Why Testing Feels Like Such a Chore and What to do About it

You sit down with for your family for a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. The table is set with all your favorite dishes, roast potatoes, homemade rolls, and, of course, steaming turkey that is perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. You pick up your knife and fork, ready to eat when…

…your mother asks everyone to say one thing they are grateful for.

It’s a delay. It’s an interruption. It tests your patience. You understand that it is an important part of the process, yet you wonder if it is entirely necessary.

These feelings don’t apply just to Thanksgiving. You may have similar feelings when it comes to cable testing. You build a cable, following each instruction exactly. The result is a masterpiece of wires, components, and connectors. You can’t wait to ship the cable off where it will be used to launch a satellite or power medical equipment. Before that can happen though, your precious cable must pass a test.cable-computer-sata-s-ata-40604.jpeg

Why bother testing? You know you built the cable correctly. Testing is just going to take more time. Fixturing will have to be built. Software must be programmed. Then what if it fails? You’ll have to find the reason for the failure, and it could take days or even weeks. Wouldn’t it save everyone a headache if you just mailed the cable off and checked that project off your list?

It certainly might feel easier not to test, but the truth is testing performs an important function in the build process. If you don’t test, you might not catch that fatal error that could wreck both your cable and your business.

Instead of thinking of testing as a chore, think of it as a blessing. With a more positive attitude, testing won’t seem as unnecessary.

Is changing your attitude not an option? Here are a few more things you can try to feel better about testing:

  • Test during your build. Cirris calls this method Guided Assembly. You can hook a Cirris CR or other tester to your harness board and test each connection as it’s made. It’s a way to catch errors early in the process.
  • Connect to a network. If all your test programs and software are shareable over a network, it will save you from having to build test programs for every test performed. Do you have a large order of cables in need of testing? Save time by testing them at different stations using the same test program.
  • Use the lawnmower trick. Mowing the lawn is another chore. If you buy the best lawnmower you can, you’ll want to mow the lawn all day. You’ll want to mow all your neighbors’ lawns as well. Invest in a great tester, and you’ll want to test every cable that comes through your shop.
  • Think of it as a test. Remember acing that test at school? This time the test is whether you built that cable correctly or not. Will your hard work get a pass or a fail?
  • Make testing a higher priority. Instead of thinking of testing as a last-minute check on a list, plan for testing. Add testing to the quote. Build the fixturing early. Build a test program before you even finish the cable. If you think of testing as an important step in the cable building process, it won’t feel like such a hassle later.

Do you have other ways of making testing feel more like a priority and less like a chore keeping you from eating turkey? Let us know in the comments. For more ideas about prioritizing testing, check out our article, “Give Electrical Testing the Respect It Deserves,” by clicking the button below.

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Further reading:

How to Make Cable Testing a More Positive Experience

Automated Testing: A Manufacturer’s Secret Weapon

How to Get the Most Out of a Tradeshow

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