What is the purpose of your visit at A&R this time?
We came to accept and validate a Semi-Automatic Pad Printing and Packaging Machine for Semi-Finished Lenses. We didn’t schedule time to combine the acceptance tests with a machine training. This is our second machine so a training this time was not necessary. However we received information about the new PPOS upgrade and new machine software configuration. The acceptance tests always help us to have a better machine understanding prior to the installation.
How does an acceptance test take place?
We use a specific procedure. The Engineering team prepares a procedure beforehand according to our machine specifications (redaction note: A&R provides acceptance tests procedure in case the customer doesn’t have specific requirement). We check every aspect of the finished product and run the machine as close as the production environment. We also check with A&R what critical spare parts are necessary to avoid downtime during the 3 first weeks of production. A&R provides a recommended spare parts list accordingly. A&R also supplies a recommended maintenance schedule.
What kind of checks are you performing during an acceptance tests at A&R?
We do full functionality checks on the machine (including electrical and mechanical aspects). We run lenses and verify if the machine performs as said in the machine specification documents. We also confirm software functionalities, cycle time and calibration procedures. We care very much about the safety aspect. The safety aspect is one of the most critical aspects because if the machine doesn’t pass our safety standards it can not be accepted.
According to your experience who should attend the acceptance tests? How long does it take?
We realise that the only way to compete against the Asian market is through automation. In this way we reduce labour The Engineering Department who follows the project from the beginning and staff from the company who are being using the machine at the factory (maintenance people and process engineer). For a standard Semi-Automatic Pad Printing and Packaging Unit for Semi-Finished Lenses the acceptance tests just take one day but it of course depends on the machine complexity.
Why is it important to carry out an acceptance test at A&R and not at the customer location?
It is very important to make sure what has been ordered and what is delivered to site is matching. A&R can give a faster response to what is requested if modification and/or improvement have been notified at their facility before starting production. Another aspect is to reduce the installation time and unnecessary disruption in the production facility.
What is your expectation for a successful acceptance test achievement?
We expect the machine 100% complete and ready for a full production capacity. Also we ensure that the final documentation is written in accordance with the last requirements done on the equipment.
Thanks to Thomas Doyle, Project Engineer, Ireland, Bernard Dunne, Maintenance Engineering, Ireland and Pascal Mathey, Project Engineer, France.