What is the foundation of the technology you see around you every day? Most probably, you would say that this is the computer chip, and you are right. This is what makes everything work and performs the computations that power algorithms. However, there is an important element that most people tend to forget: power connectors. These connectors are the ones that power the chips the devices use. Naturally, this is a crucial element to make the technology around us do its magic.
Connectors in harsh environments
Connectors might sound simple when you think about servers. This is an indoor environment that is heavily regulated to ensure smooth operations. However, there are more difficult locations that require power. For example, busses make use of technology and drive on the road every day. Another example is a CCTV system that is attached to a traffic light. To make sure these continue to function, they need to be checked for quality and robustness. Examples of checks that are performed to confirm compliance are UL, VDE, and ESTI+.
Business to business market
Consumers rarely buy power connectors directly. When they purchase a device or make use of a service, the connector is embedded into it. This means that the companies who are using the connector need to make sure it works properly. Next to the compliance tests, it is important to test the complete solution. Normally this flows through three stages: Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), Site Acceptance Tests (SAT), and User Acceptance Tests (UAT).
Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
When a product is finished, and the power connectors are included, they are tested together. This is referred to as the FAT. This test contains dozens of use cases that are plausible when using the device. This includes the ‘regular’ use cases but can also include situations that should not happen with the machine but are plausible. When the tests are completed and approved, the machine moves to the next phase.
Site Acceptance Tests (SAT)
Depending on the type of machine, this test can differ greatly. As can be derived from the title, it is a test on the location where the machine is placed For example, for a CCTV camera this could be the traffic light whereas it can also be a shopping mall. In this setting, a range of other tests is completed in this setting Ato sees if it is properly installed and does the trick. When it comes to power connectors, it is important to check if they are correctly mounted to ensure connectivity.
User Acceptance Tests (UAT)
For the connector, this test is less relevant. Normally these tests include use cases from users who will use the machine. This can be a truck driver who is going to use a new truck or an officer who needs to watch the CCTV recordings. Once these tests are accepted, the machine can be put into operation. Another device connected to serve society!