35 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2017 1:34 AM by balearicdynamics

    I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?

    rscasny

      Greetings RoadTesters!

       

      ind 1.PNGAs we ramp up offering more and more RoadTests, one of the new issues that's come up is more industrial suppliers would like their products RoadTested. This has posed a bit of a challenge for me. The community's RoadTest program has historically featured dev boards and the like for makers or electronic engineers. As such, a lot of the members of the RoadTest group are part of the makewr/bench tech/EDE type.

       

      To solve the problem, I would like to create a list of members who would be interested in being an industrial RoadTesters. How will it work? Honestly, I don't have all the details worked out. The two scenarios I see are: (A) run a regular RoadTest and if I don't get applicants, I would contact members of the Industrial RoadTest list, or (B) treat this group like a RoadTest by Invitation. I surely don't want to eliminate any member who would like to RoadTest an industrial product, but I guess I am saying I need a backup plan.

       

      ind2.PNGWho Am I looking for? I am interested in finding members who do have industrial tech or engineering experience. People who have worked in manufacturing or have been field engineers or even technicians who who worked around machinery. Even people who have worked as electrical engineers in instrumentation, wastewater treatment plants, oil/gas industry, electrical power generation, etc. If you have this background, and are interested in being placed on this call list, please message me at rscasny.

       

      Once again, I surely don't want to exclude any member from RoadTesting an industrial product even though they may not have the background. But I am being tasked by my bosses to prepare the RoadTest group for testing a broader selection of products. If you have any questions or if you have any comments, feel free to add them below.

       

       

      Sincerely,

       

      Randall Scasny

      RoadTest Program Manager

        • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
          balearicdynamics

          Hello Randall,

           

          I am interested (I will write pvt some more detail) but I am concerned on what is the environment we can work on road testing industrial parts. In some cases - like my proposal, just as an example - of testing the PLC based on Intel I was also able to find here locally the right application context but what in cases where I can have the knowledge - for example waste waters analysis by the chemistry point of view but there is not the practical context?

           

          Enrico

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
              rscasny

              Enrico,

               

              You make a really good point. That's one of the big issues of testing an industrial product. Honestly, I don't have it all thought out. Here's an example of a product that I was approached about:

               

              https://industrial.omron.eu/en/products/e5cb

               

              I'm not sure if we can roadtest this kind of product. If so, I have to determine what kinds of products we can roadtest and what kinds of industrial products we cannot.

               

              thanks.

               

              Randall

              3 of 3 people found this helpful
                • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                  hlipka

                  Funny enough, I ordered a cheap chinese version of such a PID controller from ebay last week... I want to use it to control a hot plate (to ease SMD soldering and manual reflowing). So I could actually test it, although not in an industrial setting (my day-job doesn't involve electronics or machines)

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                    balearicdynamics

                    Randall, two considerations.

                     

                    The fitst is that IMHO we should consider case by case as it mostly depends on the kind of context where everyone of us (supposed an industrial roadtesters group) live, their personal contacts, experience etc. For the better understanding bofntge product

                     

                    Second I think that your idea to create a pool of reliable toadtesters is not only good, it is necessary. I imagine that it is not so obvious you can find a community member with all the required requisites enrolling for industrial toadtests if thetr us not a group aware if what thus kind of testing implies.

                     

                    A good idea maybe to create a sort of roadtesters group before you can count on that (i.e. the industrial roadtesters crew )

                    Than a great help can be to know before a list of products, so it is possible to make a plan.

                     

                    Last but also important: as far as I know based on my personal experience in industrial applications is - as you see frequently at the industrial products faires - building small projects platforms showing and testing the product features, possibly in all the range, with a simulator. Just like in this temperature control device you mentioned. A similar approach by my point of view is very intetesting.

                     

                    Also consider that an in-place application test rarely can test all the features of a product. In this case for example, if you apply this to freezer cooling control you ate limited to a certain range if temperature, can't test properly the visibility in all the light conditions, can't verify a lab evaluation of the response time, alarms, etc. While it is easy and possible with a controlled simulated environment.

                     

                    Enrico

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                        lucie tozer

                        Enrico Miglino wrote:

                         

                        also consider that an in-place application test rarely can test all the features of a product. In this case for example, if you apply this to freezer cooling control you ate limited to a certain range if temperature, can't test properly the visibility in all the light conditions, can't verify a lab evaluation of the response time, alarms, etc. While it is easy and possible with a controlled simulated environment.

                         

                        Enrico

                         

                        This is an excellent point Enrico.

                         

                        At first thought, it does seem like a good idea to have a group of industrial roadtesters but like the example product given above, not every industrial application would need such a device so even a group of industrial roadtesters might not yield any people with a potential application.

                         

                        Plus even if somebody could utilise a device in an industrial workplace, this doesnt mean they would have clearance to do so. Not many businesses let people bring their own devices into work to switch for tried and tested equipment thats already in place.

                        4 of 4 people found this helpful
                          • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                            balearicdynamics

                            Hi Lucie,

                             

                            correct what you say. Not all people can do it. But I also consider that not all people can write C code as well as work with proficient python scripts for embedded devices and more and more. In this exception, as well as in any other E14 context like challenges, project posting etc. open to all as a matter of fact means open to all that are involved in this specific field.

                             

                            Then - if I have understood correctly what rscasny Randall wrote - this is not a new trend moving road testing to the industrial products but together with the other range of boards and products to road test also industrial products suppliers are attracted by this initiative and want their products tested too. By my point of view, this is a thank you to all the members that produces great road testing (I am appreciating your pragmatic approach to the recent FPGA testing posts) and a first indicator of successful initiative.

                             

                            Enrico

                    • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                      rpbruiser

                      I personally do not see myself being able to participate in this type of RoadTest currently unfortunately. However I do know that my father has used his Design Challenges to help his company, and I am sure that he would be very interested in being able to use a product for this purpose while providing valuable feedback.

                      • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                        dougw

                        It is not clear why this list of industrial road testers would apply or rather why they wouldn't apply if it was just a regular road test format. I guess if they don't need to do a big proposal it makes it easier although that isn't a factor for me. I've been involved in quite a lot of industrial stuff, and consequently I have significant interest in some of the technology involved, but it generally isn't a high priority interest for my work at home. In other words I wouldn't mind participating in the odd road test when I'm not too busy, but I don't have much need for industrial instrumentation at the moment. (Sometimes it can be re-purposed for something I can use) Perhaps it might work if I was teamed with someone who has a real need - I could participate in research and blogging just out of interest.

                        5 of 5 people found this helpful
                          • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                            balearicdynamics

                            Doug,

                             

                            if I have understood correctly what Randall wrote in the post, he is (I agree) worried that when there are some road tests involving devices specific for industrial applications he has the risk that no one or very few will enroll just for the kind of product. So, before accepting by the suppliers taking in charge the road test of their products he is investigating if it is possible that a group of persons will be available in case of.

                             

                            BTW, rscasny also opt for a little different road test in the by invitation form and this seems to me a good alternative, conditioned by the availability of a group that can be able to test this kind of products.

                             

                            This is my understanding. Enrico

                            4 of 4 people found this helpful
                              • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                dougw

                                Okay I see the point now.

                                Randall has floated trial balloons in the past when it isn't clear there is a lot of interest in a particular device - just asking if any members have any interest and what would they do if a road test of the device was created, but this more of a whole sector than a single device.

                                It is a good initiative to try and develop this sector on this forum but it will take time for industrial instrumentation people to take notice of the value and then become contributing members. Current members may be able to start the bootstrapping process, but I expect it will take a little time for it to become really popular. Along those lines, I would be happy to contribute to getting it off the ground and growing.

                                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                              • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                rscasny

                                Last week three things happened almost simultaneously that motivated me to write this post.

                                 

                                1. I didn't see anyone sign up to roadtest this: Megger Insulation Tester  (It may be that people are on vacation and not focused on something that closes in Sept. In any event, I have to do my planning months ahead so it is on my mind.)

                                2. I was just sent this product: VeriSafe | Verify the Absence of Voltage | Panduit

                                Not a difficult product to understand or hook up by any means. Most anyone could test it. But it's not a product that someone would necessarily have a use for in their homes or would feel compelled to use. It would also be a product that someone who was an electrician or a facilities engineer or someone who worked with load centers, panelboards, switchboards etc. would be interested in. Hence, I don't see it as something that a maker who is playing around with arduino or RPi would feel compelled to roadtest.

                                3. I am having a meeting this week with a prominent industrial supplier. (That's a big part of my job: to meet with suppliers.) I spoke with the account manager about what products work well in the community. We both realized that we had to be selective. But there were some products they really wanted tested that might not be a good fit.

                                 

                                I would rather just put them up for anyone but I'm concerned about not getting enough applicants. Hence, my idea with a go-to industrial roadtester list. Basically, I would know these people would have the interest and background for roadtesting these products.

                                 

                                My thoughts for the moment...

                                 

                                Randall

                                3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                    balearicdynamics

                                    Hi Randall,

                                     

                                    just a note about your last comment update.

                                     

                                    Point 1 - I supposed that the Megger Insulation Tester was part of this bunch of industrial products; all what is strictly related to powering system and current detection I don't subscribe by default because I am interested on but I think I have not the right knowledge to make a good job, especially testing for a supplier.

                                     

                                    Point 2 - This is a product instead I can try to road test probably in a good way, before on an bench test then on the field with some high power tooling machines.

                                     

                                    I renew my interest to be part of the industrial road testers brigade but as I probably already stated in some of my comments before, it is needed we have a minimum number of members just because not all of us can share the same competencies.

                                     

                                    Enrico

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                    • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                      mcb1

                                      rscasny

                                      Great explanation, and Point 2 is very valid.

                                       

                                      We have members who have day jobs that do involve industrial, but obviously they might need to engage with their employer before combining the two.

                                       

                                      I have done a test on the Agilent Megger and used it's other features to great effect.

                                      The Electrical Team leader at work wants to test the non contact function out in the field, but I'm making sure I'm there at the same time as I fear it won't come back.

                                       

                                      The Verisafe looks like a very effective device.

                                      We have a large range of installations that get regular maintenance performed, and this might be a suitable device, so thanks for sharing it, I'll pass it onto the electricians at work to look at.

                                       

                                      Mark

                                      • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                        hlipka

                                        1) Probably this has multiple reasons. Sure, its vacation season. But then there are now more road tests than before, so there might be some road test fatigue (as discussed before . Also, this is a more specialized, which not everybody needs (or knows how to use). So you won't get that much first-time tester, but its more something for someone with more experience. And I guess most of them have a road test running at the moment (at least from what I remember as testers recently). And they also might wait with their application to see whether something more interesting comes up (e.g. the new Tektronix scope *hint hint*). I'm thinking about applying as it might be an interesting device to look at, but I'm not the target audience for such a device.

                                        2) is difficult - it nothing for a hobbyist since you really should be a qualified electrician to install it properly (needs to be installed into the fuse box). This is clearly something for people with an industrial day job, people doing this as an hobby are rare I guess. From what I have seen in the road tests and the blogs such members seem quite rare here - this might be something to work on (e.g. advertise for the community and the road test when you have orders going out at Farnell / Newark that match some criteria)

                                        3) For such items you might do a road test by invitation (or ask around beforehand who might be interested). This should at least reduce the effort, and give faster feedback about the quality to expect.

                                        hli

                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                        • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                          shabaz

                                          Hi Randall,

                                          That's an interesting product, the VeriSafe, by the looks of it. I will put in an application for the Verisafe and the Megger, since they both look useful, for labs at my workplace (server rooms with racks and cabinets) and for electrical installers. I don't do installer work since I'm not qualified, but a sibling has the appropriate qualifications and does that, so I suspect if selected he will also like to compare the features of the Megger against his older-generation one that he currently uses. The scope of industrial applications is vast, but I'd love to be signed-up for areas where I could be useful.

                                          Speaking of electrical installations, I got the chance to see possibly the most impressive one during vacation last month.. this photo shows the visible portion of about a third of the generators (each has about 100MW ballpark power output) more than 25 stories underneath the Hoover Dam, powering a million homes with renewable energy.

                                          hoover-dam-generators.jpg

                                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                        Jan Cumps

                                        martinvalencia , this may be something for you, with your experience in the mining industry ...

                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                        • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                          ipv1

                                          Hi rscasny,

                                          In terms of Industrial experience, I have spent a few years making control and test equipment however I currently do not have access to such a test setup. For testing a PID controller for example, I have a muffle furnace that is capable of 1300'C for sintering compounds but it is definitely not industrial grade. I think there are two categories here to be considered;

                                           

                                          a. People with experience in testing such stuff that do not necessarily require a setup. e.g. Automotive stuff like CAN modules, SCADA, ModBUS, etc. These can be tested in a humble DIY lab but requires the tested to have prior knowledge of the standard and extreme cases.

                                           

                                          b.  People with access to industrial test equipment such as EMI measurement tools, enchoic chambers and even high voltage sources. e.g. High frequency, RF, Microwave, Optical amplifier, fibres, etc

                                           

                                          c. People with some experience and just enough equipment. e.g the PID controller.

                                           

                                          Since a roadtest does not provide a formal certification to a product, it could be worth the effort to add people who have already used or are in possession of a competing product. Of course not all suppliers will like that idea unless they are confident about their offering.

                                          6 of 6 people found this helpful
                                            • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                              balearicdynamics

                                              Inderpreet, you perfectly depicted the scenario!

                                               

                                              This is the reason that I think that every product should be pre-evaluated before someone of us is reasonably sure to be able to do an independent test moving away from the bare obvious.

                                               

                                              The only thing my though differs is about how to test in industrial environment. If we should test a temperature sensor, just to make an example, it is not important to have a muffle but to setup a lab small platform with high temperature emitter instead of cold etc. This makes things easier in a lot of cases without losing value to the test.

                                               

                                              Enrico

                                              4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                            • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                              michaelwylie

                                              I'd be interested if we could work out something for the tax liability in the US.

                                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                              • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                                peteroakes

                                                Hi rscasny, I would be interested for sure and I have done many Industrial Device Reviews already on my YouTube Channel, My Electronics Career has been all about Industrial Electronics back in the day, that and Test and Measurement so I certainly fit the qualification side of things, but a previous poster correctly mentioned, one if the issues is how to test, things like PLC's, Sensors and the like are not so hard but some items may require hydraulic, Compressed Air/Gas etc depending on what it may be. I know this is just a reach out to see if there is an interest and the details of each RT can be figured out as we go

                                                 

                                                Anyway, Count me in

                                                 

                                                Regards

                                                Peter

                                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                                  rsc

                                                  Since I manage a research lab, I'd be interested in any new sensors or data acquisition devices.

                                                  Scott

                                                  • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                                    three-phase

                                                    Hello,

                                                     

                                                    I currently work in the power industry, so would gladly help out with road tests in an industrial setting where I can. For me there are a couple of issues to consider;

                                                     

                                                    1) Videoing and photographing is not always permitted on sites especially for display in a public environment.

                                                     

                                                    2) Workload and job types vary throughout the year, so not only do I need specific types of equipment that fall into my skill set, they need to be on offer at the time I am working on the relevant equipment in order for me to submit a timely review.

                                                     

                                                    Kind regards,

                                                     

                                                    Donald

                                                    • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                                      jomoenginer

                                                      Just out of curiosity, is the intent of this group of Industrial RoadTesters to test the products in an industrial environment or is it to just test the stated functionality of the product?  I would suspect the former might be a bit difficult considering it could be a challenge to get products in an Industrial environment just for a RoadTest.

                                                      However,  the Panduit Verisafe Absence of Voltage Tester might be a handy tool for folks who do their own electrical work at home or even for Farmers where equipment that is used for feeders and such are used.  Also, looking through YouTube, it seems there are folks who have used the Omron E5CB or similar devices to control the Heating and Cooling of products such as Home Brew Beer Fermentation or a simple PID and relay combo to control a device based on a measured temp.   And, when looking at the Industrial IoT (IIoT) environment, there is certainly much cross over between Makers and Industrial implementations especially with the use of MQTT.  Companies such as Inductive Automation include an MQTT Module with their Ignition Software as well as SCADA implementation.   

                                                       

                                                      Perhaps one approach would be to list the product and ask the question, "How would you Test This?". This could be as an open question or just sent to a selected few that might have a particular skill set needed for the particular product which could be listed in the RoadTester profile.

                                                        • Re: I am Creating a List of Industrial RoadTesters. Are You Interested?
                                                          balearicdynamics

                                                          Hello Jon,

                                                           

                                                          in most of the cases it is not a good idea to test in a direct industrial environment some kind of products, just because this means creating - at least - troubles in a working environment and because testing usually needs a controlled environment (maybe with some compromise in the simulation) instead of involving the product inside a production site.

                                                           

                                                          Correct as I mentioned in a previous comment that most depends on the kind of products so it is better to mention before. But the same approach should - and is, AFAIK - applied to the non industrial products too. Enrolling road testers should self-evaluate if they have the knowledge and extra tools / components needed to test the product as well.

                                                           

                                                          Enrico

                                                          1 of 1 people found this helpful