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June 22, 2018
Our Three-Step Approach to Product Testing

Posted by: Erin Schwasnick

Part of the reason the Milliken brand has been around since 1865 is the strength of its products. As a company focused on providing proven solutions, Milliken Cable Management places a strong emphasis on its product evaluation process.

Our testing mindset

Milliken Cable Management follows a three-step testing process before launching a product: laboratory, application and field. The intention of this testing process is always to find areas that are faulty and to correct them. If the product fails at any point in the process, even the final customer testing, adjustments are made, and the process restarts. This process can take as long as necessary — for example, the testing process for Vis™ Divide took nearly four years — and Milliken Cable Management embraces this time as part of the development process.

  1. Laboratory testing

Telcordia (Bellcore) Testing Standards are the accepted criteria in the telecommunications industry, and our first step is to perform a series of laboratory tests to ensure our products meet these standards. Our products undergo a series of laboratory tests such as strength, bending radius and chemical inertness. Depending on the product, other tests are administered as well. For example, the rigid conduit Vis Divide underwent testing for standard dimension ratio (SDR) to test its durability against pressure. When applicable, our products are also tested against American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International standards.

 

For all our tests, we use outside labs to deliver unbiased results, and we provide technical data sheets that publish the results of the tests.

 

  1. Application testing

Once a product has passed industry laboratory tests, we take it to our test facility to evaluate the product in the field. At the test facility, we check the product against different scenarios to see how a cable will pull through in each scenario. Our substantial test facility has several directional bore locations, including an 800-foot main location and a 1,500-meter run to test blowing. Throughout this application process, we evaluate the installation process specifically and ensure the product performs as it should.

After we are satisfied with the results of the installation and application testing, we try to anticipate questions and typically develop a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) sheet for customers. We also initiate several production runs to make sure the production process is smooth. 

  1. Field trials

Our final step before we officially launch a product is to test the product in the field.  We seek out potential customers to run trials in real life applications with our product and provide feedback.  We try to find customers who are unfamiliar with Milliken to get unbiased feedback. Once a customer with an appropriate project is identified, we travel to their installation location so we can observe and gather feedback in real time. Testing our products in the real world with real contractors is the final proof of the product’s readiness. The three-step testing process ends here, but our job doesn’t.

Continuous quality control

Product testing doesn’t stop after the product is launched. We evaluate any customer feedback we receive, of course, but even without feedback we are constantly doing our own testing for areas of improvement. Each of our products will continue to be tested and tried, even for years after the product launch. Our commitment to continuous quality control is taken seriously.  

Interested in the results of our testing? Take a look at the Vis Divide technical data sheet.


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