Zwick sees itself as a leader in robotic testing systems.
Zwick sees itself as a leader in robotic testing systems.

Speaking during the company’s testEXPO Materials Testing Forum, CEO Dr Jan Stefan Roell reported growing business in the composites, plastics and medical markets, while the metals testing sector remains steady and sales of machines to academic institutions is largely dependent on funding. He expects Zwick Roell AG to achieve order entries of €184 million this year after a slowdown in business in 2009 and 2010.

Roell noted that in composites there are many more tests than for metals and many different fixtures and software are needed. Zwick offers a patented fixture for the testing of fibre reinforced plastics – the Hydraulic Composite Compression Fixture (HCCF) – which the company says reduces variance in test results, and speeds up test throughput, saving time and money.

According to Bill Becker, managing director of Zwick USA, this is now a standard fixture for a major airframe manufacturer.

The company also offers systems for elevated temperature and humidity testing of composites, and provides equipment for the compression after impact (CAI) test. In the CAI test pre-damaged specimens are tested in a special compression tool to establish the residual compression strength. Both Boeing and Airbus have a CAI test.

Zwick sees itself as a leader in robotic testing. These include robotic testing systems which enable much faster throughout than manual testing and remove human error.

Zwick also offers a modernisation service for old Zwick, and competitor, machines where existing load frames can be upgraded with new drives and software.

Roell notes that 7 out of 10 of the company’s machines are destined for use outside of Germany. He sees huge potential in China and a strong market in India. Russia and Brazil will also be good markets, while the company has lots of growth potential in the US starting from a low market share.

At this year’s testEXPO, the 20thannual event the company has held, around 2000 customers, potential customers and other visitors from around the world were expected, including large delegations from Russia and China.