There will always be newer, faster, better technology. If you want to keep pace with it and make a smooth transformation of your test floor, you need a comprehensive, cost-effective technology refresh strategy that will maximise your return on investment (ROI) and limit unscheduled downtime.

Measurement capability

Customers who purchase new test equipment usually fall into one of three categories. Some buy too much functionality and end up overpaying for their particular needs. Others buy too little functionality and then need to allocate more funds to either upgrade their system or trade it in on a more powerful one. The third group— those who buy exactly the right amount of functionality and measurement accuracy for their unique needs—keep pace with technology while minimising their capital and operating expenses. How can you optimise the ROI of your test assets? Take a fresh look at your test equipment and create a detailed list including acquisition date warranty data calibration schedule and measurement capability. How often are these assets used? Do they sit idle a good portion of the time?

Understand exactly what you need to test today and try to anticipate your test needs for the next 18 to 24 months. Does your existing test system meet those needs? If so continue to use your test equipment. This will maximise the ROI of your existing test systems. If your test equipment does not meet your test needs for the next 18 to 24 months determine which test assets can be upgraded or need to be replaced. You do not want to buy a test system simply because it's newer faster smaller more accurate and maybe even simpler to operate. If the new test solution can't make the basic measurements you need with the required accuracy—nothing else matters.

Code compatibility

Many instrument suppliers claim to have new test instruments and systems that are backward compatible with your existing test programs. Read the fine print and carefully assess these claims. Many companies simply transfer existing commands to their new test equipment. What this means is that even though you purchased faster more accurate state-of-the-art test equipment you can't take advantage of these new features. Your new test equipment may perform exactly like your old test equipment because the limitation is your old test code. There is also a chance that your old test code might not perform in exactly the same way on the new test equipment which could result in inaccurate or misleading results that could seriously affect throughput compliance and profitability.

Physical envelope

Does a new instrument need to fit into an existing rack? Is the floor space in your test area limited or being reallocated? Be sure to assess the physical environment of your test area to ensure your new equipment fits into your test rack or your intended floor space.

Streamline test execution process

Does your new equipment have the right connections on the front and back panels? If not there's usually a workaround to avoid surprises—and deployment delays.

Your technology refresh strategy

Keysight Technologies Inc. offers a portfolio of Tech Refresh Services to help you maximise your test asset value by extending the capabilities of your existing test equipment or helping you affordably migrate to newer technology. These services include: upgrades to existing equipment extended service plans for legacy assets a multi-vendor trade-in programme offering attractive trade-in deals for older assets and professional assistance to facilitate the technology migration and provide training so you can get the most out of your new test solution.

Our technology refresh consultants can help you design a technology refresh plan to maximise your ROI and minimise unscheduled downtime and disruption. Keysight's technology refresh consultants will: – Analyse your current test needs and test assets – Identify test assets that meet your measurement goals and can maximise your ROI – Analyse ongoing maintenance and calibration costs – Pinpoint opportunities to increase energy efficiency or reduce operating costs – Classify test assets for upgrade replacement sale or disposal – Maximise credits discounts and promotions to help you reduce capital expenditures (CAPEX) – Reduce annual maintenance costs with warranties and extended warranties – Develop the most efficient and cost-effective technology refresh timeline

This article was sponsored by Keysight Technologies.