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3 Key Indicators You Could Use a Better Testing Program

May 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Service Tags, Test Stations 

Testing and maintaining your industrial equipment can not only save you time and money in the long run, but it also helps limit your liability and keeps your workforce and customers safe from any potential safety hazards.  Most people do routine testing of their equipment, but how do you know if it’s up to snuff?  We’ve spoken to the experts and determined 3 key indicators that your current testing program could use some work.Show/Hide

1. Adherence to Standards

A good place to start is to evaluate your internal and external standards for compliance.  All equipment manufacturers have to adhere to external testing standards as specified by the UL, CSA and TUV, but where they are lacking is establishing a set of internal standards to take it one step farther and ensure product quality.

2. Testing Spectrum Evaluation

Another area to evaluate when determining if your testing is procedures are best in their field is to evaluate the types of testing you’re currently doing.  Safety tests are just one area you can look at.  You also want to make sure you’re measuring on performance, quality, reliability, acceptance and routinely auditing all of these procedures.

3. Manual vs. Automatic Operations

When looking at your testing system as a whole, what percentage of the process is automated and what portion is manual?  The more automation and customization you can incorporate into your testing process, the lower the possibility for error and the more streamlined your system as a whole will be.  Most people can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to evaluating their testing procedures.  Take some time to critically evaluate your current system for increased efficiencies.

Long Story Short

There are a number of other areas to evaluate when determining if your testing procedures meet the grade, but by starting with these three important criteria, you’ll have a good understanding of where your current systems might be lacking and what direction you’ll need to take to improve them.

How Do You Know When It’s Time for a Custom Solution?

May 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations, Wiring Devices 

When it’s time to upgrade or replace your existing test equipment, or you’re in the market for a new setup all together, how do you know if it’s better to spend the big bucks for a standard hi-pot tester or custom build your own solution?  Well, here at Sotcher we asked some experts and came up with three main components to consider when making this decision.Show/Hide

It’s All About the Benjamins

Obviously a big factor for consideration.  While most full featured hi-pot testers will put a dent in even the most considerable budgets, there’s another solution that costs less and is a better fit for your own manufacturing processes.  People are usually surprised to find that they can have a fully automatic test station with data acquisition included for less than the price of a micro-processor type hi-pot tester.  Which leads us to our next point.

Cut Once, Measure Twice

There have been considerable advances in data acquisition in the past decade when it comes to testing industrial equipment.  It’s become so affordable and efficient, you can usually get a test station designed to your specs for less than you would spend on the components to build it.  All companies recognize having full and complete records of every production test on a real time basis is invaluable.  Everything from rejection rates, liability protection, quality trends, production flow and management reports can be pulled to diagnose your testing programs in a custom solution.  However, these features are not always included in a standard hi-pot testing unit, so be sure to evaluate this when considering new equipment.

Does it Gel?

The last thing, but arguably the most important to consider, is how well does the solution you’re looking at match your current manufacturing processes and flows?  Does a plug and play tester suit your needs, or would you find value in having an automated test station with data acquisition and a wide range of test programs included?  These are all things that need to be considered when looking at implementing or upgrading your test equipment within your organization, and while there’s no easy answer, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need and if a custom solution is right for you after evaluating these criteria.

Nationally Recognized Sotcher Measurement Inc. test equipment is in common use throughout the United States by major manufactures of power tools and appliances.
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