CASE STUDY

Remote Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) in the face of the COVID-19

client
About the client
The TKM Projekt team consists of experienced constructors, electrical and automation specialists. The company headquarters is located in Wrocław.
Challenge
Inability to perform acceptance testing of the laser engraving system built for one of the key customers due to restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solution
Adopting the Nsflow platform to perform acceptance testing of the system without the need to visit the supplier’s site.
20
years of expertise in machinery construction
3
weeks to receive clients’ approval
2
functional modules

About the project

Factory Acceptance Tests

Customers verify that the ordered machines work as supposed to after their implementation in the factory, testing routine operations and emergency situations.

The traditional approach to FAT

Due to the complexity, FAT is usually executed on-site at the supplier’s premises and consists of several iterations where concerns are submitted and changes reviewed.

User Requirements Specification (URS)

URS contains specific expectations towards the assessed system, forming the FAT phase, an important milestone that opens (or closes) the way to implementation.

Delayed project delivery

Without the timely completion of factory acceptance tests due to pandemic travel bans, our client couldn’t finalize the agreed order, risking disturbance in further cooperation.
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Challenges

Lack of in-person experience

Companies approach FATs conservatively and prefer to execute the critical steps of manufacturing projects based on physical contact with the examined machine.

Passing time

Since business trips weren’t allowed, the client’s team responsible for monitoring and verification of the project’s progress was able to take part in the FAT procedures using the Nsflow platform.

Stretching the schedule

Prolonging the process worked against both parties. As the machinery waited to be accepted for implementation at the target site, the warranty period on components shortened.

Threat to business continuity

Halting the project completion could cause serious disturbance to the supplier’s financial liquidity, possibly deteriorate business relations, and result in delays in other dependent works.

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The solution

The Nsflow platform provides support to industrial processes execution, combining crucial features
Remote Support module
The AR-powered module enables remote inspections of the machine and its operations in real-time. It allows immediate response to technical issues arising on the spot, from any location, and at any time.
LMS Module
The unit allows knowledge and content management, providing collaboration mechanisms that were successfully applied to support the feedback process during acceptance testing and patch approval.
Wide range of compatible devices
Delivering live instructions is possible through specialized AR devices (e.g. RealWear HMT-1), smartphones, and tablets. Wearable devices leave staff hands-free to operate the tested machinery.
Real-time communication
The client’s representative viewed the machine’s functioning as if through the eyes of the operator, free to take high-res pictures, annotate on them, and forward saved files back to the TKM project staff.

The outcome

Client’s approval

The acceptance testing was completed on time, the executed work accounted for, and the project was approved for the implementation phase.

Successful completion

Deeming remote FAT as reliable convinced TKM Projekt and their client to use the solution in subsequent projects, reducing trip costs without compromising the quality of performed tests.
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