Dover Precision Components, a US manufacturer of high-performance engineering parts, has moved into a new innovation laboratory in Houston, Texas.
The new laboratory, which covers an area of more than 1,110 square metres, brings together Dover’s research and product development teams, and will house its test rigs for hydrodynamic fluid film bearings and reciprocating compressor components, allowing testing under real machine conditions. The first two test rigs, compressor units to test valve and sealing technologies under various lubrication schemes and operating conditions, have already been installed. Two more test rigs, to support the development of fluid film bearing materials, will be commissioned shortly, and more are planned.
There are four independent test bays in the new Innovation Lab, allowing work on multiple rigs at the same time. There are also dedicated control rooms to allow staff to safely operate equipment, while four other rooms can be used for inspection and component testing. Dover says that the way the laboratory is set up means that test rigs can be reconfigured to support product development and customer testing.
Dover is currently also using the lab to support COVID-19 safety measures, including using the offices and common areas as a break room space for its manufacturing personnel.