Westpak, Inc. is a leading independent third party testing laboratory with facilities in San Jose and San Diego, CA. Westpak’s philosophy is `Integrity is the priceless ingredient in testing” since being established in 1986. Westpak’s laboratories are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by A2LA for a wide variety of test procedures. Westpak specializes in product, reliability, distribution, packaging and related custom testing services for solar technology, medical device and other industries.
Westpak has always believed that integrity is the priceless ingredient in testing. It’s clear to us, and probably to the rest of the world as well, that any test can be made to reinforce any bias if the test operator is slippery enough. We fully understand that clients come to Westpak for truthful answers to their questions, even if the results are not favorable or downright undesirable. We believe that bad data is actually worse than no data. Without data, the typical designer is cautious. With bad data, that same designer is guaranteed to go the wrong direction.
We attempt to put ourselves in our client's shoes and to provide the highest quality testing possible in the most efficient fashion.
Testing services should be delivered in the same fashion that we would want to receive them.
Work should be an enjoyable and professionally fulfilling endeavor, not just a four letter word.
Be passionate and determined, creative & open-minded
Build open & honest relationships with communication
Always go beyond excellent customer service
Develop & nurture a passion for excellence
Pursue growth, learning, & understanding
Leave everyplace better than you found it
Act with integrity and accountability
Value wisdom, embrace change
Seek the truth always
The mission of Westpak is to provide the best possible and highest quality testing services, using calibrated and well-maintained equipment at all times, conducted by test engineers that are knowledgeable, highly motivated, and well-trained.
- Never stop building the best possible organization
- Provide testing solutions & tools to our customers that encourage, measure and balance product reliability with social and environmental impacts
- Lead our customers to a realization that they can and should be committed to creating a competitive, profitable, environmentally and socially responsible product.
- Value and contribute measurable positive inputs to the communities where we live and work.
- Build a company that places significant value on our employees, our communities, and the environment that is affected not only by our economic activity but that of our customers.
- Inspire our customers, their companies and the products they manufacture and ship to do less harm to the environment by simply making them aware of the problems with their products and offering possible and realistic solutions
- Support the economy’s necessary transition away from a take-make-waste system to one that values and rewards community and environmental responsibility
Westpak is accredited to the highest level of quality possible in our specialized area. The list of Westpak certifications and accreditations include the following:
- ISO 9001 certification - granted by UL
- ISO 17025 accreditation - granted by A2LA
- ISO 14001 certification - granted by UL
- ISTA certification - granted by the International Safe Transit Association
Westpak was organized in 1986 by Walter Dunning and Herbert Schueneman in an attempt to offer high quality testing services to high-tech firms in the central California area. By concentrating on delivering the best possible customer service, Westpak now claims a client list of well over 1,000 satisfied firms, more than 50 of which are in the Fortune 500. We currently employ more than 50 professionals who consider customer service to be their highest priority.
All team members at Westpak participate directly in the operation of the company in some way. Within a short period of time after joining Westpak, all team members are thoroughly trained and expertly guided in a specific discipline. They are highly motivated and all understand the significance of offering outstanding customer service.
In a similar way, the management team understands the importance of providing the test engineers the best possible equipment, calibrated in the best manner, and maintained in a fully operational condition in a clean, comfortable environment. They are also focused on customer service and do everything in their power to maintain excellent customer relations.
Note from the CEO
As was stated above, Westpak was formed by two frustrated engineers who thought that testing services should be delivered in the same fashion that we would want to receive them. Imagine that? It was our method of applying the Golden Rule to a business enterprise. That same philosophy applies more than 25 years later and is an integral part of how we do business even today. In addition, I believe that work should be an enjoyable and professionally fulfilling endeavor, not just a four letter word. These are the keys to our success, our “secret sauce” if you will.
Westpak still practices these same two founding principles today and we are very happy about that. We believe our customers are some of the greatest people in the world and try our best to treat them that way. As a team, we work hard together, play hard together, and enjoy almost every moment of that experience. We are thankful every day for the blessings that we have received and for the professional advancements that we are able to achieve. As a Christian, I can find no better way to express this than a humble thank you to our clients, my esteemed, hardworking and wonderfully talented Westpak team members, and to our Maker.
Additionally, many clients have successfully utilized Westpak’s experience and expertise to conduct pre-certification testing, thereby, mitigating the risks associated with the certification process.
Westpak, Inc., established in 1986, is a leading independent testing laboratory with facilities in San Jose and San Diego, California. Westpak’s laboratories are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for a wide variety of test procedures. Westpak specializes in product, reliability, distribution, packaging and related custom testing services for solar industries. Westpak’s philosophy continues to be 'Integrity is the priceless ingredient in testing.'
Westpak is often called upon to create special test fixtures, procedures, and even equipment to conduct specialized testing for our clients and customers. The following represents only a small number of the specialized pieces of equipment that were created to fulfill a specialized and often urgent need.
Specialized Pillow Tester
An innovative client developed a special pillow with a unique material and a unique shape that would assist in the treatment of sleep apnea and similar sleep disorders. Prior to marketing this unique pillow, the client asked Westpak to develop a specialized test fixture that would accurately simulate a human head compressing the pillow in three different methods. In addition, the client also wanted the test fixture to rotate the head form stimulating turning of the body with the head resting on the pillow.
Westpak developed the fixture with platforms that statistically matched the 95 percentile male head in both mass and center of gravity. Actuation mechanisms and sensors were installed and calibrated to accurately measure the deflection of the pillow material for each compression and to calculate the degree of compression set.
Ice Cream Shipping Challenges
A producer of high quality ice cream noticed that they were having difficulty shipping new flavors of ice cream over high altitude passes, even though other flavors seemed to work just fine. This producer approached Westpak to determine what shipping parameters may be affecting the ice cream and how they could test for those hazards.
Through experimentation and R&D work, Westpak determined that the three parameters that affect ice cream during transit are temperature, vibration, and atmospheric (barometric) pressure. After further experimentation, Westpak finalized a test setup that could control all three parameters within the ranges necessary for ice cream shipment. By carefully studying the distribution environment for this product, Westpak was able to determine the correct level for each parameter and incorporate this into a test protocol. The client now reports the successful shipment of all new flavors of ice cream in environments that previously had caused substantial problems.
Suitcase Handle Integrity
The manufacturer of a high end laptop computer system was very interested in shipping the product in a container designed like a small briefcase. However, they wanted to make sure that the handle applied to the shipping container was both strong and reliable prior to committing to the package design.
Westpak designed and built a system for swinging this briefcase-sized shipping container in ways that simulated extreme handling by the purchasers of this product. The data clearly identified the best possible handle design for their anticipated in-use environment.
Simulation of the Jogging Environment
The manufacturer of a small handheld device wanted to simulate the environment of a youthful jogger with their device strapped to the jogger's waist or wrist. Visual observations were made and measurements were taken using portable electronic devices. The frequency, amplitude, and sequence of physical inputs were established.
A test device was then constructed to properly reproduce the exact frequency, amplitude, and sequence of vibration and impacts experienced by the device when worn by an athletic jogger. Results were favorable.
Many smaller or handheld devices rely on human input by means of mechanical buttons. The reliability of these buttons through multiple cycles is an important characteristic in the overall design and reliability of the product.
Westpak has designed and implemented a number of different devices that use small pneumatic cylinders to actuate buttons at the proper force level, frequency, and number of cycles. In some cases variables may include the angle of impact, the force of the actuation, and the sequence of button pushing on a multi-buttoned device. Some manufacturers even require verification of proper contact prior to continuing the test. A requirement for a unit under test (UUT) to pass 1 million cycles or more is not unusual.
Strain Relief on Electronic Chords
The ability to resist cracking and failure of electronic cables fastened to a rigid component of a product is important in the overall product design where flexible scables are attached. The manufacturer of a game controller approached Westpak to simulate strain relief failures that had been occurring at demonstration facilities for their products. Westpak was able to determine the motions required and designed a piece of test equipment that accurately reproduced product motion and the related field failures.
By using Westpak’s test equipment and test method, the manufacturer was able to test various different types of strain relief mechanisms and was able to determine the best solution. Surprisingly, the one that produced the best results in the test and later in the field was not the intuitive choice of the product designer.
Reproducing the Wind Environment Affect without a Wind Tunnel:
A producer of solar photovoltaic products approached Westpak to reproduce the effect of wind vibration on their product without the use of an expensive wind tunnel. The manufacturer wanted to determine the effect of wind induced vibration on their products.
Westpak determined that the response of the product in a wind tunnel was the same as the response from a strong wind environment produced in the laboratory. By mounting powerful air blowers in parallel and focusing the wind in the proper position, an exact replica of the field effect was obtained. Wind speeds in excess of 200 km/hr (125 mph) were measured at the surface of the product. The mounting technique was validated along with wind induced vibration response.
Reliability Testing for Smart Meters
The harsh environment experienced by outdoor products such as smart meters was a concern for those designing some of these new devices. Extreme thermal cycle testing was considered to be one of the best possible indicators of long-term outdoor reliability. However, a critical component of the product could not be exposed to these temperature extremes because it was not intended to be mounted and subjected to the same thermal extremes as the meter itself.
Westpak designed and built a special thermal break whereby components of the smart meter that required temperature cycling were exposed to extreme temperatures necessary, with the other components mounted outside the environmental chamber. This thermal break protected the components from the rigors of thermal cycling. The test procedure and special equipment developed by Westpak has become a routine part of the reliability testing for these devices here.
Have you ever wondered what the purpose of a Quality Management System is? Quality is Consistency. At Westpak, we employ a dedicated quality department to ensure you are receiving a consistent testing service and report every time you test with us. Our Quality and Environmental Management System was borne from Westpak's founding principal that integrity and customer service are the priceless components in testing. At Westpak, our purpose is to provide you with accurate, reliable test data from properly calibrated, validated and maintained equipment, using trained engineers who utilize Good Laboratory Practices all the time.
Westpak became ISO 9001 certified in 2002 by Underwriter Laboratories. In 2009, our QMS was elevated to the status of accreditation to ISO 17025 through A2LA. Accreditation is the highest level of competence a laboratory can demonstrate, not only in testing but also internal calibration procedures. There are very few accredited dynamic testing laboratories in the United States, and Westpak is proud of our commitment to excellence and to our customers in this regard. Our commitment to being a community leader of environmental awareness has led to our ISO 14001 certification in 2011. We encourage our Westpak employees and customers to leave our communities a more beautiful place than they were found. Rounding out our certifications, Westpak maintains an International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) lab certification and certification for testing of Dangerous goods through the Department of Transportation.
In order to ensure you are receiving accurate and reliable data, Westpak routinely performs all the required ISO elements including training, audits, management reviews, calibration and maintenance, corrective and preventative actions, document control, equipment and method validations, among other elements. We are committed to providing the best testing service with trustworthy data, highest level of quality and customer service possible. At Westpak, we strive to be the vendor you don't have to worry about.