How Standardization Improves Your Test Systems
A standardized test system is different from the impractical, universal system. The universal system claims to be able to do anything and therefore has to do everything. That is incredibly expensive and not an effective option. A standardized test stand uses a common code base, user interface, and hardware interface. This creates a standard platform for core functionality and allows for customization through software modules and hardware instrumentation to match the needs of the system.
Though the initial design may be more complicated due to the fact that multiple systems’ possible capabilities should be considered, all future systems will have a much simpler design. The heavy lifting has been done upfront, so additional systems only require determining which modules are needed for this system and then customizing a few new modules that haven’t been used on any of the previous testers.
Ease of Operation
Because all of the test systems have a common user interface, the operators can be trained on one system and easily learn additional systems. This allows added flexibility between operators, technicians, and schedules.
If every test system you have is completely custom, imagine 5 years and 3 new testers from your first system and a new feature is needed, the developer will have to relearn everything about the system in order to implement the feature. With standardized systems, a new system build could be interrupted by an emergency feature add on an old system with minimal time required for context switching or for the developer to relearn system information.
Similar to adding new features, a standard test fleet will be much easier to maintain. Technicians and Engineers can seamlessly jump between systems to repair, replace, or update systems as needed.
Standardization goes hand-in-hand with consistency. The benefits stated above are all based on the consistency of your new standardized test systems. Consistency breeds efficiency and will ultimately lead to decreased cost and increased productivity of your individual test systems and the entire branch of the company.