Product Development Testing is Crucial

Posted on 12/2/19 7:54 AM


During product development and prior to shipment, it is essential to know if that product will function properly in the country it is intended to be used in—which makes product development testing crucial. With numerous plug patterns used around the world, engineers and designers need to verify that equipment and consumer electrical products will run safely and reliably on specific voltages and frequencies—before exporting.

“Customers today expect to unpack and use the product immediately, so knowing the product will operate at their input voltage and frequency before shipment is crucial,” explained Ron Barnett, Product Development Manager. “If the product is running on the incorrect voltage or frequency, it will not be running at its full potential. Using an AC power source to test before export allows for simulation of field conditions on final production models. Fluctuations in the frequency and voltage can be simulated, with voltage tolerances of ±10% and frequency tolerances of ±3Hz.”

Benefits to Advance Testing

During the early stages of a design, electrical testing will help determine if a concept is feasible before investing large amounts of time and capital. Testing before exporting ensures that the design meets the intended objective, prior to releasing it to test agencies, tooling houses, and eventually customers.

“An AC power source can be used for technical work and allow precision control of the AC voltage, current, and frequency,” he said. “If a company has a development work area or lab where prototypes are built, such a unit can be beneficial as it could be used in situations where different voltages and frequencies are needed.”

Testing may also help prevent potentially expensive modifications after the end product is in production. “When a product is being built to operate in overseas markets, testing allows you to have control over the construction of the product and not have to rely on a third party modifying it for local use. By manufacturing the product to the customer’s specifications in-house, it will help reduce the chance of faulty modifications by the end customer and further help reduce the product liability exposure,” he said.

Interpower’s AC Power Source

ips-demo-300x300Interpower offers an AC power source that can assist with testing in the lab. “The International Power Source (IPS) provides a clean, convenient source of AC power for product design and product testing at various voltages and frequencies found around the world,” Ron said. “The IPS has seven of the most common country-specific sockets. This allows equipment being tested to use the proper plug.”

Interpower offers several different IPS models, which can be purchased or rented. There is also an interface software package which extends the capabilities of the IPS by letting the user create programmable routines.

Who can benefit from using an IPS? Consider these questions:

  1. Does the company manufacture, export,
    or test AC-powered electronic or electrical equipment?
  2. Where does the company export to?
  3. What power (voltage/current) rating is
    the equipment?
  4. What phase is the equipment? (Note: The Interpower IPS can only test single-phase.)

Additional Resources

Product development testing is essential to ensure the success of an electrical product. For more details, see the International Power Source and the IPS Featured Product page.

Interpower offers free technical support. For further assistance, please see Interpower’s contact information below.

Download your Free Chart Guide to Worldwide Plug & Socket Patterns & Power Mains (Single-Phase)

Topics: testing, designing for export, International Power Source

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