Testing in a winter wonderland

Advanced portable appliance testing technology is helping the world leaders in artificial snow and winter effects ensure that its equipment is maintained to the highest safety standards.

For over 30 years the Gloucestershire-based Snow Business has supplied specialist artificial snow making equipment that has transformed film sets, advertising locations and other special events into amazing winter wonderland scenery.

To make sure that the specialist electrical equipment used to create the spectacular visual backdrops remains safe to operate, the company has turned to the advanced Seaward Apollo 600 portable appliance tester.

The company’s in house engineering team uses the advanced tester to carry out regular testing of all of its electrical equipment to ensure that the highest standards of safety and reliability are maintained.

Among the wide range of equipment tested are special falling snow machines, snow ‘blower’ generators and agitators, high pressure pumps and associated extension cables, RCDs and electrical accessories.

As well as providing technicians with artificial snow-making equipment on film sets and locations, Snow Business also makes equipment available on direct hire for special private and corporate events.

All equipment is therefore tested thoroughly before it is issued in line with standard best practice and hire industry guidelines.

The lightweight Apollo 600 includes all of the electrical safety tests required by the IET Code of Practice including, earth continuity, insulation resistance at 250V or 500V, protective conductor current, touch current, IEC lead polarity and RCD trip time.

The engineering team at Snow Business carry out regular testing of around 500 individual items of equipment each year – and use the expanded internal memory of the tester to store and retrieve test records.

Full use is also made of the accompanying Bluetooth printer that has been set up to produce special test labels with the Snow Business logo.

In addition, the automatic inclusion of appliance bar codes on the labels enables the easy identification of appliances and re-test sequences, speeding up the testing process – an important factor in tracking and managing the movement of large numbers of equipment through the company’s busy engineering workshops.

Snow Business is an important supplier to the major TV and film production companies and has been involved in many blockbuster productions.

As such, the company’s commitment to effective electrical safety testing plays an important part in maintaining its corporate reputation, image and credibility within the industry.

Andy Wilson, head of engineering at Snow Business, explains: “We’re known as the world leaders in artificial snow and winter effects and ensuring the safe and reliable operation of our equipment is of critical importance to our professional standing in the industry.

“Whether we are supplying machines for a Hollywood film set or a children’s birthday party, every item of snow making equipment that leaves our workshops needs to be tested to verify its safe operation.

Apollo 600 PAT Tester

“The Apollo 600 enables us to perform this vital task quickly and efficiently. In particular, with responsibility for such a wide range of equipment, the tester and its accessories streamline the complete identification, testing and labelling process, giving everyone the safety reassurance that they require.”

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