Product Validation and Qualification Test Manager

By Ray Robichaud, Drawbridge Technologies, Inc.

The Challenge:

Develop an adaptable test system capable of performing Product Verification and Qualification testing while allowing to select various instruments to be part of the test without the need to modify the LabVIEW software.

Project Scope:

A fundamental requirement was for the automated test software to perform all implemented test functionality as well as allow expansion to accommodate potential future needs or future products. New desired functionality included the ability to swap power supplies and use different instruments without affecting the actual tests that were carried out. The test cases also required to be dynamic by having decisions made by the software at run time to activate or skip test modules. Furthermore, adaptability was required to allow for the creation of new test scenarios and to incorporate them into existing test configurations without the necessity to modify the LabVIEW code.

The Solution:

Drawbridge created an architecture that provides a flexible software solution using LabVIEW. The software could be configured and expanded by the use of test scripts for the various test scenarios. The selected architecture was conceived with adaptability in mind and was able to accommodate both current and future needs of the customer.

The scalable solution allowed the customer to prepare their own test scripts and identify each instrument as an individual resource. This approach satisfied the customer's requirement to be able to swap the power supplies since each output channel of the supplies had its unique tag. The Designers were able to share and maximize the use of the instruments that were available to them. The solution was portable and allowed the customer to fully customize each test as well as its duration, which could span for weeks. Furthermore, it was sufficiently flexible to allow the customer to use the same software, unchanged, to test a different products that used the same test bench/instruments.

In fact, the core of the software architecture solution was implemented with great success at three different customers; thus reducing the time to implement custom solutions and reducing the risk to a minimum.The architecture framework evolved to become FlexShell TM that is being used in several new projects. FlexShell considerably reduces the time to implement the GUI for the overall software solution and allows to scale to any size project.

The code architecture that Drawbridge delivered consisted of 3 main parts: The GUI, a Test Engine Wrapper, and the Test Engine, which contains a Queued State Handler (QSH). The QSH offers the ability to add or remove test steps at run-time as well as call and insert additional test scripts. The separation into 3 main parts allows for the modification of existing features without affecting the other parts of the software, thus reducing module testing efforts and quick turn-around time to release new functionality.

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Technical Strengths:

C, C++, LabVIEW, TestStand, VxWorks, Embedded Linux, communication protocols (ARINC, telnet, SSH, fromRS232, etc)

Past Experience

Hardware design, Biomedical Engineering, Software Development (Embedded and Application), Industrial Controls, Robotics, Wireless Telecommunication.

Drawbridge Employee Since:


What I love about my job:

Everything! There is no routine in what I do. The unexpected is always a fun challenge.

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