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Product Development Spotlight: A Visit With “Thumper”

As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of behind-the-scenes engineering that goes into each of CRU’s products, all the way from concept to production. One part of this effort is a couple of special devices that were made by CRU® engineers to test and verify components. They call them “Thumper One” and “Thumper Two”.

I took some time to check them out, and spoke with Stewart Low, Sr. Mechanical Design Engineer at CRU.

“We designed Thumper One to verify and test new components. Break them, essentially. And then we could fix and improve them,” Stewart said. Initially, Thumper One was made to put the CRU Dataport® 25 through the wringer, since its design contains springs and an eject mechanism. The mechanical team wanted to test and verify the component quality in addition to the design.

“We improved that design after cycling it through Thumper One, well, for days,” Stewart said. “Now we use Thumper One with any new design that has an eject mechanism.”

The team later produced Thumper Two, a two-cylinder version, which they used initially for the Dataport 10. This Thumper was made to test the drawer mechanism.

What does Thumper do, exactly?

“Basically, it performs the action needed to move the pieces. And then it cycles that over and over, for as long as we want it to go, or until something breaks.” Stewart adds, “most of our stuff is designed to withstand tens of thousands of cycles. Which is a lot of punishment.”

The Thumpers are still used on new product designs, or when the team wants to verify a new component. “We start it off to measure the baseline, make sure it will withstand that,” Stewart said. “Then we crank it up and see how far it goes.”

Thumper 1