- Posted on: 2020-05-26
The recent global situation has reduced the amount of time that engineers and scientists can spend in the lab and interact. Many companies are now realizing that the need to automate tests early in the R&D process is no longer simply “nice to have”, but a requirement to keep up with the markets.
From following to leading your market
If you hadn’t already started in previous years, the slope to catch up is now steeper because the typical challenges associated with developing reliable and flexible Automated Test Systems (ATS) are harder to overcome remotely. At the same time, the risks associated with slower product development could be significant for your market position. How can you overcome these challenges?
Don’t start from scratch
The first and most important thing here is to start from a reliable platform that closely meets your requirements. We recommend either a solution from National Instruments (link to other post) or Symplify™ as your needs may require. By starting from a proven platform, you will have less troubleshooting to do and typically better tools to do the custom work that will be required. LabVIEW itself is a great programming language for automated tests and control systems but it is not the high-level starting point you need to use your equipment remotely. Too many people start here because it “seems easy”, but nevertheless end up many issues.
How to achieve reliability and flexibility
Because test systems usually start small and grow in scope and complexity, you need to do some planning early on about the software architecture. Any platform will impose some good practices to accelerate your development while providing many standard features so you can focus on your specific needs.
One of the main principles that we use internally is “troubleshooting in 60s, 24/7”. This means integrating from the start, at no costs, diagnostics information to resolve future issues that invariably come up. It also helps your product development team because it makes a lot of information about your product available on demand!
Start leading your market today
If you are like most companies requiring a custom ATS because there is no “off the shelf” solutions available for your products, take the proper initial steps to add test automation in your lab today. We are working with new clients across North America in industries from energy to aerospace and we have repeatedly demonstrated that with a good approach and leveraging the correct platforms, our clients can innovate faster and at a lower cost. The current work situation will probably last for a while so it is the right time to add automated test capabilities as early as possible in your R&D process.
Find out if Symplify™ is the right tool to address your challenges!