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Case Study – Automated Test Engineer

Case Study : Automated Test Engineering

(ATE) for a Defense Equipment Manufacturer

01

Introduction

Our defense equipment manufacturer has a major presence in RF and microwave power amplifiers solutions for Radar, Satcom, Threat Simulations, communications and product testing. They operate globally and their customer base includes market leading OEMs and government agencies with an array of demanding performance requirements.

02

Challenges and Solutions

Before implementing our automated test engineering solution, they encountered several challenges.

Low Production Line Throughput – Absence of automation on production lines was resulting in slow manual processes resulting in slow and faulty production line throughput. We automated the manual processes of assembly, programming the firmware and test, resulting in 6x increase in production line throughput for our customer and allowed them optimize the resources.

Semi-Automated or Manual Testing – Testing during the various phases of production was done in automated fashion, owing to errors due to manual interventions while slowing down the entire process. Our automated test engineering solution revolutionized the customer’s production line by automating processes and streamlining testing, resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.

Cost Savings: By reducing the need for manual testing, automated test engineering helps cut labor costs and minimize production line downtime, leading to significant cost savings in the long run.

Low Yield – Customer was facing yields as low as 58% for few of it’s product lines prior to our implementation. One of major reason was also manual production processes which was resulting in a low yield. Our ATE solution allowed the customer to have yields as high as 99.5% on multiple product lines while improving efficiency and accuracy.

Manual Data Processing: Customer relied on manual data logging and processing, leading to errors, inconsistencies, and was time-consuming. Automation in data logging not only saved time but also allowed them to avoid any unwanted errors.

Data Integration: Data coming out of production lines was never saved on cloud or a common server. We developed cloud solutions for their data integration utilizing our Azure expertise. We integrated their existing systems, such as product databases, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and content management systems (CMS), with our automated text engineering solution. This enabled seamless data flow and eliminated manual data transfer.

Absence of effective data visualization – Our PowerBi solutions allowed the customer to have better feedback from the production line for far more involved and intelligent data visualization and eventually predictive analytics.

Better Test Coverage – Automated testing enables a broader range of tests to be executed, covering more scenarios and uncovering potential issues that may go unnoticed with manual testing

03

Benefits & Results

Improved Efficiency: Automated test engineering reduces manual effort, speeds up testing processes, and allows for simultaneous testing, resulting in faster and more efficient product development cycles.

Enhanced Accuracy: Automated tests eliminate human error and provide consistent and reliable results, ensuring higher quality and reducing the risk of defects or issues in the production line.

Increased Test Coverage: Automated testing enables a broader range of tests to be executed, covering more scenarios and uncovering potential issues that may go unnoticed with manual testing.

Cost Savings: By reducing the need for manual testing, automated test engineering helps cut labor costs and minimize production line downtime, leading to significant cost savings in the long run.

Scalability: Automated test engineering solutions can easily scale to handle larger test volumes, accommodate growing production needs, and adapt to evolving requirements.

Faster Time-to-Market: Automated testing accelerates the testing process, allowing for quicker identification and resolution of bugs or issues, thereby reducing product development cycles and enabling faster time-to-market.

Improved Reliability: Automated tests provide consistent and repeatable results, ensuring the reliability and stability of the production line and reducing the risk of errors or failures.

Better Test Documentation: Automated test engineering generates detailed test reports and logs, providing comprehensive documentation that can be used for analysis, troubleshooting, and compliance purposes.

Increased Productivity: By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, automated test engineering frees up resources and enables testing teams to focus on more complex and value-added activities.

Collaboration and Communication: Automated testing facilitates better collaboration and communication between different stakeholders, including developers, testers, and product managers, leading to improved efficiency and faster issue resolution.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Testing: Automated test engineering integrates seamlessly with continuous integration and continuous testing practices, enabling rapid feedback and ensuring that any code changes are immediately tested for compatibility and functionality.

Regression Testing: Automated testing allows for efficient regression testing, ensuring that existing functionalities are not affected by new updates or changes in the production line.

Risk Mitigation: Automated test engineering helps identify and mitigate risks early in the production process, reducing the likelihood of costly failures or recalls.

Compliance and Auditability: Automated testing ensures adherence to industry standards and regulatory requirements, providing a robust audit trail for compliance purposes.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By minimizing the risk of defects or issues, automated test engineering helps deliver high-quality products, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Real-Time Monitoring: Automated testing solutions often provide real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities, allowing for immediate visibility into the status and health of the production line.

Predictive Analytics: Automated test engineering can leverage data analytics and machine learning algorithms to analyze testing results and identify patterns or trends, enabling proactive improvements and optimizations.

Resource Optimization: Automated testing optimizes resource utilization by efficiently allocating testing resources, equipment, and infrastructure based on testing requirements.

04

Conclusions

Automated test engineering has revolutionized our customer’s operations, transforming manual and time-consuming processes into efficient, accurate, and scalable ones. All these efforts have allowed them to raise their overall revenue by 15% while safeguarding it against future degradation. By implementing ATE and data integration solutions, they have gained significant benefits, including increased efficiency, improved accuracy, faster time-to-market, and cost savings. Looking ahead, they aims to continue leveraging test engineering advancements to enhance customer insights, further integrate it with cloud platforms, and provide better customer support utilizing the data utilization they now do.