There are a number of different ways to conduct tests for safety. Some companies conduct tests using computer simulations and calculations. Others perform their own crash testing with their own set goals and criteria. For us, there is only one way. By adhering to international standards and having the testing done by an independent, approved testing institute. The French institute work related accidents , INRS, has established the only standards in the world for the crash testing of van racking. These tests are extremely stringent. For instance, they require a higher collision speed, and much more highly specified payload weights than the previous norms for seats and other components.
We performed our first crash test in 2001 at Milbrook in England, in compliance with ECR R17.07. We passed the test with flying colours. Crash tests, requirements and references have changed over the years. Since then, we have conducted testing on a regular basis.
For our latest crash test, we engaged the services of the independent French testing institute, Valutec, test our van racking according to INRS NS286, with the same excellent results as in all the earlier tests. It earned top marks again.
The van racking was installed on a crash sled in the same way it is installed in a vehicle. Shelves and cassettes were then loaded with weights that are cut to 80% of the length of the shelf or cassette. This was all done to produce the highest possible stress. The crash sled was then transported at a speed of just over 50 km/hour straight into a concrete wall. Due to the weights on the shelves and in the cassettes, there is a second blow from behind, fractions of a second after the initial impact in just the same way as it would occur in your own car in a collision.
INRS is a large (700 employees) French institute for the prevention of workplace accidents. Their persistent efforts to develop a unified set of standards for crash testing of vehicle interiors started in 2007. Payload weights for shelves and trays are carefully specified and installation must be carried out following the usual installation instructions. The load at the time of the crash must be a minimum of 25 G. Most testing institutes are convinced that the incredibly difficult INRS NS286 specification will become a standard for vehicle racking systems throughout Europe, such as Euro NCAP.
The fact that our System Edström racking systems pass these stringent crash tests is definitely a boon in terms of sales. This is especially true for the French market, where the end user with the familiar green racking can receive financial aid when choosing a crash tested van racking system.