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What Happens When Companies Wait Too Long to Update Test Equipment

What Happens When Companies Wait Too Long to Update Test Equipment

Businesses in every industry are constantly striving to deliver on two fronts; provide the best of the best to their customers and, be as successful as they can be. Being able to capture and maintain market share and continuing to increase the bottom line are areas where countless hours are spent examining and coming up with the perfect plans. Part of this plan should be, must be, the review of status of test equipment.

Often overlooked, test equipment is THE piece of the puzzle that can help deliver efficiency and solidify effectiveness of the manufacturing process. With such a vital role in the organization it is imperative that this equipment is operating in top form. Waiting to long to review and update test equipment can have a negative impact that can ripple through the entire value chain.

The following outlines some of the impacts of not keeping equipment current and up to date.

Lost Productivity

One of the main issues in failing to update, is the risk of lost productivity. Older hardware / software just isn’t as effective, doesn’t always offer as many features or functions, and in turn slows down the flow of work. This results in a real loss to the productivity level, through reduced cycle times, increased unscheduled labour and potential reduction in quality.

Third Party Products

If systems interact with third party hardware and/or software the risks of waiting too long to update or upgrade are compounded. A small change in any one peripheral product can slow down or even grind the entire system to a halt.

Step Function Changes

Updating on a regular basis normally involves smaller, more subtle changes which are less expense to deploy and have less of an impact on employees and their ability to adapt – which greatly impacts efficiency, throughput and production schedules. Making small adjustments along the way is much more efficient than a full generation or multi-generation upgrade.


The cost of updates is much lower and can be absorbed into operating expenses, as oppose to generational changes which are larger and typically capital acquisitions.

In addition, obsolete hardware is more expensive to replace or repair and service for obsolete system is more difficult and time consuming; impacting hard costs and production schedules.

Scheduling & Downtime

Scheduling faster updates is always preferable to longer upgrade cycles which require both more time onsite to install and implement and longer adaptation times with users. Upgrades represent incremental changes that are more easily adapted by users, as opposed to generational changes which could require more in-depth training.

Impact on Quality

When equipment is part of the quality process the manufacturing and test procedures are written around the quality requirements. Small updates are generally easily adapted to whereas larger upgrades could result in the rewriting of work instructions, as opposed to simpler updates and amendments.

Updates also take into account incremental quality changes which could have an impact on production quality, reduced rework and improved throughput.


Just as important as calibrating to ensure that test results are accurate is the check and balance that should be deployed to ensure the results are achieved in the most appropriate manner possible; shortest cycle time, least effort, lowest cost. Adding an update check to the calibration cycle is a simple and effective mechanism to ensure the organization is up to speed.

Keeping ahead of the Competition

Competition is a driving force behind any business. No matter your position in the market of how great your product or service is, there’s always going to be someone looking to win over a customer. Something as simple as the latest hardware or software can make a massive difference on what a company offers its customers, how quickly they offer it, at what price and with what lead time. Keeping systems up to date is a simple way to help maintain your advantage.

Don’t Wait too Long

At the end of the day, companies always need to be aware of how their hardware / software is aging and make sure they are replacing it before it starts to become a hindrance to production, their staff and the bottom line.

How Nexeya Helps

At Nexeya we pride ourselves on the longevity of our solutions. On the hardware side we design and built robust systems intended to work for extended periods of time. Our product plans and roadmaps are multi-generational so that we can help anticipate issues and plan for them. Changes we make are more incremental and, as much as possible, backward compatible. Subassemblies cross product lines so that we reduce the number of different parts and increase our ability to extend service life. From a software point of view, we build on the same platform ensuring that we can more easily maintain software changes and iterations and we strive to make small, simpler modifications so as to deliver the biggest benefit with the least amount of disruption.

In addition to hardware/software roadmap management Nexeya has an excellent customer support team that understands all the generations of our products so that we can support as needed. This is mirrored in the engineering team which strives for overall compatibility across our platforms and generations while making changes.

That said, there comes a time when hardware / software has been stretched to the limit and a new generation is necessary. It is important to understand these milestones and plan for them.

Nexeya regularly communicates changes in hardware and software and has seen an increase in updating / upgrading from many users. We would like to remind any users that we are here, at any time, to help review your systems and work in conjunction with you to determine the status of your equipment and, if and when, an upgrade strategy should be deployed.

For any additional information or support please contact us at:

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