Factory Acceptance Tests
Factory Acceptance Tests are conducted to:
• test the system in a lab environment before it gets shipped and installed at your site,
• allow you to become familiar with your new system,
• clarify any differences between your expectations and reality.
Factory Acceptance Tests are particularly valuable if you are undergoing a major technology change, such as moving from analog conventional system to digital trunked system. In these cases, you would be well advised to have someone already expertly familiar with the new technology on your team participating in the test.
For the tests, the vendor will have assembled the system in a configuration either identical to, or if impractical (for example because of the number of sites or consoles), similar to the actual.
Tests performed during FAT include:
- visual inspection,
- verification of electrical parameters of the relevant equipment (eg. base station output power or sensitivity),
- functional tests (eg. group or emergency calls across multiple sites),
- system resiliency (eg. automatic switchover),
- other aspects of the system as previously agreed.
Where system design includes major microwave network, there may be a separate FAT for the microwave subsystem at a different location. It is not practical to set up actual RF microwave links in factory settings. The connection between sites is typically simulated via hard-wired connections (most commonly Ethernet).
On large networks with multiples of identical sites or large number of dispatch consoles, some sites and consoles may be excluded from testing for pragmatic reasons. Make sure that the reduced test configuration still allows realistic system testing.
Where the technology change and/or the size of the system is limited, you may be able to save some time and money by foregoing the FAT and rely on your vendor to perform the necessary testing before shipment, without your participation.
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