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Test Field Management for managing complex processes in battery test laboratories

Battery laboratories have to test hundreds or thousands of battery cells, modules and systems simultaneously under a variety of conditions. The tests are carried out using most diverse test methods, procedures, environments and tools. Additionally, the test executions must comply to a large number of industry standards and regulations.

The challenge for development engineers, test field managers and test engineers is to define and schedule the respective test tasks and all associated activities and resources in an increasingly complex network of dependencies. A lack of tool support and missing transparency about resource availability often lead to planning conflicts. Office-based solutions such as Excel very quickly reach their limits in this situation (see here for more information: https://www.peak-solution.de/en/ptms-a-solution-to-the-incrasing.html.

This is where the "Peak Test Management Suite comes into play. The solution offers a variety of powerful functions that are specifically tailored to the requirements of test planning and scheduling in vehicle development.

Different user groups are supported in their daily work

Development Engineers can, for example, systematically plan their test projects and campaigns with the help of Peak Test Management Suite. To do this, they determine which test methods, test series, test procedures and individual tests must be carried out and specify the exact parameters and framework conditions for conducting  the respective test activities. For this purpose, Peak Test Management Suite provides the user with “intelligent” process templates for various test types. This leads to a standardized and efficient description of the respective test context, which is particularly indispensable if companies want to achieve a traceable and verifiable documentation of all their test activities, for example to fulfill proof obligations.

Test Field Managers can use Peak Test Management Suite to allocate and schedule the required test resources for all the incoming test requests. Of course, this takes into account the dependencies between different types of resources needed to perform a test. Resource types can be, for example, test items, test benches, measuring equipment, employees and much more. Complex resource structures, such as the current configuration of a test object or test system, can be taken into account as well.

By the way: Not only test requests have to be scheduled and coordinated with one another in order to achieve a conflict-free allocation of resources. Times for maintenance and calibration of test equipment or the preparation of test items and test stands must be taken into account as well. With the help of the Peak Test Management Suite, this type of activities can also be systematically organized, scheduled and optimized.

After performing a test, Test Engineers can assign the measurements and test results to the respective test activities and create reports. This means that accurate and complete information about all tests carried out and their results is available at any time later.

Extended functionality for better efficiency and utilization of test facilities

In addition to the mentioned basic functions a modern test field management system should cover, Peak Test Management Suite offers much more: customizable validators for input checks, the control of approval processes, the display and automatic resolution of allocation conflicts, a rule engine for automated determination of parameter sets, the monitoring of status information coming from the test field, the generation of notifications for different user groups on the basis of freely definable events (e.g. test start, test interruption, test end), business intelligence functions for the calculation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI´s), etc.

A key feature of the software is its versatility: All data objects and functions of the Peak Test Management Suite can be adapted to the respective, subject-specific requirements of the battery test laboratory through configuration and administration.

This also applies to the deployment and operation of the solution. Depending on the requirements, the software can either be used local as an on-premise solution or global, as a cloud-based application. In both cases, the software relieves test managers in their daily work and improves the utilization, productivity and efficiency of test facilities.

Quick wins with manageable effort

Existing systems, such as project and test item management systems, order and task management systems as well as PLM and ERP systems from various providers, are not replaced by Peak Test Management Suite, but supplemented. Those tools can either access the information and functions of the Peak Test Management Suite via a standardized REST API or they are connected with Peak Test Management Suite via web services.

All this enables companies to quickly implement a ready-to-use application for the conflict-free planning and scheduling of battery tests with manageable effort. The practice at many user companies of Peak Test Management Suite has shown that important “quick wins” can be accomplished within a short time of period. The reason is obvious: Many years of effort and experience from various customer projects have been incorporated into the development of Peak Test Management Suite since 2010. This led to constant functional and technological enhancements, improvements in usability as well as performance and reliability optimizations. Today, all users of Peak Test Management Suite benefit from this right from the start.