Our focus is the development of individual management systems for technical-physical test laboratories. Technical-physical test laboratories differ considerably from laboratories with a pure analytical focus — in almost every process step. On an abstract level, the same thing is always at stake in principle, but what is decisive are the details, which differ considerably.
In technical-physical test laboratories, the range of tests or tasks is much wider than in analytical laboratories. Electromagnetic compatibility, electrical safety, life cycle simulation, environmental simulation, transport tests, packaging tests, mechanical tests, acoustic tests, emission tests are only some of the fields of activity.
Even within these fields of activity, the tasks and thus the requirements for a laboratory management system differ considerably. A typical example is scheduling and resource planning: If the life cycle simulation area involves very long-running tests, often 1,000 hours or more, a drop test takes only seconds. This requires different planning philosophies and representations.
The preparation of the DUTs and the setup of a test can take several weeks or can be very fast for standard tests. The test specimens themselves are a few millimetres in size or entire aircraft. The recording of the components, the different configurations or software statuses in the course of tests must be documented in a comprehensible way.
The same applies to the recording of results: it must be possible to record individual measured values, e. g. a weight, as well as several megabytes or gigabytes of data per test — and in all possible formats.
Or let’s look at the calculation of the expenditure for an audit. In the field of electromagnetic compatibility, the properties of DUTs are of considerable relevance (how many lines, which interfaces, etc.), in other tests only the number of DUTs is relevant, and it is different again when components have to be tested in certain combinations.
Manufacturers’ laboratories have other priorities than contract laboratories. Manufacturers’ laboratories often carry out tests during development to ensure product characteristics or to prepare approvals for their products. Requirements from specifications or identified product risks must be linked to the tests. Contract laboratories, on the other hand, have to deal with an enormous number of standards, often more than 500, due to the variety of products.
All this leads to the fact that there is no standard software for technical-physical test laboratories. In our experience, the software solutions available for analytical laboratories are not suitable for use in technical-physical test laboratories.
We agreed to all this, even though the result of a market investigation was that there was no market for technical-physical testing laboratories. But we believe that there is a need for them and find the tasks very challenging and exciting.
However, the market investigation also showed that technical-physical test laboratories themselves do not perceive differentiation in this way. This is certainly also due to the fact that there are very few solution providers for the special requirements.
In addition to the development of management systems, we organize the Laboratory Management Conference at regular intervals. As a platform for laboratory managers and project managers, the event offers a unique opportunity to exchange experiences on the topic of laboratory management, away from the specialist committees. The focus is on innovative and individual solutions from practice, which also support the regulatory requirements in quality management. The participants come from all industries — from automotive, automation and construction to medical technology, IT or communication technology, as well as private and public service providers.