EOL

Parseq - software for end-of-line testing

Since the first years of its activity in the sector of the testing machines, Microplan invested in the development of a special software language that its programmers could use to produce test procedures quickly and easily.

This happened for the first time in 1998, with the language called TestSeq. In the time, many customers of Microplan decided to learn how to use TestSeq in order to become independent in modifying or creating test sequences on their test benches. For more than 15 years TestSeq enabled our customers to modify their tests without involving us.

Today, a new language has been produced by Microplan, with more enhanced features, called ParSeq. The name itself reminds that one of the most significant features of this new package is to allow creating parallel tests.

In the following, only few features of ParSeq are described. It is impossible, on the other way, to resume in this space the features of a software package that requested more than 2 years of development by engineers extremely skilled in the testing of HVAC appliances. For more details, please contact Microplan.

An example of the operator’s interface of the test procedures created with ParSeq can be seen in the following picture.

The measured quantities are shown in the upper section of the screen, with the shape of watch dials, where the acceptable ranges involved in checks are green/red coloured.

In the lower section, the space is for instructions to the operator, that can include not only text, but also pictures or movies. The messages can be written in the language of the customer, including  Farsi or Chinese.

The below picture shows an alternative way to use part of that space. The right side is dedicated to the monitoring of a direct communication between the bench and the boiler’s control card. A protocol communication is established, allowing the bench to set the boiler in desired conditons or to obtain measured values or status information from the boiler under test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the previous TestSeq package, ParSeq is a language used by Microplan to build the test procedures of its benches, but that also customers can use, if they want to modify or write their own tests. In the above pictures the point of view of the operator was considered, so the screenshots were taken during the execution of a test procedure; in the following, the point of view of the user who builds test procedures with ParSeq is considered.

  •  Powerful and easy at the same time

Despite its powerful features, it is much more easy to use than a typical programming language: it is specialized to build test procedures and it is made for people with no programming skills. The user doesn’t write instructions, but he simply fills forms or chooses options from lists.

  • Information to the operator during tests

An important function of a test procedure on an automatic bench is to guide and inform the operator. ParSeq allows to wite in the procedure messages to the operator that can be written by the customer in his own language (provided that Windows is suitably set), not only including languages with western characters, but also others, like Farsi or Chinese.
The messages can include not only text, but also pictures, or even movies: this largely increases the power of communication with the operator. 

The messages are usually shown in a dedicated area, as it can be seen in the first two pictures of this chapter, but, besides them, the user can set pop-up messages, that are windows that he can make appear in any position on the screen and with any dimension. Again, the pop-up windows can include text, pictures or movies, as it is the case in the picture below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Building a test by filling forms
    The user can build a test defining valves to move, regulations to set up, quantities to measure, acceptable limits, delays, messages to the operator and whatever is needed, simply filling predefined forms or choosing options from menus. No programming instructions need to be written.
    The following pictures shows how ParSeq makes easy to choose the valves to open or close at a certain step of the procedure: the user select the circuit first, so that only the valves of that circuit are listed. Then he selects valves from the list the valves and presses a button to set them ON or OFF.

  • Building sub-sequences

Filling forms like the one in the above picture, the customer can define the actions of every step of his procedure.
Then he can list the tests, built in this way, in a sequence, in any order he needs (the list of sequential tests is called sub-sequence in ParSeq). With simple drag and drop or copy-paste operations, he can easily move one test in any position in the sub-sequence.

The sub-sequences are the elementary units of the test procedures. A test procedure could be formed by a single sub-sequence, or by many sub-sequences one after the other, or even by sub-sequences put in parallel, as it will be explained in the following paragraph, or by combinations of these situations.

  • Parallel execution
    Different sub-sequences, defined as before said, can be put in parallel, so that they are executed at the same time.

Every subsequence is still written and defined as if it was run alone, but once ParSeq runs them, it automatically takes care of their parallel execution and of the consequent problems.
In this way, the user writes the sub-sequences one by one and he doesn’t need to worry about the implications of a parallel execution.
For example, he doesn’t need to worry about  the management of situations where, for example, one or more parallel sub-sequences fail, while others parallel sub-sequences end successfully.
In situations like these, questions arise, like the following: - should the whole procedure be aborted, or should the operator be allowed to try to repeat the faulty tests? - should all the tests be repeatable or not? – when a test is repeated, can it be repeated alone, or some other tests before it should be repeated in order to reproduce the same conditions? - in general, what is, case by case, the right restart point in case of repeated tests?

This level of problems only arise when tests are performed in parallel, so they were unknown to our TestSeq package, as they are unknown to the software packages of companies that propose themselves as competitors of Microplan. A deep study, and all the experience of Microplan were needed to make ParSeq able to manage such situations.
It is easy to understand how powerful can be the parallelism feature of ParSeq in obtaining shorter testing times and in increasing the productivity of the assembly line.

  • Conditional paths in the test procedure

The traditional way to create the association between a certain model of boiler and its testing procedure was to create a specific testing procedure for every model, with a 1:1 match. Once the barcode of a certain model was read by the bench, the corresponding test procedure was loaded; with a different barcode, a different procedure was loaded, and so on. 
This method works, but it produces an unwanted side effect when the number of models increases.
In fact, it often happens that two models, with different barcode, are of the same family, so that they are different only for a detail, like for example the presence of buttons or potentiometers on the front panel of the boiler. In this case, the only difference in their test procedure could be in a message to the operator where he is requested to rotate a potentiometer in one case and to push some buttons in the other case. For all the other aspects, one test procedure would be a duplicate of the other.

This could happen many times, for every detail that could make models of the same family silghtly different. After some years, one manufacturer could find to have dozens of test procedures, with very small differences one from the other.
If, one day, one parameter, like for example the pressure limits for the gas valve adjustment, should be changed for all the models in a family, all the procedures of models of that family should be modified, one by one. The maintenance of many test procedures can therefore become a heavy work.
ParSeq has solved this problem allowing to write test procedure where different paths are followed inside it, according to some features of the models (like the type of HMI in the above example) or conditions that could happen during the execution itself, in real time.
Taking again the above example, in ParSeq the codes of two different boilers would load the same test procedure, but, in some points of it, one code would follow a way where a certain message is shown to the operator, while the other code produces a different message. The test procedure would remain unique, so that, if some parameter should be changed, it could be changed only once.
In practical experiences of our customers, the number of different test procedures from previous situations to ParSeq decreased of a 1:10 ratio.  

  • Parameters of the model and parameters of the family

The testing procedure of a certain model of appliance includes many parameters, like for example the limits for measured quantities to be checked, the setpoint of automatic regulations, delays, timeouts etc. 

Some of these parameters are specific of the model, but others are the same of other models. For example, the time needed to fill the boiler could be typical of that model and different from others because of its internal structure, but the minimum flow rate of the DHW to switch on the flame could be the same of all the other models that mount the same flow switch.
The traditional approach, which also was the one of our previous TestSeq package, was that every model had its own set of parameters. As a consequence, if a certain parameter needs to be changed for many models, it has to be changed in every set of those models.
In the previous example, if one day a new flow switch would be mounted on all the models, the parameter of the minimum flow rate to switch on should be modified in all the parameters set.
ParSeq has a more efficient approach.

The user can decide if a certain parameter is specific of the single model, which is the object of the test procedure, or if it is the same for a group of models. In the first case the parameter is locally saved and is part of the procedure of that specific model, while in the second case it is saved in a database where it is accessible from the procedures of other models.
If a “local” parameter is changed, it only affects the model to which the procedure refers. If a “group” parameter is changed, it affects all the models of the group that use that parameter.
This makes extremely efficient the modification of parameters in ParSeq when many different models are produced.

  • Advanced functions of calculation

At a first glance, it could seem that the only need, during a test procedure, about the check of measured quantities could be to compare each of them with respective acceptable limits and to obtain a “good” or “fail” result from the comparison.

Few examples can show that this is a limited point of view.

Case 1: the bench needs to check when the DHW temperature difference (outlet-inlet) reaches a minimum limit.
In this case the quantity to check against limits is not a measured quantity, but a combination of two of them: the difference between the outlet temperature and the inlet temperature. To satisfy this need, the software of the bench should allow to define a new quantity, the difference between outlet and inlet temperatures, and to check it against limits. This is possible with ParSeq. 

Case 2: the bench needs to check how much the flow temperature at a certain moment increased respect to the flow temperature at the beginning of the test.
In this case the quantity to check against limits is not a measured quantity, but a difference between the same measured quantity taken in two different moments. To satisfy this need, the software of the bench should allow to store in some way a measured quantity and to recall it in the future for a comparison with a new measurement of the same quantity. This is possible with ParSeq.
Case 3: the bench needs to check the instant ratio between power output to the CH circuit and heat input (something like an efficiency value).
Also in this case the quantity to check is not a measured one, but a complex combination of CH water flow rate, flow and return temperatures, gas flow rate, calorific power of the gas. The software of the bench should allow defining formulas that, taking measured quantities and other parameters as inlet, could produce a final result which could be checked agains limits. This is possible with ParSeq.
These are only few examples of the advanced features of ParSeq in data and measurement processing.

 

Air Conditioners End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's end of line test rigs are suitable for:

  • internal and external units
  • cooling and heating (with heat pumps)

| How?

Microplan's end of line test rigs are intended to perform a full functional test of air conditioners.

| Where?

At the end of the production line before packing.

| Who?

Manufactures of air conditioners

| Why?

  • Test time reduction
  • Elimination of false failure
  • User friendly interface
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Multilanguage software
  • Market credibility

| Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Air conditioner automatic barcode reading and test sequence automatic laoding and running
  • Electric safety tests
  • Voltage, current and power measurement
  • Air flow measurement
  • Cooling (and heating) temperature measurement and check with room temperature
  • Start and run current measurement
  • Swing check
  • Noise measurement
  • Remote control simulation
  • Remote control functions check
  • 4-way valve check
  • Test status interface with production line
  • Test data saving
Gallery: 

Fancoils End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's end of line test rigs are suitable for:

  • Electric fancoils
  • Hydraulic fancoils

| How?

Microplan's end of line test rigs are intended to perform full functional tests.

| Where?

In the production line before the packaging.

| Who?

Manufacturers of fancoils.

| Why?

  • Final test time reduction
  • Reduced faults on final test
  • Takt time balance
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Multilanguage software
  • Market credibility

| Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Fancoil identification trough barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Electric safety tests:
    • Dielectric rigidity
    • Ground continuity
    • Insulation
  • Switch on at different speeds and:
    • Voltage measurement
    • Current measurement
    • Absorbed power measurement
  • Inlet and outlet temperature measurement
  • Water flow measurement
  • Thermal power measurement
  • Air speed measurement
  • Air temperature measurement
  • Faults conditions simulation and check of lockout state
  • Test status interface with production line
  • Test data saving

Rooftops End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan RT-EOL end of line test rigs are suitable for rooftop units.

| How?

RT-EOL test rigs are intended to perform full functional tests.

| Where?

At the end of the production line, before the packaging.

| Who?

Manufacturers of rooftops.

| Why?

  • Final test time reduction
  • Elimination of false failure
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Multilanguage software

| Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Rooftop identification trough barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Electric safety tests:
    • Dielectric rigidity
    • Ground continuity
    • Insulation
  • Gas soundness test
  • First heat demand check, gas inlet pressure measurement
  • Gas leak detection (learn more)
  • Second heat demand check, gas inlet pressure measurement
  • Gas leak detection
  • Burner on check: gas flow measurement
  • Ionization current measurement
  • Gas inlet pressure measurement
  • Modules switch off and minimum adjusting check
  • Rollout and pressure switch intervention check
  • Outlet temperature measurement
  • Faults conditions simulation and check of lockout state
  • Test status interface with production line
  • Test data saving
  • Final report label printing
Gallery: 

Burners End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's end of line test rigs BU-EOL are suitable for:

  • gas burners mono or 3-phase
  • oil burners mono or 3-phase

| How?

Microplan's end of line test rigs BU-EOL are intended to perform a full functional test.

| Where?

In the production line before the packaging.

| Who?

Manufactures of gas and oil burners

| Why?

  • Reduction of final test time
  • Reduced faults at final tests
  • Elimination of false failure 
  • Takt time balance
  • User friendly interface
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Multilanguage software
  • Market credibility

| Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Burner identification through barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Electric safety tests
  • Electronic control unit simulation
  • Connectors insertion check
  • Alarm lamp wiring check
  • Motor switch on check
  • Electric absorption measurement of motor, electrovalve, lighter
  • Flame simulation
  • Flame sensor element check (electrode and photoresistive)
  • Oil pressure measurement on nozzle
  • Output air pressure measurement
  • Starting air pressure check and measurement
  • Air pressure switches functional check
  • Air shutter check and adjustment
  • Gas ramp simulation
  • Fault conditions simulation and check of safety devices
  • Test status interface with production line
  • Test data saving  

Dashboards End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's DB-EOL test rigs are suitable for dashboards of:

  • boilers
  • water heaters

| How?

DB-EOL test rigs are intended to perform full functional tests and wirings check.

| Where?

In the production line before the final assembly.

| Who?

Manufactures of:

  • boilers
  • water heaters
  • control boards

| Why?

  • Reduction of final test time
  • Reduced faults at final tests
  • Takt time balance [learn more on our blog]
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data 
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Market credibility

| Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Dashbioard identification through barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Ground wiring check of circulator, fan, gas valve drivers, chassis, moisture sensor
  • NTC simulation
  • 3-way valve check on CH and DHW
  • Check/measurement of modulating fan command
  • Check/measurement of gas valve modulating command
  • Check/measurement of spark discharge voltage
  • Flame simulation
  • Pressure switches simulation
  • Flow switches simulation
  • Pump electric wiring check
  • Moisture sensor simulation
  • Faults conditions simulation and check of lockout state 
Gallery: 

Water-gas valves End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's water-gas valve test rigs are suitable for gas-water valves used as components of gas fired water heaters.

| How?

Microplan's water-gas valve test rigs are intended to perform a full functional test of gas-water valves.

| Where?

In the production line before the final assembly.

| Who?

  • Manufacturers of water heaters
  • Manufacturers of gas-water valves

| Why?

  • Fully automatic machine 
  • Reduction of final test time
  • Reduced faults at final tests
  • Takt time balance
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Market credibility

| Tests

  • Automatic positioning of the valve under test
  • Automatic closure of valve inlet, outlet and by-pass
  • Regulation:
    • PID control on imposed flow rate
    • check of the position of the needle of the valve
    • automatic repositioning of the needle if out of range through automatic screwdrivers software driven
  • Nominal water flow measurement with by-pass closed
  • Leakage test with air (low pressure)
  • Leakage test with water (high pressure)
  • Nominal water flow measurement with by-pass open
  • Valve draining (compressed air injection)
  • Statistical graphs of ongoing tests
  • Automatic marking of good and fault valves
  • Automatic displacement of the valves towards the packing belt
Gallery: 

Gas Valves and Gas Assemblies End-of-Line

early test of components  

| What?

Microplan's early test rigs GA-EOL are suitable for:

  • gas valves
  • gas assemblies (gas valve + burner + inlet pipe)

|How?

Microplan's early test rigs GA-EOL are designed to perform full functional tests and gas valve pre-adjustment.

|Where?

In the production line before the final assembly.

|Who?

  • Manufactures of gas fired boilers (only conventional)
  • Manufacturers of gas valves

|Which?

GA-EOL test rigs are suitable for gas valves of the different manufacturers available on the market. 

|Why?

  • Reduction of final test time
  • Reduced faults at final tests
  • Takt time balance [read more in our blog]
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Market credibility

|Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Assembly identification through barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Automatic pre-adjustment of gas valve (min and max) through automatic screwdrivers
  • Gas pressure measurement
  • Gas flow measurement
  • Complete test of gas assembly: multistage leakage test and adjustment
  • Inlet pressure automatic control
Gallery: 

Oil boilers End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's end of line test rigs OIL-EOL are suitable for:

  • oil boilers

| How?

OIL-EOL test rigs are designed to perform a full functional test of oil boilers.   

| Where?  

At the end of the production line before packing.

| Who?

Manufactures of oil boilers.

| Why?

  • Test time reduction
  • Elimination of false failure 
  • User friendly interface
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data 
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Multilanguage software
  • Market credibility

| Which?

Microplan's end of line test rigs OIL-EOL are available for boilers with the following nominal power:

  • 5 - 50 Kw
  • 10 - 80 Kw
  • 15 - 150 Kw
  • 30 - 300 Kw

but can be designed for any other range.

| Typical tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Boiler identification through barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Electric safety tests
  • Automatic boiler filling with water at 4,5 bar
  • CH soundness test (visual)
  • Oil manual filling (test bench opens 1 valve and supply electricity to the boiler; pump sucks oil into the boiler)
  • Commissioning the oil burner (visual): start-up behaviour and leakages check 
  • Operating the boiler at MAX load:
    • Operator sets the boiler at max
    • Oil pressure is measured against thresholds
    • Oil consumption (flow) is measured against thresholds
    • Water flow rate is measured against thresholds
    • Operator regulates the CO2 value against thresholds
    • CO2 – CO – NO – flue gas temperature are measured and checked against thresholds
    • Ionization current measurement
    • Measurement of electric power absorbed by the boiler
    • Water return temperature is kept at 60° C. during this step (PID control)
  • Operating the boiler at MIN load:
    • Operator sets the boiler at min
    • Oil pressure is measured against thresholds
    • Oil consumption (flow) is measured against thresholds
    • Water flow rate is measured against thresholds
    • Operator regulates the CO2 value against thresholds
    • CO2 – CO – NO – flue gas temperature are measured and checked against thresholds
    • Ionization current measurement
    • Measurement of  electric power absorbed by the boiler
    • Water return temperature is kept at 45° C. during this step (PID control)
  • Test status interface with transportation line
  • Test data saving

| Software

Gallery: 

Hydraulic assemblies End-of-Line

| What?

Microplan's hydraulic assemblies test rigs are suitable for:

  • plastic hydraulic assemblies
  • copper hydraulic assemblies

| How?

Microplan's hydraulic assemblies test rigs are intended to perform a full functional test.

| Where?

In the production line before the final assembly.

| Who?

  • Manufacturers of gas fired boilers
  • Manufacturers of heat pumps
  • Manufacturers of hydraulic assemblies

| Why?

  • Reduction of final test time
  • Reduced faults at final tests
  • Takt time balance (read more in our blog)
  • Quality improvement
  • Full traceability of test data
  • Human operations driven and controlled by the test rig
  • Test data available for statistical elaborations
  • Market credibility

| Which?

These test rigs are suitable for hydraulic assemblies of the different manufacturers available on the market. The main difference among the models of test rigs is the way they perfom the leakage test either with water or with air.

| Tests

  • Operator identification through scanner or badge
  • Assembly identification through barcode reading and test sequence automatic loading and running
  • Leakage test on DHW and CH circuits in parallel with two different pressures
  • Leakage test within circuits
  • DHW max flow rate check
  • CH flow test
  • By-pass flow test
  • DHW min flow rate check
  • 3-way valve test (electric or stepper motor)
  • Good and fault pieces printing

| Options:

  • Automatic couplings through pistons
  • Manual couplings with quick connectors
Gallery: 

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