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How We Save Time

How does CAE Integration save you time and money in test development?

We start off by asking a lot of questions.  We have learned from previous projects to cover a lot of ground to find out what is most important to you -- as well as what isn’t.  The biggest lesson we have learned is that each project is different and requires a flexible mindset to find an optimal manufacturing test strategy.  

How our Plan Begins

  • We go over product design for opportunities to use structural test, a “black-box” approach that gives a lot of coverage quickly and inexpensively.

  • We identify options to test all areas of your product design and organize them into an informal  test plan.

  • We discuss our informal test plan and invite your input.  Often there are tools you already have that we can repurpose or incorporate into manufacturing test so we do not have to “reinvent the wheel”.

  • For critical areas we have a brainstorming session with shadow boxes, cardboard cutouts, and crazy ideas.

  • We formalize the test plan and come back for more input from your team on critical areas before we begin development.  Often at this point additional tools and approaches are provided by your team that further shorten or improve the test development project.


Then we get to work.  Our team’s job is to make things easy for your team, so we keep you in the loop during the project but don’t continue to pester you with questions.  A good manufacturing test needs to be quick and easy to:

  • Learn

  • Perform

  • Maintain

When is the best time to start this process?

Beginning Stages

The best time to start manufacturing test development is right after the product architecture and major components are selected.  Without even a prototype the only test development that can be done at this stage is a preliminary test plan.  However, any hooks we suggest in the test plan to minimize costs will be the least expensive to implement at this stage.  Companies minimizing Time To Market (TTM) may send us a prototype product so we can develop longer-lead tests in parallel with their product development.  The final product is invariably different from the prototype, so we perform the initial test development with an eye towards flexibility.  Test programs are written with easily adaptable steps and test limits.  Fixtures are 3D printed for quick and inexpensive revision to fit the final product.

New Product Introduction (NPI) is a critical time for an OEM, and we plan extra availability to support last-minute changes and corrections to our tests to support your manufacturing goals.  The requirement changed from MUST DO “X” to MUST NOT DO “X”?  No problem!  We have weathered many NPI events and are ready for last-minute changes, minor and major alike.

What if my product is already in production?

CAE Integration will meet you where you are.  If you have legacy test or no test at all, we can address your manufacturing pain points and weaknesses to put your production team on target.  

How many copies of a fixture do I need?

At least two.  If you have a Contract Manufacturer (CM) they should be running test there to close the loop on their continuous improvement process.  Your main facility also needs a fixture to:

  • Run product that passes at the CM but fails later

  • Run product that is returned from the field

  • Run failing product the CM sends over with questions

  • Serve as a backup for the fixture at the CM.

If you have global service centers that need to run the same test, they will also need copies of the test fixture. 

What if my production is stable for awhile but suddenly all the product starts failing test, or worse it passes test but exhibits other problems?  

The CM says it’s a design problem.  

Design says it’s a process or test problem. 

Purchasing says it’s a supply chain problem.

CAE Integration supports the solutions we sell into your production line.  Our highest priority is to get your production line back up and running.  While we would like all problems to be understood to root cause and resolved at the same level, there are often process or design limitations requiring an interim solution.  This generally means implementing temporary steps and manufacturing and test, tracking them, then revising them with the final solution is in place.  We will work through the problem with your teams to get you back on track and stay on track.

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