ISQ, the Portuguese group providing inspection, testing, training and technical consulting services all over the world, has entered the second stage of installation of a testing center in the northeastern city of Castelo Branco, due to start operation in 2014. ISQ has just signed a contract with Embraer for the performance of tests in the field of validation and design of new products for airplanes. Besides the aeronautics and space sectors, the center offers also the possibility of performing testing to all types of complex and huge size structures – such as wind farm towers, car components, structures for the naval industry, etc. This testing infrastructure is here to complement the integrated supply of ISQ Group as far as testing and other lab services are concerned, thereby reinforcing the export of services in 2014 and helping the establishment in Portugal of product development centers from high technology based sectors. The ISQ project will enable testing on all kinds of complex and huge size structures, such as airplanes, wind farm towers, metallic tubing and other components, on all kinds of materials, for different sectors such as aeronautics, airspace, energy, oil & gas, petrochemical or car sector. These tests allow simulation of the impact of the life span on materials, subjecting them to real operation and tear conditions to which they will be exposed throughout its useful lifetime, thereby enabling to speed up ageing and therefore predict the behavior under extreme conditions of both the parts or the whole. The objective is that the projects resulting from companies’ R&D, already on a prototype stage, may test whether the design, the materials and the mechanics correspond to the real needs, therefore mitigating all types of risks – quality, safety and economic viability. The new Castelo Branco Testing Center will enable ISQ to export from then on, per year and from that cluster alone, more than one million euros of high technology based services and know how developed in Portugal. The decision to invest in the testing center was partly supported by the comprehensive testing program ISQ is developing with Embraer, with the aim to deepen the knowledge as to the mechanical behavior of composite materials in air structures. This program will involve different ISQ laboratories e.g. the Castelo Branco Testing Center, a collaboration which is due to last two years. Considering only testing being performed already in Castelo Branco, this technological group currently exports 350 thousand years, particularly for European Space Agency projects. The ISQ Castelo Branco Testing Center represents an investment of around € 4.5 million, supported by the National Strategic Framework and will create qualified jobs in this region, taking advantage of the ISQ integration in that area. ISQ is present in Castelo Branco for more than 20 years where it has already labs in the thermodynamics and airspace testing areas, taking up currently around ten thousand square meters in the city’s industrial area with which this new testing center will generate strong synergies.
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