1. What is the problem?
Power supply failures in many situations create devastating effects on the process being done, particularly when the reliability of power supply is mission critical. In any situation where reliability of the different measures of power supply is critical, testing needs to be precise and customized to the particular needs. Many companies and government organizations rely on improvised in-house solutions that do not take 100% care of this task, resulting in waste and unreliable power supply.
2. Why hasn’t the problem been solved?
Production engineers and operators feel that they can improvise in-house solutions with the purpose of saving money. Also their professional pride prevents them from seeking expert and specialized resources to provide 100% reliable, fully customized solutions to the mission critical function at hand.
Also, instruments and generic software are available, which will party and imperfectly do the job. This can be ok in non-critical functions but not when the process at hand requires customization and very high reliability standards; or when power supplies are highly complex and require multilevel and multifunction testing in different scenarios. These high standards of testing cannot be achieved with canned solutions, however competent the engineers may be. There are many instances when in-house generic solutions don’t make sense because they can be very costly.
Many in-house engineers believe that they have the knowledge to do it, either because they are unaware of the existence of specialized companies; or they feel that, due to their familiarity with the product or process, only they possess the knowledge to design and implement a testing solution for their situation.
3. What is possible?
Specialized engineering firms exist that can produce customized solutions, which combine the most sophisticated design with the most complete tool set of hardware and software applications that will do the exact job that is required. There is nothing like having the right tool for the job. Sometimes, a tool already exists which will do the job, such as instruments and generic testing software. In power supply testing, that’s not always the case. Many times the tool needs to be created to do the job right. In those cases, you need a partner like Autotest. It is now possible to go to Autotest and outsource any or all phases of creating such solution. From design, to manufacturing, to creating all the necessary software interfaces that will allow the in-house engineers to perform any variation of test they need to maintain the standards of reliability in the power supplies.
Autotest expertise can be put at the service of your testing needs. Autotest expertise will make engineers look good and will eliminate or mitigate the risks inherent in power supply failures. This is essential when these failures lead to costly stoppages in the production process, or the failure of critical components that will cause the mission to fail. Military, aerospace, medical, and energy applications are some examples where many testing situations are mission critical and where the price to pay for power failure is so high that it makes no sense to deprive oneself of the expertise and the specialized knowledge.
The same reasoning applies to those manufacturers of power supplies, whose products go into mission critical applications. The specialized knowledge provided by Autotest products and services will guarantee the reliability standards that those manufacturers must offer to their customers and end users. Why run the risk of improvised in-house solutions when you can hire the state-of-the-art, customized solutions provided by Autotest? Take the most secure and risk-free option.
No one has ever lost his job because they used Autotest expertise. Rather, engineers that have failed to produce good in-house solutions have been in trouble. Autotest makes in-house production and test engineers look good. Autotest gives production and test engineers the tools they need to be successful.
Autotest systems can be supported by in-house engineers because Autotest provides the software and the documentation that allows them to do what they need without having to build those systems. Therefore, they become more productive.
For example, calibration. Autotest’s products, both software and hardware, are built with the self-test and calibration philosophy. This means the customer can verify the full functionality of their test systems and calibrate all the hardware of their test system in one convenient hardware and software application. Most other test equipment suppliers do not provide self-testing capabilities and they require calibration of each part separately, which in many cases can only be done by the manufacturer and not by the customer.
This is essential and unique. Without this, you don’t know if the testing machine is working or not. Self-testing tells that nothing is broken, or that it is. This feature allows the user to determine if the problem resides in the tester, fixtures or the unit under test (UUT).
This allows the test system not only to test itself but also to be calibrated by the customer or end user.
4. What’s different now?
Autotest has redefined the power supply testing industry. Now you don’t need to be concerned about your power supply testing needs. One stop shop with Autotest will give you solutions, regardless of the scope or kind of your testing needs. These are some of the solutions Autotest can provide:
Advice and development of testing strategies, we will help you figure out the extent and depth of your testing that makes economic and technical sense for your particular application. Autotest will work the customer to develop the appropriate test methods and test hardware to meet the needs of the application. Some of these applications might include non-standard, innovative applications that may not have been addressed by other vendors or in-house engineering.
Test hardware, Autotest has the manufacturing capabilities to build special hardware in its own shop or to acquire the best combination of instruments and components to integrate a solution Software, Autotest proprietary software APG for Windows™ is the most flexible and customizable software in the industry. APG serves as a friendly interface with any hardware component and allows users to program and design testing procedures to meet any number of different testing needs. Autotest has the ability to drill down to the source code to write special applications to meet very non-standard requirements. This is possible because Autotest owns and controls the source of its software.
Application fixturing can be created to provide special interfaces to meet the customer’s needs, either low volume engineering or high volume production. Autotest can provide the exact methods in which the unit under test interfaces with the test system. This might include cables and connectors, bed-of-nails fixtures, special interface boxes that contain customer proprietary hardware necessary to test the product. This service can be provided for a fully assembled end product of for sub-assemblies that go into the end product. These could be in the form of racks, chassis, open frame power supplies, or printed circuit boards.
Automation, specialized high-volume factory integration of test software and data collection as well as automation to handle high-volume production lines
All of these unique approaches to testing can be created for special applications as well as standard applications.