2019: Developing a furniture test machine according to national standards

Martin Karlgren and Marcus Berglund in collaboration with Furntech in South Africa.

In South Africa, where the unemployment rate is immense, Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) provide most of the employment opportunities. But statistics show that a lot of these enterprises fail during their first years of operation. Furntech is an organisation that works within business incubation and skills development for SMMEs in the furniture manufacturing sector in South Africa. Furntech is working on getting an accredited testing laboratory that conforms to South African standards as another service for the SMMEs. The aim of this project is to develop a machine design to test innerspring mattresses that meets the local standards within the bedding industry in South Africa. A field study is conducted to gather information by observations, interviews, and by visiting local manufacturing companies. This is done to fully understand the layout of the actual laboratory and what is required of the machine from a user point of view and mechanical point of view. The design of the machine is developed according to product development methodology and evaluated against demands that are compiled in a requirement specification.

Final design of mattress testing machine.

A design was produced and presented in a CAD-model, which includes required additional parts to support the functionality for the test-bedding machine. Instruction manuals combined with an interface design were produced. Both of them are connected to a flowchart to make it easy to see what is required from the machine, the user, and the programmer. Some parts has also been presented in drawings as suggestions for how they can be made to fulfill requirements, e.g. related to weight limits. Additionally, a quotation of the additional parts was established, which mean that Furntech can get approximate pricing to build the machine.

The full report can be found at http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17281

Mechanical engineer Marcus Berglund and product design engineer Martin Karlgren at Furntech in South Africa.