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Writing Down Numbers for Test

· test,reports

I'm always astonished at how prevalent it still is for manufacturing procedures telling operators to take a measurement (say with a DMM), write down the number on the traveler (or whatever you call it there), compare to the test limits, and then write down pass or fail.

I like test automation, but I want to advocate at minimum for electronically recording measured values, even if the measurement itself is still manual. Perhaps enter values into an Excel spreadsheet or maybe make a custom LabVIEW program with dialog boxes.

First, no question on what the intended value is. No more messy handwriting to deal with.  And no hidden decimal points where someone has to think "I think they meant to add a decimal point there."

And second, you get data. If there's a problem, you can parse through the files and analyze your test data. In the manual case, you would need someone to transcribe the data, which would be a very painful process. In my opinion, the health of your manufacturing process isn't really evident from your yields (which we are incentivized to keep high), but from the test data that tells you what's going on in the units.

So hopefully, little by little we can get rid manually writing down numbers for test.

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