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Product Testing 产品测试

December 2019
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随着工业化时代的发展,越来越多的产品需要进行各项测试来验证其部件,半组件,以及成品的功能,可靠性,和寿命,功能是指模拟用户的正常使用和应用,可靠性指连续的模拟用户正常或非正常使用而不出故障,寿命则指产品在正常使用情况下所能持续的最长时间,在此笔者把它们统一归为产品测试。在国际标准里,ISO17025是实验室认可服务的国际标准,目前最新版本是2005年5月发布的,全称是ISO/IEC17025:2005-5-15《检测和校准实验室能力的通用要求》。ISO17025标准是由国际标准化组织ISO/CASCO(国际标准化组织/合格评定委员会)制定的实验室管理标准,该标准的前身是ISO/IEC导则25:1990《校准和检测实验室能力的要求》。国际上对实验室认可进行管理的组织是“国际实验室认可合作组织(ILAC)”,由包括中国合格评定国家认可委员会(CNAS)在内的多个实验室认可机构参加。

With the rapid development of industrialization, more and more products are required of various tests for the function, reliability, and life-span of their parts, semi-finished articles and finished ones. The function test simulates actual use by users, the reliability test simulates continuous normal or non-normal use by users to see whether and when faults will occur, and the life-span test simulates normal use for the longest product duration. I hereby count them all in product test. In the international standard set, ISO17025 is the international standard for laboratory accreditation, the latest version being released in May,2005 with a full name of ISO/IEC17025:2005-5-15 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. ISO17025 is the international standard for laboratory management made by ISO/CASCO, the predecessor of which is ISO/IEC Guideline 25:1990 Requirements for testing and calibration laboratories.International laboratory accreditation cooperation (ILAC) is the international ornanization for laboratory accreditation management, consisting of several laboratory accreditation agencies, including China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Accessment (CNAS).

如果要鉴别一个产品的好坏,过去可能比较简单,“击鼓听音”,这就是鉴别鼓的一种方法,而古代没有现代医疗技术和设备的条件下,医生诊断也都是靠望,闻,问,切,这些经验都是给我们留下的宝贵财富,这些我们都称之为中式的方法。但是工业化时代是由西方发源的,因此更多的强调依赖于设备的客观检验,就连陶瓷这种发源自中国的产品也越来越多的靠现代化的检验技术来完成,否则仅仅靠一些古玩鉴定大师都难以学科化和产业化。

Identifying the quality of a product may be an easy job in the past. For example, a way to identify drum qualitywas to beat them and judge by listening to their sounds. Besides, in the ancient times when there were no modern medical techniques or equipment, doctors detected illnesses through looking at, listening to,asking, and feeling the pulse of a patient.

All such experience is valuable to us, which we call the Chinese tradition. The industrial era originated in the west, however, brings more objectivity supported by scientific devices into testing and inspection. Even ceramics, a product native to China, relies more and more on modern techniques for inspection. Otherwise, neither the displine nor the industry of ceramics can be formed simply through the efforts of an aggregation of antique identifiers.

对于制造企业而言,产品测试是产品开发和验证的一个不可或缺的环节,事实上很多的企业也是以此作为证明自身工程和开发能力的象征。产品测试通常可以在三个场所来实施:

For manufacturing businesses, product testing is an indispensable step for product development and verification, which is actually taken by many companies as a token for their engineering and developing capacity. Product testing can be conducted by three parties:

  1. 客户端。在产品开发阶段将产品测试放在客户端进行说明客户端有更强的工程能力,对产品也比较了解,往往制造供应商只是代工而已。其优点在于客户也便于将产品同其他产品进行组合后再测试,其次测试的表现也方便同其他类似的产品进行横向比较。但是不足之处在于其一制造工厂因为没有亲自目睹测试,所以不了解产品的加工环节有哪些地方可以用来优化产品的性能;其二通常客户在海外,所以整个测试安排和完成周期会比较长;其三批量生产之后仍然需要定期进行测试,而在收到批量产品再去安排测试显然一旦测试结果失败的话造成的影响和围堵成本会非常高。

     1. At client’s premises.  Product testing is undertaken by the client party when the client party is stronger in engineering capacity and has more idea about the product, and the manufacturer, on the contrary, is merely an OEM. For clients, this is a favorable option because they can assemble different products for testing or horizontally compare the performance of various products of the same sort. Yet shortcomings may arise for the manufacturer. First, since the manufacturer doesn’t witness the testing, it has no idea about what can be done to improve product functions. Second, testing can occupy a rather long period if the clients are overseas. Last, regular testing is still necessary after mass production. Once the testing suggests negative outcomes,the containment costs will be on the high side.

     2. 自身工厂。在自身工厂或采购处进行产品测试当然可以更快捷的了解产品的性能,以及产品需要改善的地方,所以规模稍大的制造厂都会考虑在工厂内建立产品测试中心,如果企业希望走在行业的前列,那么很有可能他们会考虑标准化其实验室或者测试中心,甚至委托中国合格评定国家认可委员会(CNAS)进行认证,以确认其资质,增强其品牌效应,甚至创造盈收,比如IKEA 宜家就专门有指定其供应商来其测试中心进行产品的一些特性测试。但是不足的地方是需要投入大量的财力以购置充足的设备,预留足够的空间来配置设备,同时还需要添置有资质的人员来进行测试,如果公司的财务状况不是十分理想或者公司的发展策略并不是走专业化的线路则十之八九不会考虑建立规范的产品测试中心。

      2.At client’s premises.  Product testing is undertaken by the client party when the client party is stronger in engineering capacity and has more idea about the product, and the manufacturer, on the contrary, is merely an OEM. For clients, this is a favorable option because they can assemble different products for testing or horizontally compare the performance of various products of the same sort. Yet shortcomings may arise for the manufacturer. First, since the manufacturer doesn’t witness the testing, it has no idea about what can be done to improve product functions. Second, testing can occupy a rather long period if the clients are overseas. Last, regular testing is still necessary after mass production. Once the testing suggests negative outcomes,the containment costs will be on the high side.

企业投入生产设备会相对容易,因为可以很直观计算产量和产出,以及销售之后的收益,但是测试设备就未必。其一它的收益很难直观的来衡量,其二它的风险也不容易计算,因此投资回报要么低,要么不能量化给决策层。但是实践当中通常采用以下几种计算方式:第一,取第三方的测试费用做基准,估算一定周期(比如一年)内的测试次数来计算如果投资可以避免的第三方测试费,这个计算值同投资测试设备所需花的金额用来进行比较并计算回报年限,通常每家企业财务投资部都会有个限度,回报年限在几年之内可以投资,超过几年不投资;其二,计算如果不安排测试所导致的负面影响或者产品质量问题带来的损失大小,以这个值去同投资额进行对比。其三,除了这些量化的部分,非量化的部分就包括快速的测试结果,灵活可调的测试方式,以及为企业的营销添光加彩等。

Generally speaking, companies prefer producing equipment to testing one because producing machines create outcomes and income that can be directly calculated. In contrast, the income created by testing machines cannot be measured directly. Besides, estimating the risks brought by it is not an easy job, so the investment return either is low or cannot be quantified to the decision-making level.

In practice, there are usually the following ways to calculate the revenue brought by testing. First, estimate the total testing fees charged by third-party institutions within a certain period (say, a year), compare the value with the cost of installing testing machines and compute the return year. Usually the financial sector of each company calculates a deadline. Investment is acceptable when the return year is before the deadline while investment is not advisable when the return year is after the deadline. Second, calculate the negative effects of no testing or the losses brought by product quality problems and compare the value with the investment amount. Third, apart from the quantifying methods, the quantifying includes fast testing results, adjustable methods and adding brilliance to business marketing.

实际上现实当中相当多的企业采用的是“将就”+“马虎”的产品测试方式。也就是测试机器配置的也有,但是可能是很早前配置的,离标准有一定的偏差;国内同时懂产品标准和机器制造的专才不多,老板更不懂标准,也就很容易被底下的人忽悠;再其次因为本身绝大部分的产品测试标准就是来源于欧美的,内容也是英文的,要理解那些标准需要一定的英文基础,而动力能力强的做测试的人员懂英文的又不多,所以很多时候是借助翻译软件的“一知半解”和其他行业人士的“道听途说”式的指点来进行测试;遇到没有标准可参照的情况下则因为不善于也不愿意深究去合理的设定各项参数来进行测试,形似而神不似。

In fact, a considerable number of enterprises adopt the testing pattern of “making do”plus “being careless”. It may be that a company is possessed of a testinmg machine that was installed a rather long time ago, which, therefore, has been deviated from the standard. Or it may be due to the fact that domestic experts in both product standard and machinery are few to list, let alone the boss, who are thus readily fooled by his subordinates. It may also because the standards which originated in Europe or America are recorded in English, the understanding of which requires some English knowledge. Few are people who know English as well as machinery, who therefore conduct testing assisted by translating softwares or the hearsay of other professionals. It may still occur that when there is no standard for reference, testing staff are not willing to and not adept in finding suitable and reasonable parameters for testing.

      3.第三方测试机构。因为产品测试方法不够专业,所以客户不认可工厂自己的测试报告,这时就有了第三方测试机构来扮演第三者的公立角色。如果是标准化的测试方法,第三方测试机构在机器的配置和人员的培训上会有优势,因为毕竟“术业有专攻”,同时因为整合了行业的需求量,因此收益足够支撑其去采购价格昂贵的测试设备,比如 REACH的检测,测试设备的投资动辄几百万人民币,不是一般的企业所能承受,正是因为其投资昂贵,所以常常测试的报价也偏高。但是第三方测试机构往往只能按标准进行测试,如果客户需要按非标测试,客户则需要提供详细的文件指导,但是往往文件不足以体现所有的操作细节和原始意图,因此非标测试有一定的困难;其次第三方测试机构按照先到先测的原则,所以测试会因为等待而周期会偏长;其三第三方测试因为完全基于客户的需求来进行测试,而且只对样品负责,因此免不了与标准会有偏差,比如一个产品按照标准的要求是需要先进行一个负载测试,再进行寿命测试,但是客户要求只进行寿命测试,因此第三方就只测了寿命测试,这显然是不合理的,因为它在此之前遗漏了负载测试,从而测试条件是不完整的;又比如笔者同一个生产门用密封条的德资企业主聊天得知他们对国内的官方指定的第三方测试机构的测试防火门的方法十分不认可,原因在于官方在测试防火门时连密封条都没有使用,所以连测试条件都不满足,测试结果显然就颇具争议了,好在此类属于垄断行业,所以无人敢争。笔者还发现人员不稳定造成新的测试人员对测试方法没有完全掌握就实施测试,因为许多第三方测试机构出于人员成本的压力会选择招聘并不能完全胜任的员工来进行培养,而一个人员对于测试标准的理解是需要时间和经验积累的,而不仅仅局限于标准中的文字理解,就如同盐雾测试结果对于腐蚀程度的界定,有时就是仁者见仁,智者见智,对于经验还是十分依赖的。

    3.At the third-party testing institution. Third-party testing institutions are demanded when clients have no faith in the testing report by manufacturer which is not specialized in product testing. They are professional in standardized testing due to advantage in hardware preparation and personnel training. Demands of the entire industry provide enough profits to cover the expensive costs for purchasing testing machines. To take REACH as an example, its investment in testing equipment often goes to several millions yuan, which is hardly affordable to ordinary enterprises. Bucause the investment is large; the quotation for testing is often on the high side.

Since third-party testing institutions test according to the standard when unrequired, customers shall provide detailed guidance document it they want a non-standard testing. Yet the case is often that the documents fail to cover all the operating details or the primary intention, which makes it slightly difficult for the institutions to conduct non-standard testing.

Besides, a factory may wait in line before others preceding get tested. As a result, the testing period is prolonged.

Another example is that when I once chatted with an owner of a German enterprise, I learnt that they quite disagreed with the way the domestic third-party testing institutions officially designated test fire doors because they didn’t use seals when testing, the absense of which could lead to obviously controversial results. Since this is a monopoly industry, however, no one dare to raise objection.

Moreover, customers ‘requirements may be deviated from the standard. For example, an institution operates only a life testing on a product as demanded by a client, which, according to the standard, should undertake a load testing before a life testing. Judging from the requirements of the standard, it is irregular.

Still, I find that personnel instability causes another problem that new workers undertake testing before they have a full comprehension of testing methods. The reason is that many institutions sometimes recruit staff who are fully qualified for training pressed by the staff cost. A worker’s understanding of testing standard accrues as time passes and experience increases, which is by no means a enlightment of the standard text. The identifying of corrosion degrees in saly spray testing relies much upon experience, a matter for which different induviduals hold different standards.

三者的测试各有优缺点,但是将三者比较,最容易出现的问题就是测试结果的不一致。这在第三方测试行业本身就是一个通病,不同的测试机构给出不同的测试结果。笔者猜想原因大概如下:

Each of the three testings has its own pros and cons. Yet a major problem is that the result of each testing possibly won’t agree with each other. This is a common problem in the third-party testing industry itself: Different testing institutions present different results. I suppose the reasons to be the following:

  1. 投机取巧。因为是取样进行测试,测试结果只对样品负责,所以就被别有用心的人钻了漏洞,选择性的送样,或者选择性的申请测试项目。

Being opportunistic. Since it is sample testing, and the testing results are only responsible for the samples, which leads to some opportunistic people’s selectively sending samples or applying for testing items.

  1. 利益熏心。测试方或收样品方出于各种目的破坏样品或故意导致测试结果不通过,从而造成申请方二次或多次提交申请,耽搁测试周期,影响申请方产品质量形象。

Being profit-driven. The testing party or the sample collector deliberately spoils samples or feigns rejected results. Thus the application party is forced to apply for a second or even third time, which prolongs testing period and affcts the quality and image of the applicant’s product.

  1. 方法不一。排除以上的少数原因,大多数情形下是因为不同方所使用的测试方法或者精度不一致所造成,比如说产品的测试标准里要求产品的运转时间为3-10秒一个周期(Cycle), 那有可能不同的人员或者不同的测试方采用不同节拍,有人采用3秒,有人采用10秒,都能满足标准的要求,但是显然结果会有影响;同样一种测试方法,德国产的100万的测试仪器和国产的10万的测试仪器,精度也会有一定的差异。这也是为什么在医疗检查行业,医院对于测试结果需要严格把关的原因,不仅仅出于隐私保护,想想一个人本来没有重病,但是一经误诊,会导致什么样的后果?

Being different in method. Apart from the above two factors, the third one that people adopt different testing methods or accuracy accounts for the most cases. For example, when testing a product the operation cycle of which is about 3 to 10 seconds according to its testing standard, some may adopt 3seconds while others may choose 10 seconds, which leads to defferent outcomes. A 1-million-yuan testing machine made in Germany and a 100-thousand-yuan one made in China which execute the same testing procedure may still differ in accuracy. That’s  another reason why in the medical examination industry, hospitals need to strictly control the testing results in addition to the protection for privacy. Just imagine what will happen when a person who hasn’t been serious ill is misdiagnosed.

对于第一种和第二种主要是人为的因素,所以需要申请方和测试方加强人的管理和控制,规范管理流程,而对于第三种则需要“和谐化”和“标准化”不同方的测试方法,具体怎么操作,请关键词搜索网站内的其他文章。

The first and the second factor are mainly subjective, which calls for strengthening the regulation and control of personnel as well as standardizing the management process at the applicant and the testing party. For the third factor, it is necessary to harmonize and standardize the testing methods adopted by each party. For more specific operation, please refer to other articles in the website through keyword searching.

The Great Acknowledge Owes to Ms. Qian Wang, Claire from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, I deeply thank her for her persistence, patience and professionalism and volunteer support. I bless her.