AKG, a leading supplier of high-performance coolers, heat exchangers and cooling systems, unveiled its 32,000-sq. ft. (2,973-sq. m) research and development (R&D) center during a grand opening on February 21, 2018. The R&D center, along with new laboratory equipment, allows the company to perform strain-life testing, validate field and laboratory data, advance product engineering and shorten validation lead times.
The grand opening provided customers, local government officials and business partners with the opportunity to tour the facility and gain firsthand knowledge of capabilities, products and customer benefits. Applications for AKG America’s products include construction, mining, agricultural, forestry, specialty on-highway machinery, power generators, compressors, materials handling equipment, buses and others.
The R&D center is equipped with a new high-capacity, water-glycol, thermal cycle test stand. In addition to testing large heat exchangers, it tests up to six products simultaneously with a combined water and glycol flow of 250 gal. (946.35 L) per minute. The company will also install a charge-air cooler thermal cycle test stand capable of testing heat exchangers with combined internal airflow of 26,455 lbs. (12,000 kg) per hour at 482 F (250 C).
“The addition of this center and state-of-the-art thermal shock testing equipment makes it possible for AKG to engineer and advance products faster,” says Matt Rankin, Director of New Product Introduction and Research and Development for AKG of North America. “These new capabilities also improve our responsiveness for validation testing requests. Our customers benefit through faster innovation of new products and improved validation responsiveness.”
Current R&D testing and equipment that have been relocated to the new facility, include pressure cycle test stands, thermal imaging, burst testing and analytical equipment. The United States R&D center complements the German R&D center, located in Hofgeismar, Germany, by providing capabilities specific to North American markets.
AKG collaborated with local government officials during the building addition project. The company invests in and works with the community to help make Mebane a more competitive environment for bringing new employers to North Carolina. Glendel Stephenson, mayor of Mebane; Hartwig Pietzcker, chairman of AKG; and Steve Sydnor, Research and Development Manager at AKG were honored at the open house with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. All were instrumental in making the building addition a reality and success.