Functional and ICT Test and Profit

April 17, 2015

Test Engineering in Aerospace: Functional and ICT

Over the years I have had an opportunity to get to see how different organizations view their test operations.  At one aerospace manufacturer, test was regarded as a most critical player in the manufacturing operations.  Any manufacturing change was always presented to the testing engineers early enough so that engineering could offer consultation.  Testing and the resulting summation was considered just as important a manufacturing step as soldering or purchasing.

Functional Test Functional Test Fixtures

At another manufacturer, functional test was regarded as the enemy.  If defects were detected, somehow anger would be directed at the test automation department for making the other manufacturing processes look bad.  The testing group would rarely be consulted on changes and blamed when the enacted changes would cause difficulty at function.

The end result of these differing attitudes was easy to see.  The movement at the aerospace facility was slow, measured and methodical.  Nothing happened very fast, but most things happened on time.  Not much panic, but a steady flow of what was expected.

Functional or ICT In Process Test Engineering – Modality and Attitude Result in Profit:

At the second facility things got done a lot faster.  Everybody was in a hurry, working late and coming in on Saturdays to keep up with the pace.  It seemed that oodles of money were being saved because they were able to skim through so many of the unnecessary steps.  But somehow there was always an emergency.  People would have to figure out new ways to fix all the crazy things that went wrong.  All those extra steps would take extra time so now the schedule would have to be revamped.  A lot of the problems would show up during ICT testing.  The product that was so obviously good just couldn’t get through the test equipment.  Some might pass. But a lot would fail.  Sometimes an assembly would pass one time and fail the next.  It was always clear that the problem was either lousy test equipment or inadequate testing engineers.

At the second facility folks would wonder how the aerospace company would make good profits while moving so slowly.  Of course, they figured it out.  It was clear that the aerospace market was inherently profitable. For more information on how IQ can assist in your ICT Test Development, call IQ today at 847-258-5598.


Intrinsic Quality’s Test Executive: LabVIEW and CVI Flexibility

April 3, 2015


Not exactly Shakespeare but still a fairly common question.  Here at IQ we have no axe to grind.  We are comfortable doing either.  We are routinely asked to do both.  In fact the need is so common that when we decided to write a reuseable Test Executive, we made sure it would be compatible and supportable in either environment.  We wrote our executive twice.  Once in LabVIEW, once in CVI.


Intrinsic Quality’s Goal: Reduce Functional Test Program Cost

The idea for IQ’s Test Executive is a little different.  We needed a common starting point for functional test program development.  This would reduce our development costs.  We needed a set of tools that our customers could use to manage, run and in the long term support the test programs we develop.  This would improve our product and make happy customers.  So we needed a test executive.


User Friendly Software

LabView or CVI IQ Test ExecutiveBut we also knew the environment where our programs would be executing would vary dramatically.  We never felt a “one size fits all” approach could meet this variation.  So we couldn’t just build a single test executive that would work for all occasions.  Rather, our executive would be easily customizable for the particular application.  We also wanted the customizing process to allow our customers to modify the program to accommodate new conditions.

Flexible.  Test Executive. with Remote Support

Now many of our customers don’t own both LabView and CVI development software.  Nor do they have programming expertise in both platforms.  But often we provide one or the other with the project we are delivering and often the selected platform is supportable by a customer.  So we needed to have two (near) identical test executives so we could match the customized executive to the test software chosen.

LabVIEW or CVI?  Both work well.

Call Intrinsic Quality today to find out how we can help with your Functional Test Fixtures and Solutions: 847-258-5598.