engines.
  • Our engineering team is making great progress in developing Highly Simulative Subscale Testing (HSST) methods to spin test disks at very high temperatures and with very large temperature gradients. The capability developed in the HSST program will help our customer partners as they develop the next generation of materials and critical component designs for even more efficient engines. Design work for the HSST rig was completed this April, with manufacturing completed in September. Prototype building, debugging and testing will be completed late this year.
  • We have expanded our facility by close to 16,000 square feet and we have added team members. This spring, Test Devices invested in and implemented a new control center for its largest capacity spin rig. Now we have upgraded the controls room for our production pre-spin operation. We also purchased another balancing machine to conduct balancing services in greater volume. Overall, our expansion will allow us to meet production demand and further enhance our processes.
  • By the end of 2016, Test Devices will have shipped at least three spin rigs to customers through the year. We have long been at the forefront of spin test safety and containment design. Uncontained burst failures can be catastrophic and potentially lethal safety hazards, causing extensive damage to the facility and equipment while putting people at risk. Safety is our priority and we are proud to offer our customers spin rigs with the Test Devices containment design. Customers can conduct their in-house testing with confidence in the utmost safety. We use the same equipment for our own testing services.
  • Test Devices’ expertise and reputation in mechanical systems testing has enabled significant expansion of our areas of work. We are actively exploring further possibilities and expanding our areas of cooperation with customers responsible for designing and testing advanced machinery such as jet engines and power generation turbines. Continuing to develop new technology, such as our subscale turbine testing and optical strain measurement capabilities, will be important to helping our industry partners develop safer and more efficient energy conversion machines. In recent months, we have also been pleased to have opportunities to work on the development of test capabilities for the burgeoning electric surface transportation industry, including both public and private vehicles.
  • As we grow, we value feedback on how we can be most helpful to our customers. Our mission is to be helpful to meet their needs every day.

H. Eric Sonnichsen, Chairman and Owner