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Critical Criteria for Test Equipment: Part 2

August 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations, Wiring Devices 

Part two of a four part series that will examine some key features you want to consider when planning and configuring your manufacturing testing facilities.  Keep in mind, these individual features can often be combined or added onto an existing product for increased functionality.Show/Hide

Mixing Domestic and Exported Products

Appliances for North America and the International market are manufactured and tested in the same cell by using quick change test receptacles.  An outlet strip containing the carious receptacles may be used.  The test station can furnish the proper voltage to each.  The correct frequency can also be supplied if necessary.

Teach the Tester

If you manufacture products such as hair dryers or fans, but the product mix changes frequently, use a special feature that teaches the tester.  A good sample product is cycled through its various speeds and heat settings.  The tester measures the results and uses them (with tolerances applied) as test parameters to test similar products.  Safety tests such as dielectric strength are not affected with this process.

Central Data Collection Point

Networking all test stations within a product group to a host computer allows all test data to be retained at a single point.  This supports your data acquisition and statistical process control efforts.

Ground Verification

For operator safety, a second test circuit verifies that the frame of the product is held at a true ground potential whenever power is applied.

Stay tuned for more!

Critical Criteria for Test Equipment: Part 1

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations 

This is the first of a four part series that will examine some key features you want to consider when planning and configuring your manufacturing testing facilities.  Keep in mind, these individual features can often be combined or added onto an existing product for increased functionality.Show/Hide

Work Cells

When the concept of just-in-time inventory is important to your operation, manufacturing cells are one of the major solutions to this need.  Cells allow immediate feedback if a problem develops and promotes a strong team spirit.  Individual test stations can be provided as standalone testers, or networked to a host computer, whichever makes the most sense for your operations.

Connect Once Only

To achieve the fastest test cycle time with lowest operator fatigue, perform all tests with a single connection.  With careful design of the test area, the operator can plug in the product once and perform any cycle, safety, or performance tests.

Run-in

If the product is a motor driven or a heating appliance, a run-in period may be desired.  If so, design the test area so the product remains connected from run-in through final test.  Automatic circuits can be used to control the timing period.  Also, keep in mind a turntable with rotating receptacles may improve efficiency.

Central Control of the Test Parameters

Networking test stations ensures that uniform test parameters are applied to all products.  This not only allows the data to drive your processes, but also gives you the added benefit of analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of your testing line, giving you real time feedback on what’s actually happening on the floor.

Stay tuned for more!

Are Liability Concerns Also Manufacturing’s Job?

August 16, 2012 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Test Stations 

So your boss is harping on about liability protection and the importance of investing in new testing equipment and following safety protocols. Sure, they’re concerned about the wellbeing of their floor crew, but in the end it all boils down to dollars and cents. Why should you, as a front line employee be concerned about things like liability protection? Well, here’s a couple reasons that might serve as a wakeup call:Show/Hide

Good for the Goose – Good for the Gander

As a manager, when looking at capital appropriation requests and purchasing new testing equipment to improve liability protection, you’re concerned about saving yourself from unnecessary lawsuits and litigation. From a workers perspective though sometimes it’s hard to see how that benefits you. Well consider it this way – How much do you value your job? What would happen if your plant was shut down due to a costly and debilitating claim? How does that affect your career? Your family? Your life? There are very real consequences to not being covered in today’s world, and you’re the first wave in keeping that from happening.

It’s Your Life on the Line

Manufacturing workers and plant owners and management have had a long standing tradition of butting heads on certain issues (where do you think unions came from?), but on this issue, they unanimously agree. Safety is not only a fiscal concern, but it’s also a human one. When you’re working in any kind of high risk environment, it’s essential that all equipment is sound, workers are alert and procedures are followed to the T. Liability protection isn’t just about keeping the company profitable, but about keeping the people behind it safe and secure in their jobs.

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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