- Posted on: 2021-02-16
Most companies developing new products need to run tests, some short and simple and others long and complicated. While it is typically easier to seek external help for the latter, initially simple tests will often be cobbled together by employees to save costs, often relying on LabVIEW.
The problem with those “quick proof of concept” is that they usually evolve as new tests are being added and the requirements grow to include any combination of:
- More test equipment to control,
- More DAQ channels for valves,
- Some level of safety supervision,
- More features such as triggers on datalogging…
Unfortunately, without proper software development experience and never enough time to address the code’s architecture, each new problem is punctually patched as quickly as possible by the developer. This can lead to expensive problems as we have witnessed over time: fires, damaged products, recalls, etc. However, the most typical issue is that the key employee, who is the only one who understands how the system works, decides to leave the company.
What about outsourcing?
The experience and better processes of contractors and consultants typically takes time to pay off. While the system is simple, the better software design and development processes can even seem to slow down your development. Moreover, we find that a significant amount of time is spent working on Device Under Test (DUT) [Reducing Troubleshooting with Symplify] rather than ATS which can quickly become expensive.
Can you get the best of both?
Synovus has been working with its clients for many years already.
By focusing our early years creating a solid platform in LabVIEW that meets typical ATS requirements [Symplify within the NI ecosystem], Symplify offers our clients:
- A reliable and scalable software architecture
- Typical features required for test automation and control
- An environment making collaboration between developers easy
- Built-in troubleshooting tools to reduce by 75% that expensive activity
Many of our recent clients decided to work with Synovus because we offer to train their employees to “own” their test systems, in a fraction of the time it would take to build internally. This lets staff focus most of their time on your product while keeping costs lower by completing development and testing in-house.
Considering addressing the pain?
A good software architecture for our ATS pays off in all stages. This is especially valuable when improving existing code. There is often a lot of useful code that has been created pertaining to your product. Symplify facilitates the re-use of this code by simply adding Tags communication in your code.
Last, here are some important questions that you should answer when starting your ATS projects:
- Beyond saving costs early on, what is the value in creating the entire ATS internally?
- Is there an internal resource that can architect a good software solution?
- What happens if your key staff who programmed the LabVIEW leaves?
Watch more videos about our approach and Symplify in our video section