Manufacturer Symbol Mattress has established a research and development center at its 150,000-square-foot plant in Watertown, Wisconsin. The 5,000-square-foot R&D center—a company first—is equipped with a rollator to simulate wear, a Cornell machine to test durability, a load-cell machine to determine indentation force deflection and digital scales for weighing components, as well as a small-scale burn lab to test components and raw materials for flammability. The center documents test results using both video and still photography.
“Having the ability to conduct our own tests of finished products, processes and raw materials versus expending the time and expense typically involved in using outside labs will be a tremendous benefit to our business,” said Mark Jannke, center director and vice president of product development for Symbol, which has headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. “We plan to do more ticking and raw materials analysis in the future and will be updating our software programs over the next 12 months to better manage our data.”
Mike McQuiston, Symbol executive vice president, said the center will enable the company “to get quality results on potential raw materials and new designs far more quickly and accurately. Most important is that our retail customers will have reason to feel even more confident selling Symbol sleep products.”