When working with older hydraulic or generator test stands, your company might begin thinking about upgrading to new equipment. The best thing to do before making a decision is to make an honest assessment of your current equipment with your team. These seven questions should help you in the process.
1. Is your software still supported?
This goes without saying. Outdated software could lead to bugs in the future or incorrect data being returned by your system. In a worst-case scenario, unsupported software could lead to an entire system failure.
2. Is any of your hardware obsolete?
Obsolescence of parts is an important thing to consider when thinking towards the future. Is there a new part taking the place of the one you’re currently using? Would a replacement still be available should it ever break or fail? Have you considered the high cost of trying to source older, outdated parts?
3. How easy is the equipment to use?
Ease of use of equipment is vital to the ongoing success of your organization. Is training new employees a hassle, or is the equipment so old that its use isn’t fully understood? How up-to-date is the training available for this model?
4. Can it test modern parts?
Is your test stand able to work with all of the UUTs you need it to? Are there new UUTs that your test stand is unable to handle?
5. Is your equipment prone to issues?
Have you had sporadic issues with your test stand recently? Have you faced chronic downtime or regular issues requiring engineering work?
6. Have you planned for the advancement of technology?
As technology advances, does your company have a plan for testing it? Will your test stand be able to work with newer technology?
7. How long will it last?
Ask yourself, how much longer can your test stand hold up against continued use? What kind of down time does your company face if the test stand becomes inoperable? What kind of dollar value does that amount to in your industry? It is also important to think about the impact that downtime can have on the trust of your customers and stakeholders.
These are some of the most common questions that decision-making teams have when considering an upgrade in test equipment. Deciding to update your equipment is no easy task, and will likely require months of analysis and discussion. Has your company done an upgrade recently, or replaced some heavy equipment? Let us know in the comments below.