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The Essential Multimeter Tool

March 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations, Wiring Devices 

multimeter_off_largeIf you work with electronics and electrical systems, chances are good you’ve heard about, and likely own, a multimeter. But to give the rest of us a little background, a multimeter is a handy device that’s able to measure a wide range of parameters in the world of all things electrical. For example, they can usually measure connectivity, frequency, current, resistance, volts, amps, ohms, temperature and more.  Check out the article below to learn more.

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Testing a Circuit Breaker Panel

February 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations, Wiring Devices 

FH01MAY_TESVOL_01Continuing our series on electrical testing around the workplace and at home, we decided to take a look at something that everyone has in their house: the conventional circuit breaker panel. As our gadgets and household appliances get more and more complex, they also require more power.  How do you test to see if your circuit breaker can handle 240 volts of pure domestic power?  Well click below and we’ll show you how!

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Get Aggressive with Testing

January 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations 

ZeroDefectsAre you ready to get aggressive with your test strategy? Changing hardware requires more aggressive testing. The zero-defect strategy companies aim for generally helps set ambitious goals for defect detection, but they never reach the goal completely, and there is no single inspection or testing system that can meet the needs of every manufacturing environment.Show/Hide


Laser cutting of metal sheet with sparksTo ensure test success, do you use a combination of design for manufacturing (DFM) and test (DFT)? What about data collection/analysis, automated optical inspection (AOI), in-circuit testing (ICT), and functional tests? How do you develop an effective test strategy that considers the critical stages along the manufacturing process?

 

 

The error that most manufacturers make is in placing the quality control at the end of the process hoping to cull out all of the defective product. This never works and it never will.  The only effective Zero-Defect program that works is one where the quality is controlled at strategic points along the process. If this is established correctly, there is no need for a QC department at the end of the process, except perhaps for verification of the QC functions built into the process by means of an effective sampling plan.

 

photo-3_38The problem is that most manufacturers are not willing to invest in the QC along the way. Instead, they simply try to push as much raw material through process as possible and then complain about the outcome when the process tanks. It is the equivalent to being a poor sport.  If you want a truly effective strategy that limits defects and provides a holistic approach to testing and tolerances, it’s best to look at the entire manufacturing line and not just the end result.

Why is Electrical Equipment Testing So Important?

December 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Test Stations, Wiring Devices 

electricalTestMany renowned companies, such as Sotcher, are manufacturing electrical test equipment to meet the diverse testing needs of today’s environment.  Accuracy is key in the electrical test equipment industry, and the various test devices manufactured by Sotcher are extremely accurate and reliable.  Strict guidelines are followed in the production of these sensitive units to maintain the highest quality standards for our customers and their partners.Show/Hide

man-in-hardhat-testing-equipmentTesting electrical equipment at frequent intervals plays a pivotal role in the proper working of any electrical system.  There are a number of benefits from doing this, but one of the key ones is energy conservation – not only at the equipment and business level, but  also from an environmental perspective.  By saving electrical energy and reducing your energy consumption, you can enjoy big savings but also contribute to a leaner and more efficient face of modern manufacturing.

Test equipment like the new Power Cord Test Station can be very helpful in minimizing financial loss due to malfunction or production loss due to equipment failure.  The sound working of various electrical devices is of prime importance in our industry, and testing units that check the efficacy of these devices is the best way to keep costs low and production high.  Reducing production loss indirectly obviously means a huge cost savings to you and a better return on investment for all that expensive capital equipment.  Be a part of the solution and get in touch with us today to learn about how you can save money with Sotcher’s testing equipment.

Critical Criteria for Test Equipment: Part 4

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Service Tags, Test Stations 

This is the final part of our 4 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

Short Circuit Detection

With the initial application of power to a product there is always a possivility that the input power line to the product is short-circuited.  To protect the operator and the product, a short circuit detector can be used.  It operates faster than a circuit breaker and its level can be an adjustable test parameter.

Audit Station

When a high volume of appliances is being manufactured and tractability of each product is not required, an audit station becomes  practical solution.  Basic test stations without data acquisition are used in the manufacturing cells.  A single audit station is used to test samples from the line.  The audit station has extended test capacity and provides statistical analysis of the data for quality control.

Long Term Cycle Testing

A complete quality monitoring system calls for life cycle testing.  Cycle test stations allow continuous testing while monitoring and recording critical parameters.  Automatic controls assure functional tests are performed on schedule and out of tolerance products are turned off.  The automatic data collection system provides MTBF data as well as statistical analysis of the product’s performance.

Tracing Repair Actions

If a total product history is desired, repair action and audit results on non-conforming products can be recorded.  These can be traced to the affected product by model and serial number.

We hope you found these suggestions helpful and informative.  Feel free to leave your own in the comments section or ask us any questions you might have.

Critical Criteria for Test Equipment: Part 3

September 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Service Tags, Test Stations, Wiring Devices 

Part three 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

Bar Coding of Products

If bar codes are available on the products, they provide an ideal way of programming the test station for the proper series of tests.

Dielectric Testing of Powered Products

If the product contains safety circuits, or if a minimum total test cycle time is desired, simultaneous testing should be considered.  This feature allows the product to be in operation during the performance of the dielectric test.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

When a product is plugged in the first time, or the operator is required to make adjustments to the electrical circuit, the use of GFCI’s should be considered.  Full time ground fault interrupter circuits protect the operator should they contact the electrical circuit.

Stay tuned for more!

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.

Paint Sprayer Manufacturing Line Tester

July 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Service Tags, Test Stations 

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