CARPET FIBERS

Problem Statement
A manufacturer of interior carpet for automobiles had no in-house testing capability to optimize the expensive UV stabilizers in their product. They found themselves spending a significant amount of time and money sending their newly-developed products to test labs for automotive approval. The manufacturer had to ensure that their product retained a certain amount of color after being subjected to an OEM qualification test similar to SAE J2412 – Accelerated Exposure of Automotive Interior Trim Components Using a Controlled Irradiance Xenon-Arc Apparatus. 

Without the ability to test their product in-house, the manufacturer would send several developmental carpet samples to a test lab before OEM acceptance. They would then need to wait on those test results and evaluations, determine if they were satisfactory for OEM approval, make any necessary changes, re-send to the test lab again if changes were introduced, test, and finally submit to the OEM if acceptable.

This process was very time-consuming as well as expensive to the carpet manufacturer. As a result of the difficulty, they were not able to optimize the amount of UV stabilizers and other expensive additives. As a secondary consideration, the expenses incurred from testing by the test lab added up very quickly, considering setup fees, runtime, and evaluations.

Result
The manufacturer opted to buy a Q-SUN Xe-3-H xenon arc weathering tester, and perform the development and qualification testing in-house. Testing new formulations in-house significantly shortened development time needed to fine-tune the amount of UV stabilizers in their product, while still retaining a sufficient level of color change resistance. These stabilizers were one of the most expensive raw materials in their product. With this optimization effort, the manufacturer was able to save more than $10,000 per month in raw material costs for just a single formulation. Savings from other formulations are even greater. Therefore their new Q-SUN tester paid for itself in less than 4 months from just this formulation, with every month after that realizing a huge return on their initial investment.