Test Plans for Product Testing and Design Verification

Test Plans are necessary in order for the test lab to have complete and correct instructions for a particular test.

Test Plans

Photo courtesy of Department of Defense


When companies decide to have tests ran on their products their first inclination is to try to have a test ran by a lab that is “in accordance with” a particular standard.  This is done in the belief that a specifying a standard it is equivalent to a test plan or test procedure.  The problem is that just about every single DOD, Aerospace or Commercial Standard states in its application section that the document is meant to be a guidance document.  They will state that the user is to apply scientific analysis on their product in order to support tailoring.

Unless a test plan is written, there is no guarantee that a test lab is receiving complete instructions on how a particular product is to be tested.  The more that is left up to the lab technician’s decision-making capacity, the more opportunities there are for gray area determinations to cause an over-test or under-test, and skew the results.  If those results are skewed in your favor, how would you determine the root cause if the next time the test is performed or worse, that when the item is subjected to the conditions of a particular method or element in the field, and a failure were to occur?  What if that failure in the field were to cause economic damage or worse, loss of life?

A test plan should document the parameters, chamber setup, chamber pre-qualification steps, item pre-test, during test and post test procedures, monitoring, correction criteria and test plan reporting details.

We have two ways of helping our clients with test plans.  One is custom test plans, which we have written hundreds over the years. These are composed and given to our client in MS Word, and serves as a base for them to use in the future.

The other way for us to help is to provide licensed templates, pre-setup for particular platforms such as land vehicles, stationary systems, air craft mounted and commercial systems.  Our easy810 Test Plan Templates helps resolve this issue for many customers, and does not require our involvement to customize.  This reduces the cost and timing to be utilized as they can be ordered and available within 24 hours via our E-Store.

MIL-STD-810G has the most advanced format and criteria we have seen in use in product testing.  We have used the requirements for this standard as detailed in Task 405 to develop our test plans.  Although RTCA-DO-160, IEC 60529 and other requirements documents may not reference MIL-STD-810G, we apply the same criteria and format as it is, in our opinion, the best and most comprehensive way to approach a solution.

If customized test plans are not in your budget, then our easy810 Test Plan Templates are an available alternative.

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