Tests

Tests are needed at different stages of each automation project in order to ensure success.

The two most significant tests in automation projects are:

  • Workshop tests (FAT).
  • On-site tests (SAT).

WORKSHOP TESTS

Electrical cabinet tests in Zeus Control workshop.

Electrical cabinet tests in Zeus Control workshop.

These tests take place when the control system equipment is in Zeus Control workshop before being sent to its final destination in the industrial production plant.

These tests, known as FAT (Factory Acceptance Test), are particularly relevant because they ensure hardware and software delivered complies with customer requirements. These tests are associated with formal acceptance by the customer.

After assembling the control system hardware, configuring and loading the software, the whole system goes through tests with previously established protocols and approved by the client. First, the hardware is tested, essentially mechanical and electrical aspects, and then the control functionality, which depends directly on software, is tested.

Typically performed tests in Zeus Control workshops are:

Electrical testing equipment.

Electrical testing equipment.

General and electrical tests

Checking:

  • Each component is the one established in the engineering documentation.
  • The location of each component in the cabinet is the one established in engineering documention.
  • Components‚Äô marking.
  • Continuity between points connected by wire. All wiring in cabinet.
  • Continuity on safety wires.
  • Galvanic isolation between pairs of¬†busbars and with reference to earth.
  • Dielectric strength tests.
  • Electrical functionality tests.

 Control tests

Checking internal communications in the control system:

  • Acquisition of wired signals.

    Control system and control cabinet ready for testing.

    Control system and control cabinet ready for testing.

  • Generation of wired signals.
  • Checking redundancies in power supplies and controllers.
  • Checking programming:¬†control loops, process logic, presented values¬†on screen displays,¬†alarms, events, etc.

 ON-SITE TESTS

Once the control system equipment has been installed in the plant, tests are conducted to ensure the system is fully prepared to control the production process.

On-site tests are focused on verifying installation and functionality. Not duplicating the previously carried out workshop tests.

On-site tests usually verify:

  • Wiring between electrical cabinets and consumers.
  • Wiring between¬†control cabinets,¬†sensor transmitters¬†and actuators was¬†carried out properly.
  • Control system does not present any abnormality when¬†fed¬†electrically for the first time on-site.
  • Communications between¬†control system components.
  • Every wired input signal is¬†properly received in the¬†control system.
  • Every wired output signal is¬†properly received by¬†actuators and/or consumers.