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SEMA Garage steers product development process for aftermarket manufacturers

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 07:00
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An all-inclusive one-stop shop for engineering new aftermarket parts and providing relevant training courses has shifted to double shifts to better serve an increasing industry output of prototypes and product releases.

Hosted by the Specialty Equipment Market Association, the SEMA Garage is now operating from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. A recent remodeling project doubled the available floor space while enhancing the facility’s technological capabilities.

“Its focus is to help manufacturers develop new products and bring them to market – and to do that in a highly engineered and specific sort of way,” says Mike Spagnola, SEMA’s vice president of OEM and product development programs. “The program is very successful.”

Adjacent to SEMA’s headquarters in Diamond Bar, Calif. with easy access to airports and hotels, four engineers are on staff to offer assistance throughout a product’s entire development cycle.

Compared to what a manufacturer might typically encounter during an in-house design and engineering endeavor, “We’ve taken the process from six months to six weeks,” Spagnola says. “Many of the services are free, past that it’s on a quote basis” to establish a reasonable fee.

A SEMA membership is required to access the facility, and business owners frequently sign-on to leverage the program’s benefits. “The cost to join SEMA is less than you would pay for these services elsewhere,” according to Spagnola.

“We have a full emissions lab” to ensure that your new product fully complies with the multitude of engine performance-, airflow- and fuel-based standards promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

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