40 years of the BET Test Centre
Quality creates obligations
Which loads can our cable support systems (KTS) actually withstand? This question was at the beginning of our comprehensive tests, with which we still test the quality of our OBO products. In 1975, we used weights, plumb lines and tape measures by hand on our cable trays to test which loads the systems could withstand. Back then, the first tests were a matter for the boss: Ernst Bettermann, father of Ulrich Bettermann and the then managing director, was frequently on site, in order to gain an idea of the testing.
A lot has happened since then: From the manual testing structure, we slowly developed highly-technical testing methods. Today, prescribed testing conditions and hi-tech testing systems form the basis for comprehensive and independent quality tests, which we can perform in our Menden factory.
Besides the KTS systems, since the 1980s, we have also tested transient and lightning protection systems. The move of the BET Test Centrein 2008 into the Hüingsen heart of OBO production allowed the proper integration of the lightning current generator into the new rooms. Here, our specialists can trigger up to 300 lightning pulses here every day.
From "improved weight application" to a standardised and highly-technical testing procedure: Our quality tests have got even better over 40 years. And, each time, we are thrilled when, at the end of the test, we determine: This product has earned the title "Quality made by OBO"!
Where forces can be used sensibly
Since 2009, the BET has had the full name "Test Centre for Lightning Protection, Electrical Engineering and Support Systems". Today, our own testing laboratory is located centrally in Menden-Hüingsen and works particularly closely with the OBO engineers of the Research and Development department. Do the developed products fulfil all the standards? And do they also correspond to the special wishes and requirements of both the developers and the customers? These questions are significant for all the tests taking place in the BET.
Today, the BET Test Centre has a test generator that can conduct lightning current tests at up to 200 kA, and a hybrid generator for surge voltage tests at up to 20 kV. With the structures for electrical testing, it is possible to carry out insulation tests, conductivity tests and EMC tests.
The testing system for the cable support systems is an OBO in-house construction and now allows testing with loads of up to seven tonnes. Our highly-qualified OBO specialists perform tests not only to accompany development, but also as part of certifications, as required or on special customer request.
At the beginning, everything was still new
- 1976 First manual tests of the cable support systems (KTS). Equipping with weights and measurements by hand.
- 1979 KTS testing system, Stage 1. The first manual-hydraulic testing system is commissioned.
- 1980-1985 First tests with lightning protection generators. Testing of the first OBO surge protection systems.
- 1982 KTS testing system, Stage 2. Testing of larger lists possible with greater support spacings.
- 1988 The BET Test Centre moves to Menden-Hüingsen. OBO and Neuwa-Bettermann become OBO Bettermann.
- 1992 KTS testing system, Stage 3. The first electro-hydraulic testing system is commissioned.
- 1994/1995 Planning and construction of the lightning protection generator. Start of standardised testing of lightning protection components.
- 1997 Foundation and opening of the BET - Blitzschutz und EMV-Technologiezentrum GmbH. Move of the BET to the Menden Fischkuhle.
- 2008 The BET Test Centre is integrated in OBO Bettermann GmbH & Co. KG as the testing laboratory. Move from Menden-Hüingsen to direct vicinity of the development department. Further development of the KTS testing system (Stage 4).
- 2009 Renaming of the BET to Test Centre for Lightning Protection, Electrical Engineering and Support Systems. Execution of lightning current tests, electromagnetic tests and KTS tests.