Exhibitor Spotlight: Experior Laboratories Inc.
We spoke to Roger Rutz, Sales Manager at Experior Laboratories Inc., who gave us some insights into market demands and the biggest challenges currently faced by the industry.
Roger Rutz is the sales manager at Experior Laboratories. Roger joined Experior Labs in 2009, bringing with him his background in the fiber optic components industry, which, at the time, was the only business unit at Experior Labs. Today, Experior Labs is the global leader in optical component qualifications, both for telecom and mil/aero.
Since 2009, electrical connector and wire harness components, hydraulic components and systems, high G dynamics applications, and general environmental test services have become other flagship test services. Specifically, the company’s connector and dynamic testing expertise has been the gateway into the space industry; in 2014, Lockheed Martin Space Systems approached Experior Labs to qualify all electrical connector and wire harness components for the ORION spacecraft.
What products will you be featuring at the show this year and what response are you expecting?
We always promote our expertise in high G vibration and SRS shock, as well as thermal vacuum applications. In addition, this year we will be putting an emphasis on our pneumatic and propulsion components and systems qualification capabilities. Over the past couple of years, we have worked on numerous programs with various delivery vehicle companies and have developed quite an expertise in building complete custom test system that qualify valves, pressure regulators, pressure tanks, and other components and systems A-Z in combination with our environmental test capabilities, such as dynamics and climatics. Our engineers will be presenting a paper in the Open Forum on this subject and we will be demonstrating a demo test system during the show.
Why are you exhibiting and what connections do you hope to make there?
Experior Laboratories has been part of the event since Space Tech Expo’s second year. The first year, we walked the event and were impressed with the extensive variety of component and system companies present, from launch vehicle to payload. This year, Space Tech Expo is being held in our backyard and Los Angeles is one of the aerospace and space hotbeds. We are always excited about this event happening and to get a chance to connect with customers and vendors from every corner of the space community to learn more how Experior Labs can continue to expand our test services to meet customer needs.
Which customer or market demands were the biggest drivers of your company’s growth during the past three years?
Time-to-market pressure and requirements for specialty vibration and shock test services have certainly driven Experior Lab’s growth in the past three years. We just opened our third building, which houses two additional large vibration systems that can accommodate 8,000lbs of payload and structure as tall as 26’. The purchase, remodel, and opening of this new building was driven by an orbital reflector project by one of the space tier 1 integrators. We are very excited to see these types of products tested at our facility. This new vibration facility will also offer a Class 100,000 cleanroom for sensitive payloads.
Do you anticipate that those demands will continue to be your biggest growth drivers for the next three years, or are you anticipating new trends?
Yes, absolutely, the programs our customers approach us with and the industry news you read about every day certainly indicate that the need to get to market faster will continue for a while. Since a lot of programs are already late by the time they get to the qualification portion, Experior Labs’ capability and commitment to jump into action promptly and get the customer’s program going will remain very key to our company’s success and we are confident we will perform. We are here to get the job done!
What are your areas of R&D focus, and what timeline do you anticipate for bringing your next new products to market? Can you tell us anything about those products?
Experior Laboratories continually develops new testing capabilities with every new program. There is not one program that repeats 100 per cent the same, and quick adaptation to our customers’ new requirements is key. Expanding capabilities within our specialty area of expertise, including high G vibration and SRS shock, as well as thermal vacuum testing will certainly be a key focus for our company.
What new trends do you anticipate and what market demands do you see evolving/changing over the next five years?
Companies have plans to launch 100 times or more per year. That’s a tremendous number of components that need to go through the Acceptance Testing Program (ATP) and FAA approval for the delivery vehicle, as well as the volume of payload being built, tested, and deployed. Experior Labs has recognized that and put the testing staff in place to support second- and third-shift activities. Daily overtime, weekend, and holiday work has been the status quo for a while already.
What would you say are the key challenges and opportunities currently faced by the industry?
I believe, beside not having enough hours in the day, one of the key challenges is the ability to attract the right talent for your team. Finding good people is tough.
Experior Laboratories Inc. are exhibiting at Space Tech Expo Europe in stand 2025.