The TEST-4-SME network of testing laboratories provides testing of electronic equipment to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in laboratories close to them. This new opportunity will make life easier for small businesses and stimulate the production of environmentally friendly and innovative electronic devices in the Baltic Sea region.
New electronic products introduced to the world market must meet strict international standards. For manufacturers, this means extensive testing of prototypes and continuous product adaptation. For small producers with non-established work processes, the testing phase may be too long and expensive. However, testing in the early development phase significantly reduces material, production, and time costs. TEST-4-SME project has made testing available to SMEs and ensured consistent quality of work and service in the network’s laboratories.
At testelectronics.eu, the company finds the nearest testing laboratory. Production engineers can consult with testing laboratories before they complete the first prototype. Counseling begins with a review of product design and the search for potential problem areas. “Our task is to check if the product meets the European requirements already in the development stage,” explains Riho Vendt, the head of the laboratories of the Tartu Observatory and the initiator of the project. “Our preliminary tests with the product give the company the confidence to proceed with costly certification tests.”
In late 2018 Golbriak Space OÜ, an alumni company of ESA Bic in Tallinn has tested their own optical intersatellite link system in the space-qualification facilities of the Tartu Observatory. Simone Briatore, one of the founders of Golbriak is happy with the results: “At the time, we were in a pretty tight schedule. Having a reliable testing facility close to our laboratories played an important role in preparing our system for the harsh space environment. It definitely contributed to the successes we had in orbit in late 2020 when the FSScat mission, mounting our optical terminals, was launched”.
Today, the network brings together 19 test laboratories in the Baltic Sea region with the necessary knowledge, equipment, and procedures to help electronics manufacturers. Laboratories in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Germany are ready to guide small manufacturers in developing innovative equipment and to help them go through complex test processes. Over the past three years, already 138 companies used the network’s services, and the number of users has grown every year.
The project coordinator was Tartu Observatory. The Interreg Baltic Sea Cooperation Program funded the project.
Riho Vendt, Tartu Observatory Associate Professor of Space Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org