LONDON Angela Smith, Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister, has opened an acoustic centre at generating set manufacturer, FG Wilson, which is designed to help maximise the performance and reliability of its products. The facility will provide detailed analysis of generator noise to help technological development in the standby and prime power markets. The acoustic centre is the first step towards developing a multi-million pound engineering centre of excellence at the County Antrim-based company, which will include advanced test centres, manufacturing and assembly support areas, offices, a showroom and a visitor centre.
Invest Northern Ireland has provided £1.5million to support the project through its Centres of Excellence programme which is funded, in part, under the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.
Dr Mark Sweeney, FG Wilson managing director, said, “”This is a unique centre within the UK which will enable us to significantly advance our acoustic design expertise. The facility, which includes a sophisticated Hemi-anechoic chamber, a reverberation room and an engine test cell, will help us facilitate product cost reduction, optimised product performance and minimised environmental impact of noise.”
The Hemi-anechoic chamber in the new centre, which measures the noise emitted by sets during use, is capable of 24/7 operation and can accommodate containers of up to 40ft and 40 tons. The reverberation chamber measures transmission loss and sound absorption of materials and assemblies, it calculates sound power level of noise sources. The centre’s engine test cell will be used in the development and validation of silencers for generating sets and the sound power level of tail pipes.
Opening FG Wilson’s new multi-million pound acoustic design centre are, left to right, Bill Rohner of Caterpillar; Angela Smith MP, Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister; Dr Mark Sweeney, FG Wilson managing director; and Leslie Morrison of Invest Northern Ireland.