Alfred University, the second oldest coeducational institution in the United States and the oldest in New York, combines undergraduate programs for its 2,000 students with masters and doctoral programs.
In 2001, Alfred received two Instron universal testing machines, a TTC 10,000 lb and a TTD 20,000 machine, to complement its MTS testing frame. However, the machines were mechanically controlled with instrumentation from the 1960s. They were also worn and not accurate enough for the research that was being conducted by the students and faculty.
J. Steven Mayes, Assistant Professor, started looking into refurbishing the machines. “Naturally, the first call we made was to the manufacturer but they quoted us a price of $30,000. Being a small school with a small program – that’s a lot of money and we couldn’t afford it.”
Mayes hit the Internet and soon found ADMET. “Being engineers and numbers-based, we went through a fairly rigorous search and ADMET was clearly number one. It wasn’t much of a decision once we found them,” he said.
ADMET would install its MTESTQuattro testing system and replace all of the mechanical controls, gears and levers with electronic controls. The motor would be rebuilt. Essentially, the only component that would not be replaced or updated would be the frame itself, which never wears out.
“We could hardly believe what we were hearing. The ADMET price was in our range,” said Mayes. “This would give us a like-new Instron machine that is easy to operate, plugs into a 110 volt outlet, has no fluids or pumps, and requires virtually zero maintenance.
The ADMET-controlled machine is so simple that students have no trouble operating it. “I asked a graduate student to develop a simple manual for the machine. He came up with what I call Test Windows for Dummies,” said Mayes. “I use it all the time. The students find that it has everything they need to set up and operate their tests.”