engineering and new Product testing
Our technical staff has broad experience testing a range of mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical products both during product development and after products have been launched into the marketplace, including:
- market testing
- functional testing
- reliability testing
- cycle testing
- solvent resistance testing
- proof-of-concept testing
- electrical testing
- safety certification testing
Market testing involves placing prototype or preproduction products in the hands of end users in their actual product use environments to monitor how the products are used, measure product performance, gage customer satisfaction, gain feedback from users on how well the product works or how the product could be improved, and measure potential sales and other key marketing information and metrics.
Functional testing involves the testing of products and prototypes to determine if they meet one or more specific functional specifications or product requirements. Basic functional testing can be run on one key requirement, or it can be run all product requirements per a specification or product requirements document (PRD). All functional tests must provide measurable and repeatable results, and the test equipment must be setup to ensure that tests can be run repeatedly and accurately.
Reliability testing is the process of testing and estimating a product’s probability of failure throughout the product lifecycle to allow companies to project and plan for the likely product reliability in the marketplace. The reliability testing process involves planning, extensive testing, data analysis, problem solving, and interdisciplinary collaboration. One of the main goals of reliability testing, at a high level, is to ensure that a product meets its requirements for reliability when it gets to the field.
Cycle testing is a key aspect of engineering and reliability testing, and it entails running products and/or prototypes through a number of usage cycles with test parameters that vary depending on the stage and goal of each test. Cycle testing can be run over a high number of cycles or a more modest number, high stress levels or estimated field stress levels, and rapid cycle rates or lower cycle rates depending on how the product or prototype is expected to perform throughout the test.
Early in new product development projects, cycle testing allows the development team to gain insight into how a product performs, possible or real failure modes, and estimate product life. As projects progress, cycle testing allows teams and reliability engineers to gain a detailed understanding and estimation of a product’s projected life, potential and actual failure modes, and wear cycles.
Safety Agency Testing and Certification
Our engineering team has over 35 years of experience designing products to meet safety agency certification requirements. We have developed products across a variety of categories and industries per UL, CSA, Intertek/ETL, and CSA standards. If needed, our engineering team can coordinate the certification process from start to completion.
Proof-of-concept (or POC) testing involves the fabrication and testing of early stage prototypes that are intended to prove out whether a new idea has legs or not. POC prototypes can take on one of a variety of forms, including works-like, breadboard, or “Frankenstein” prototypes. They may be rough in appearance, or they may be polished with parts made from precision machining and other prototyping process.
The key to POC testing is to give the new concept a fair shake and to put in enough engineering design effort to ensure that the testing shines light on the possibilities that the new design or product concept may offer.