However, remote testing has now proven to be an even better solution for both VEO and their customers.

The Factory Acceptance Test, or FAT, is a documented functional inspection and an essential part of all VEO projects. Tests are made to determine whether the equipment manufactured meets the requirements set for them.

“Remote FAT testing follows the same formula as regular testing. The only difference is that now the connection to the customer is made through remote connection service,” says Anssi Litmanen, VEO’s Key Account Manager.

Veo safety testing.

According to VEO, the rearrangements for remote testing took a little while to implement successfully, but now, after half a year, the new arrangement is starting to pan out and has become an even better option than the old method.

“The strength of remote testing is its ease. FAT test sessions often involve both VEO’s customers and end customers. All the necessary people are easier to get involved remotely. Because remote FAT tests do not require flying around the world, they are therefore more effective, saving time, money and the climate,” says Kimi Roos, Automation Team Lead for VEO’s FAT tests.

Unlike on-the-spot testing, advanced planning is emphasised when it comes to remote FAT test situations.

“FAT’s require careful planning and preparation to ensure that all the materials displayed are included and put together in a form that is perceptible to the customer. There is a lot to show, and the schedule is tight, so all the materials and connections for the testing event need to be ready beforehand, so that the test can proceed smoothly and without interruption,” Roos continues.

A remote testing event also requires strong trust from both parties. The cooperation between VEO and their long-term partner Wärtsilä builds on facts and complete transparency. Honest communication about possible challenges is needed as well as an ability to find solutions together.

“In projects of the size we do with VEO, there is always room for improvement. The purpose of project testing is to detect possible errors in good time. This will make things easier to repair. VEO does an excellent job, and our cooperation is very fruitful. Therefore, I do not think I have declined any project during the past three years when I have been responsible for testing,” says Wärtsilä’s Inspection Manager Robert Keisala.

New learnings and development ideas

The new testing method has also brought new learnings and development ideas.

“In remote testing, all the materials are always open on the computer screen, making it easier to monitor the testing. We have also noticed important targets for development with VEO, which might have been, at least partially, ignored in a live situation,” Keisala points out.

As everyone knows, new methods rarely work seamlessly from the beginning, and this is also the case with FAT tests. Initially, there were challenges, especially with the quality of the video connection.

“Everyone knows how frustrating it is to hold a remote meeting when the internet connection is not working properly. Video quality is an integral part of our review, and we’re constantly working to improve our connections. We have also expanded our testing area so that the parts presented to the customer can be better described,” says Litmanen about the improvements made by VEO.

“VEO employs a lot of visionaries who boldly come up with useful ideas for everyone. For example,

to solve the remote connection problem, VEO came up with a great, simple solution: VEO’s employees film a detailed introduction video of the parts to be tested in advance, which they send to us for viewing. In that case, the resolution of the video remains high-quality, and I get a good picture of the devices under consideration,” Keisala says.

Encouraged by the excellent feedback, VEO remote FAT’s will continue after the pandemic is over.

“Every cloud has a silver lining, and the remote FAT’s are the best change VEO made during the corona era. From now on, remote testing will always be possible at VEO,” sums up Litmanen.