The need for verify quality and safety of the marketed products, and their components, through laboratory tests is a necessity - and an obligation - which is very present at different levels of the marketing process. Whether they are very structured companies that operate on the global market, or medium-small companies aimed only at national trade, there is a tendency to make use of pretesting of products, so as to prevent and identify any critical issues, to save money and streamline production processes.
PRETESTING As a partial test
In the field of product certification, the term "pretesting" indicates a test carried out before the final testing. This is an extremely important phase that allows you to know in advance if specific non-conformities exist. Very often pretesting takes the form of a partial test in which only some of the tests foreseen for the final test are carried out. This trend is motivated by interest in reduction of times and costs, but also by the need to focus only on the aspects of the product considered critical. Furthermore, pretesting often involves prototypes that will subsequently be integrated and completed; prototypes which however need to be evaluated in certain aspects.
THE ADVANTAGES OF PRETESTING
Solving problems at the source allows you to significantly reduce the costs associated with product modifications and additions. The increase in these costs, as is evident, is exponential over time; think for example ofeconomic impact of the need to replace a component at different moments of the production process. Certainly a replacement made during design will have less weight than a change made after purchases for production, or after assembly, after distribution, or sale.
In addition to the economic aspect, a great advantage associated with pretesting is the speed of access to markets, with the guarantee of timely distribution of products. Furthermore, the advantages linked to the need for safeguard the company's image, reducing risks and responsibilities thanks to complex and safe processes, avoiding the withdrawal of products from the market or any legal disputes.
Furthermore, the entire population benefits from pretesting services design and manufacturing process. It is clear that providing for intermediate tests will allow for simpler, more linear design and production processes that can be easily amended and perfected.
In particular, pretesting is useful when a company adopts new technologies and solutions, perhaps in innovative or so far unexplored fields. It is less useful on consolidated products, for which the company has already acquired the solutions to achieve compliance.
the TIMELINES for PRETESTING
As mentioned, it is very useful to carry out the activities of pretesting the product at an early stage, since if a non-conformity is discovered it will be less expensive to remedy it. In some cases, however, pretesting activities are also used on finished products. This setting is useful if an already consolidated product is undergoing new certifications or if it is believed that there may be specific critical issues linked to individual aspects.
In cases like this we operate by carrying out subsets of tests, evaluating their results, before proceeding - if the pretesting has not brought any problems to light - to the tests in their entirety. Dividing the testing campaign into two separate sessions - although involving some additional costs - translates into a significant savings in time and costs, where pretesting reveals that there are changes that need to be made.
When pretesting is done on a final product, certainly, some of the tests can be kept valid for the final testing, without any need to repeat them. Differently, if you are testing a intermediate prototype, you will need to repeat all the relevant tests.
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