The Problem

In order to reduce the manufacturing cost for their HVAC and building automation control panels and to insure a high quality, defect free product, Creative Control Designs, Inc. (CCD) needed to find a faster and more efficient method for testing the functionality of their products before they were shipped to the customer.

The Solution

REAL Controls developed an automated panel testing system for CCD which is being used to perform Quality Control tests on the electrical panels that are manufactured at the CCD plant. The new system automatically performs six (6) diagnostic tests on each panel, compares the panel configuration with the customers design specifications, downloads the correct program to the panel controllers and prints a report summarizing the results of the tests. Along with the new panel tester, a barcode system has been implemented for tracking the panels, and the various subsystems within the panel, as they are processed through the CCD manufacturing plant.

As each completed panel enters the Quality Control test station, the barcode from the panel is scanned. The panel test software uses this barcode data to reference information from an engineering database. This data is then used to conduct the tests. Information contained within the database is specific to each panel and includes panel design data, component specifications and the control program codes which will be used by the panel when it is operating at the customer’s facility.

The Result

The automated panel testing system has provided a number of significant benefits for CCD including reducing the panel test time to less than 10 minutes, reducing the number of people needed to conduct the tests, providing a more complete panel checkout and more efficient product tracking using the barcode system. The reports, which are shipped with each finished panel, provide a detailed summary of each test, which was performed, and the results of that test. A typical CCD control panel is shown above.