Case Study, Concrete
Luca Pincelli

Business name: University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Department description: Department of Civil Engineering Location,
Business type: Sri Lanka, Government University
Number of employees: More than 100 in the Department, 500 in the University
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The Challenge
When grant funding was made available by the Government, the University of Jaffna’s Department of Civil Engineering seized an opportunity to broaden its laboratory testing capability. It identified a need to purchase a fully automatic concrete testing machine for research purposes that would complement the Faculty’s existing testing equipment. Such a machine would enable the testing of cube strength, cylinder strength, elastic modulus, centre point and third point testing of beams.

With the requirement and budget clearly identified, the University issued a competitive tender to interested parties with the capability to deliver suitable equipment. One of these was Suleco, an independent specialist in the supply of survey and laboratory equipment with over 12 years’ experience. Suleco prides itself on delivering comprehensive equipment packages for its customers with affordable, competitive pricing. Being completely brand independent, Suleco offers a wide range of testing equipment, and is a specialist distributor of CONTROLS products within the region.

The Solution
With an existing relationship in place with one of the University’s Lecturer’s responsible for evaluating the tender, Suleco understood the department’s requirements intimately. Armed with this information, and knowing what they were seeking from the new piece of equipment, Suleco’s recommended solution was the CONTROLS Automax Multitest. This market-leading equipment represents a step-change in versatility, allowing modular upgrades from basic failure tests up to advanced displacement controlled tests, dependent upon budget.

The system’s versatility offers customers step-by-step flexibility to allow them to build a testing system that cover’s their future testing needs. The console is supplied with DATAMANAGER software for standard failure tests to EN and ASTM standards, and is suitable for any kind of test from basic failure tests like compression, flexure, splitting, and tension. But with additional frames, accessories and dedicated software packages, the system’s capability can easily be expanded to perform many other tests,including:

  • Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson Ratio determinations
  • Tension on steel rebar
  • Displacement controlled tests for FRC/Shotcrete characterization


CONTROLS’ product experts supported Suleco closely throughout the tendering process. Together, they identified the exact specification that would meet the University’s requirements. They also worked together to evaluate the competitive offerings to ensure a highly competitive price for the overall package, which included implementation and comprehensive training for the department’s team of engineers. This level of flexibility and future-proofing, combined with meeting the University’s specific tender requirements lead to Suleco being awarded the project, as the other solutions could not deliver the comparable level of specification for the same budget.

University of Jaffna broadens testing capability with Automax Multitest

The Results
Despite some slight delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Suleco delivered and installed the University’s Automax Multitest. Full training and product demonstration was provided as part of the installation process, and the University’s team of civil engineers is delighted with their laboratory’s new addition and its ease of operation.

The top-of-the-range piece of equipment ensures extremely high levels of reliability, which minimises maintenance and reduces ongoing operating costs. And as the machine is fully automated, human errors – which are often a feature of manual testing – will be greatly reduced, increasing the department’s testing accuracy, which is an important attribute of research testing. This will contribute greatly to the department achieving its targets for the accuracy and precision of future testing within its laboratories.

While this is their first Automax Multitest project installation, Suleco has been educating the Sri Lankan civil engineering market of CONTROLS latest products and technology extensively over the past 4 years. As a trusted CONTROLS distributor, Suleco is highly experienced in the delivery of CONTROLS’ laboratory equipment to engineering and technological Universities, as well as private sector clients having delivered approximately 40 laboratories for major highway construction projects to date.

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