SnapAV will invest $2.3 million in its Charlotte, N.C., Quality & Innovation Lab that expands the company’s product development and testing capabilities with new equipment, more space and a larger workforce. This allows for faster testing for wireless communications and power protection products, and helps with examining reliability and compatibility among displays, AV equipment, IoT devices and more.
“Our mission to improve product quality is never finished,” said SnapAV Director of Engineering Harry Dhaliwal. “SnapAV is uniquely positioned at the center of manufacturing, retailing and distribution, and our continued investment in Quality & Innovation Labs strengthens our ability to deliver innovative solutions and quickly address partners’ needs. This latest investment provides the lab’s seasoned test engineers and experienced installation professionals with sophisticated tools to test everything from device longevity and optimal operating temperatures to cross-platform compatibility and drivers for third-party product integration.”
The Charlotte Quality & Innovation Lab now occupies two and half times its original footprint, having grown from 3,000 square feet to 7,500 square feet, while full-time staff has increased from 12 to 20. With investments in testing equipment for power and networking gear such as Wattbox, Araknis and Pakedge products, the professionals running the lab can now work faster, smarter and more efficiently to analyze more attributes and perfect more products. Added tools and capabilities include:
- Power: A new Chroma Systems Programmable AC Power Source allows for voltage control and simulated transients on the input side of products, while a Programmable Loadbox enables testing of various AC and DC loads, inrush currents, and detailed data capture on the power output quality.
- Networking: Expanded Spirent TestCenter Mainframe capabilities and supporting infrastructure to enable 10Gbps and PoE++ validation.
- Wireless: A new Octobox wireless communications testing chamber that can conduct hundreds of different stress tests in hours instead of weeks.
The expansion also adds several new areas to test specific products and applications. In the new Internet-of-Things (IoT) area, a collection of wall-mounted and rack-mounted devices are integrated with SnapAV products, testing real-world interoperability and performance. The new automation center accelerates time to market through the use of automated scripts that perform a schedule of tests much faster and with more precision than a human. With those tests complete, the hands-on work begins to perform use-case testing, resolve bugs and ensure all issues are addressed.
While most of the lab areas are located across a fairly open floor plan, the new isolated sound test room has sound insulation in the walls, ceiling and doors to create ideal conditions for testing amplifier and speaker products. SnapAV product testers can perform in-house evaluation of outdoor products in the outdoor patio, which is pre-wired to test outdoor surveillance products, displays, speakers and networking equipment. Additionally, the existing media distribution area has been expanded with more wall space to enable testing with a broader selection of display models and at a larger scale.
“Our goal is to innovate in every category and push the industry forward with rapid product development and responsive firmware and software updates that make our partners’ jobs easier, and our end-users’ experience better,” Dhaliwal said. “Our Quality & Innovation Lab also allows us to collaborate with Partners on product features and design, even down to specifics like the placement of buttons and connectors on a product.”
The company has several Quality & Innovation Labs throughout North America and is in the midst of a multi-year initiative to invest across multiple labs. For more information, visit the SnapAV website.