Backbone system for the global management of test orders

On behalf of a leading automotive supplier, Peak Solution has implemented the first stage of a global backbone system for managing test orders. The company is testing security systems at several sites in Europe, America and Asia. The new software application unifies the processes for the description, commissioning and scheduling of tests across locations and creates transparency about the availability of test resources, such as measuring devices, cameras, dummies, test parts and test staff.

The solution has a web-based dashboard, which provides users a personalized access to the individual application modules of the backbone system with a consistent look & feel. In addition, gadgets give them a quick overview of important information (e.g. open test requests) and provide system-wide functions (e.g. search). The user interface supports multiple languages and uses terminology commonly understood by the intended user of the system.

In the Test Request Module, the user creates test series for new or existing test projects. A series of tests usually comprises several test parts with which a defined number of individual tests have to be carried out. Each individual test, in turn, consists of one or more test steps.

The test series are created based on predefined templates. This makes the processing of recurring tasks more efficient and the commissioning process of tests standardized. The templates can be customized for different product lines and departments.

During the creation, the user determines the desired start and end date as well as the laboratory for the execution of a test series. In addition, he specifies the type of resources he needs for the individual test steps of the test series. Extensive plausibility checks and default settings in the selection fields of the templates ensure that there are no contradictory inputs.

After a new test series has been created, the user can either commission the complete test series or individual tests from the test series. The corresponding test orders are then displayed in the Scheduling Module.

The basis for the Scheduling Module is the Peak Resource Planner. Peak Solution has integrated the product into the overall architecture and processes of the backbone system, and has extended it by a web-based user interface.

The scheduling module provides the user an overview of the planned test series and information on the availability of the test resources required for this purpose. This is optionally done on a hour, day, week or month level.

In order to achieve a conflict-free assignment of the test resources, the user can move the individual test steps of a test series within the planned execution period of the test series via drag and drop. If the total number of available resources is insufficient for the test series, he changes either the execution period or the lab of the test series. The application supports him with suitable proposals.

An add-on for automating the scheduling is planned in further implementation stages of the solution. For this purpose, Peak Solution will develop algorithms with which the user can efficiently go through the number of possible planning solutions. Based on heuristics, scoring procedures and rules, the system then proposes the best solution for an existing planning problem in an acceptable time (see: Automation of complex planning tasks in the test field)

At various points in the process, the user can use the central search function of the backbone system in order to find test orders, resources, templates or other objects across locations. For this purpose, both a full-text search and an attribute-based search are available.

The attribute-based search provides the ability to define complex search queries based on all attributes available in the system. Logical operators can link the individual attributes. A search query defined once can be saved as a favorite and can be reused at any time.

By that, the users of the backbone system receive all the information they need for the efficient planning and implementation of the global test processes in a user-friendly and personalized way.

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