A chair is a chair is a chair… No way! Until a chair or another GO IN product is added to the range, shines in the showroom and is offered to customers in the online shop and catalogue, it has a lot to go through.
Even the layperson can understand this: A restaurant chair is exposed to different stresses than one that is purchased for private use, used regularly but not excessively and treated with care. Depending on the restaurant and customer frequency, dozens of people of different weights sit onto a restaurant chair every day, lounging comfortably in it and scraping their feet along the legs of the chair. Not to mention the moving, raising and stacking that is common in hospitality. A chair has to be tough to stand up well in the long run. How tough is demonstrated on the in-house GO IN test station, where all new products have been tested since 2005 for their load-bearing capacity, stability, stability and longevity.
Up to 150,000 cycles per chair
The critical points vary from chair to chair. As Roland Schlecht explains, who has already tested numerous products in his function as Product Development Technician at GO IN, the respective „load points“ are defined in advance using a template. The amount of load is specified depending on the furniture; measurement is in Newton. The whole thing runs strictly according to standards, more precisely to EU and DIN standards, which apply to products for professional use. And everything is accurately recorded and documented. A chair goes through between 100,000 and 150,000 cycles after a careful initial basic check on the test bench. Roland Schlecht: „In around ten days, a professional piece of furniture will be imitated for several years. Most of the products are then submitted to TÜV Rheinland, which, last but not least, ennobles them with the GS seal.
Cross-cut and “coin test” for surfaces
Not only seating furniture, but also tables are closely examined. In addition to stability, stability is an important criterion. Weight plates, sandbags of different weights and a precision spring scale are used to test these. A table that would tip over immediately if someone were to lean on the edge is out of place in the catering trade. The stability of a table top is again tested on the test bench. What load does it withstand before it deflects? The appearance of the furniture should also be long-lasting, because unwanted „shabby chic“ in the form of deep scratches and permanent stains is not trendy, but annoying. To prevent this, there are a whole series of surface tests for table tops, for example. These range from measuring paint thickness and applying various liquids such as juices, lemon, coffee, black tea, olive oil and cleaning agents to simulating heat with heat lamps – „when does the table top warp“? up to the „cross-cut“ and „coin test“, which according to Roland Schlecht is carried out with a coin. Metal frames for outdoor use are also subjected to an endurance test with „boiling test“ and salt spray testing in order to identify any weak points on the surface structure under intensive climatic conditions.
All in all, this is a time-consuming process, but it is necessary if quality and security are not only to be advertised, but also to be actually offered to the customer. Arne-G. Hostrup, Managing Director at GO IN: „There are few comparable suppliers in Europe who invest as much human and financial resources in the quality assurance of their products as we at GO IN. However, the subject of quality is of great concern to us, which is why we are not prepared to compromise here either. After all, it is about the long-term satisfaction of our customers.“
The five levels of GO IN quality assurance:
- Selection of suitable suppliers (quality focus)
- Different test scenarios depending on product type: internal (test bench and manual tests) and external (TÜV Rheinland); if necessary, reworking of materials/design
- for new products and suppliers: Pre Shipment Inspection (PSI) – Quality control by external service providers based on GO IN product specifications and supplier checklists before loading and shipment
- Internal incoming goods inspection based on GO IN product specifications and checklists
- Visual inspection at the outgoing goods area before packaging and dispatch to the customer