HAL shines in electrical safety testing at US custom lighting company

A US custom and historic restoration lighting specialist has significantly reduced the time taken to complete electrical safety testing following investment in a Seaward HAL 104 tester.

Virginia-based Crenshaw Lighting has been designing and fabricating a wide range of lighting systems, which include bespoke chandeliers, pendants, sconce, flush mount and stanchion products and diffusers, for over 65 years. Many of these products are installed in some of the country’s most well known commercial, heritage and residential properties, including the New York Stock Exchange, the US Supreme Court and several state capital buildings.

In 2022, the company invested in a HAL 104 to improve the verification of the electrical safety of upwards of the 200 units manufactured weekly at its factory in Floyd before they are distributed to customers.

Replacing two separate testers, the move to use the single HAL 104 has seen improvements in the way products are currently checked for signs of electrical leakage, secure wiring and the maintenance of internal integrity. It provides power measurement readings with a resolution of 0.2VA below 1000VA and simultaneously performs continuity and ground/earth bond tests alongside AC/DC Hipot (FLASH/Dielectric Strength).

This ensures the company’s products guarantee the quality, performance and reliability required and are compliant with UL1598, which specifies the safety standards lighting manufacturers in the United States must achieve. It also ensures compliance with the Association of Standardization and Certification (ANCE) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Function testing can also be carried out to check lighting effectively switches on/off and performs correctly at the required power consumption levels and that any ancillary equipment operates in accordance with technical specifications.

Matthew Vest, laboratory manager, said testing programs that previously took on average five minutes to complete per unit are now undertaken in half the time thanks to the HAL.

He added: “Our new approach built around the HAL 104 has seen our test capabilities move to the next level. It not only ensures the electrical safety of all of our products, but also helps us to maintain rigorous product performance and quality control standards. In doing so, we have significantly cut the time it takes to complete a test as we continue to ramp up our production capacity to meet strong customer demand.”

Following on screen instructions throughout, the operator activates the testing and the HAL 104 automatically runs through multiple test sequences according to the type and specification of the unit under test.

“The combination of automatic sequencing of testing and step-by-step on-screen instructions has reduced the technical training required by operatives,” said Matthew Vest. “This enables me to devote time to other duties while the tester’s quick set-up and ease-of-use allows other people within the company to effectively carry out product testing.”

Lighting manufacturers such as Crenshaw can complete end-of-line tests with the additional benefit of functionality testing of the operation of the equipment, ensuring not only a safe product but consistent quality control throughout the production process.

Test results are stored automatically by the HAL 104, offering full traceability. This ensures all products are proven to be quality assured before leaving the premises. Crenshaw plans to use this data as it continues to upgrade its compliance testing protocols to produce an enhanced test record of all manufactured units in the event of any damage during distribution, or to track and trace any product returns.

The HAL 104 combines the performance of a multi-function production line safety tester with power measurement for product energy consumption. The tester can be integrated into automated manufacturing systems with selectable sensors and can be controlled using a PC, either using Seaward’s own software solution or by means of a command protocol.

A graphic display presents information either in a numerical or analogue format while a powerful internal memory allows the storage of up to 6,000 test results and up to 50 configurable test routines. The instrument can also be interfaced with a variety of accessories, to improve both safe working and efficiency, including Bar Code scanners and Safety warning beacons.

The HAL series is manufactured by Seaward Electronic Ltd, 15-18 Bracken Hill, South West Industrial Estate, Peterlee, County Durham, SR8 2SW. More at www.seaward.com

Seaward USA, 6304 Benjamin Road, Suite 506, Tampa, FL 33634 United States.

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