How Does EV Manufacturing Benefit from Hardware Reuse?
With automotive manufacturers committing to end the manufacturing of internal combustion engines by 2030, change is happening fast. There is no time to stand back and wait for an unreliable supply chain, and automakers can’t risk putting out a poor product. The smart thing to do also happens to be the sustainable and cost-effective thing to do. Now is the time to reuse and adapt the equipment that you have.
Hardware can get expensive, and in the case of test equipment, it can also be redundant. By investing in different stand-alone stations that run comparable test processes, huge opportunities are missed. The alternative is to invest in a test platform that can perform all the same tests but adapts to a range of products by reusing the same equipment.
How do you Build a Flexible Test Platform for EV Power Components?
The principles of a universal test platform apply to EV test as well. The key is to separate out all the test equipment that is common between multiple product types and build those into an unchanging core. Generally, this is the most expensive equipment and often has longer lead times. Cores can have a different set of functions like functional & safety tests in one, leakage tests in another, automated optical inspection in the next, and so on. These sections can then be connected by a conveyor belt and the device under test (DUT) will just pass through while different tests run simultaneously.
Then, you take the more unique equipment that isn’t used as often, and design that into flexible fixtures. With all the fixtures designed using the same dimensions, they can be swapped in and out of the platform, accommodating any product type requiring the same test set.
Software Reuse – Standardized GUIs
It isn’t only hardware that benefits from reuse. Having a standardized test executive like Averna Launch in charge of operations makes the data consistent and easy to understand. By re-writing software for every application, valuable engineering time is wasted and will likely produce messy results.
Just like hardware, custom code can be written per product type (or product variation) within the bigger picture to stay relevant. Once the product is recognized by the platform, the right program automatically runs, and testing can begin!
Reuse Delivers Benefits, Faster.
The benefits of reuse have a particular payoff in EV product development and manufacturing. Such a dynamic and fast-growing industry needs a way to adapt and grow quickly. Technology is improving quickly and substantially, and manufacturing equipment needs to be flexible enough to roll with. With a flexible test platform as described, most of the required test equipment won’t change as products phase in and out.
Only the smaller and flexible fixtures will require any investment, and this is a small one compared to a new station considering:
- The cost is a fraction of the overall solution.
- The design time is cut in half, the major design is done.
- Lead time for parts is minimal, as the need for parts is minimal.
- Ramp-up and employee training are non-existent...they know the system.
Smarter Ways to Reuse
Designing a system from scratch is long. It’s expensive. It’s time-consuming. Platforms are out there, and it is the best place to begin. Working with a flexible team, you can take an established platform and transform it into the solution you need it to be. When you reuse an established solution, you benefit from all the years of test integration experience, without paying for the non-recurring engineering (NRE) fees. Why reinvent the wheel when you have high-speed electric solution running 4 good ones right in front of you?
For questions on optimizing EV test or looking to implement a universal solution, please contact Averna.
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