Automation & Motion Control

A Strategy for Better Test Equipment Management

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Alexander Wolfe
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Expensive equipment requires a management plan
Alexander Wolfe   6/23/2011 5:25:09 PM
Thanks for an informative article, Paul. Given the cost and sophistication of modern test equipment, a holistic equipment management strategy is essentially mandatory. At the same time, an article like this makes me fondly recall the old days, working with tube-based oscilloscopes. The test-equipment management strategy back then was, if the equipment acted up, you gave it a good whack on the side.

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Re: Expensive equipment requires a management plan
PaulMcNamara   6/28/2011 3:52:15 PM
Thanks Alexander.  It may seem hard to believe be ocassionally we find old vacuum tube equipment (or old equipment generally, even if it's not vacuum tube) piled away "just in case the program comes back".  While that concern does need to be cared for (and we do) the mentality of holding on / hoarding equipment is costly to the design engineer in ways they may not be able to imagine.  Thanks again for your post. 

Jack Rupert, PE
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Small Companies Too
Jack Rupert, PE   6/28/2011 3:17:01 PM
Excellent article Paul.  The need for a holistic approach is necessary on the other side of industry too, where you're not dealing with $100M setups.  In those cases, however, the problem is not so much of the wrong approach being pushed down from above, but rather no unified approach whatsoever. Equipment, procedures etc. are just procured on as-needed basis and nothing is tied together.

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Re: Small Companies Too
PaulMcNamara   6/28/2011 3:48:37 PM
Thanks Jack. I couldn't agree more with what you say.  Large companies can be thought of as collections of smaller lab entitites  Often each lab has its own process, procedure and spreadsheet -- almost identical to what you are talking about.  We've actaully got a refined set of processes, supported by software tools and including people strategies.  While we often write about the "big guys", as you say, the approach works for smaller companies as well.  We are working on a couple of new offers that are scaled but but we think we will helpful to smaller companies.  Thanks again.

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