Without compromising ACS' high standards of quality & reliability they wanted to reduce delivery times to 12 weeks or less and avoid the costs of design and engineering normallyassociated with the customized walk in chambers. The Solution is the Wazzle.

Traditionally, any vessel larger than about 6,000 litres falls into the category of a walk-in chamber and off-the-shelf solutions are no longer available; not even the largest chamber manufacturers keep this type of equipment in stock.

Any non-stock item becomes a special build and attracts a one-off design cost as well as all the other costs associated with manufacturing a single piece of equipment rather than a quantity. Quite often, potential customers will want to incorporate their fantasy wish-list into a design and before you know it costs have spiralled, the budget is blown and the chamber never gets off the drawing board. This is a pity because the need doesn't necessarily go away and the customer is instead faced with the cost of having to sub-contract the test programme along with all the inconvenience and lack of control that this can mean.

Italian manufacturer ACS has over 70 years of experience to draw on and as one of the world's largest environmental test chamber suppliers, decided it was time to address the problem of building walk-in chambers without the high costs and the long lead times usually associated with such projects.

The relative cost of standard bench-top and floor-standing chambers has come down over the last decade or so because the larger manufacturers have standardised on a range of sizes and performance capabilities. Now it is possible to specify a walk-in chamber in much the same way. Choose a vessel from a range of standard sizes from 10m³ to 40m³; a range of six plant options to provide conditions from -70°C to +80°C; humidity control from 10% to 98%RH; and any of the standard options such as portholes, viewing windows, remote PC control, etc.

The modular vessel construction comprising vapour tight prefabricated panels with stainless steel interior surfaces and 120mm of insulation allow a number of assembly and take-down operations so it is possible to relocate the chamber or even extend it should the need arise.

Operation and control is by way of a touch-screen controller / programmer and alongside it sits an emergency STOP push button. One RS232/422 serial communications port is available to connect a remote PC and a suite of operating, programming and data logging software is also available.

This breakthrough in the design and supply of large chambers has been given the generic name WAZZLE and is now available in the UK as a package comprising supply, installation and commissioning from ETS Ltd. It is expected that some 90% of applications requiring a walk-in facility can be satisfied with a WAZZLE chamber in much the same way that a standard bench-top or floor-standing chamber is suitable for the majority of requirements for smaller test volumes.