Saturday, November 01, 2008

Who tests the testers?

Today, I bought a new helmet. No I haven't succumbed to materialism.
The Helmet is a Specialized Propero , Now you may be wondering why I bought a Specialized, since the had to recall some helmets recently.
Therein hangs the tale, eh? as some of you know I'm a Software Quality Assurance Engineer. And yes, some things do slip by ms. anal-retentive.
The story lies in how how Specialized approached things.
Most helmet company rely on company called SEI to do QA for them, Specialized uses the Snell Memorial Foundation. the difference is that once a helmet is initially certified, SEI relys on the companies internal auditing, whereas Snell purchases samples at random and tests them. (see here) I recall when the recall happened that Snell found the problem ( a Subcontractor had used a cheaper grade of plastic for the buckle.) And I've seen "no one will notice if we do..." or "we need this by .... or else!" once too often. Plus it does have several neat features. I like the visor that doesn't need the holes, and the other thing I noticed is that Specialized recessed the Attachment plugs for the straps below the hardcover (totally covering them would be nicer, but more expensive)
And since i do riding a t night, i've been think about getting an ironman Ils helmet

No comments: