Frequently Asked Questions for Custom Automated Test Systems


How do I know you can solve my problem?

We certainly don’t claim to be able to solve all automated test problems.  See here for the problems we do solve.

When are you not a good fit to help me?

  • ICT / bed-of-nails test (except Custom Adapter Module Development for MAC Panel’s SCOUT)
  • Companies outside the US
  • Student projects / universities
  • Test execution services. We aren’t a test lab.
  • Any solution less than $5k

I just want to see a list of your capabilities.  Where can I find that?

No problem.  Right here.

Can you provide a turnkey test system?

Yes.  See here for types of engagements, contract types, and supporting suppliers for more detail.

I just need software developed.  I’ve already got the hardware.  Is that okay?

That’s fine with us.  Whatever makes the most sense for you.

How much will my test system cost?

It depends.  Are you just looking for software development, or do you need a full turnkey tester? If you need hardware, is everything available off-the-shelf, or do you need custom cabling/fixtures/PCBs? Check out our pricing for custom automated test systems and LabVIEW programming for more detail.

How and where do I start?

You reach out here for a consultation.  We’ll start asking you questions that help us understand your requirements.  We’ll also touch on the business side of things (budget, timing, fit, motivation).

What’s your process for delivering a test system look like?

See our custom test equipment supplier process.

What industries do you work in?

Given what we do (automated test system development), you might imagine that we’d work in many industries, and you’d be right.  We do find that we’re most valuable in industries that manufacture complex, mission-critical assemblies (see here for more).  Of course, some industries have more complex and mission-critical assemblies than others, so we tend to be called upon more often in these industries:

I like to see proof by example.  Do you have any automated test case studies I can see?

We sure do.  See here for our test system case studies.

I just need a circuit board designed.  Is that something you can help with?

Yes.  The devil’s in the details of course.  For example, we don’t get into RF board design.  We focus mostly on boards requiring analog signal conditioning and deterministic I/O.  See here for more details.

How do I know that you know the ins and outs of how to test my product?

We don’t (of course we have tested quite a few different types of products, so chances are, we’ve seen something at least somewhat similar).  We know how to take good measurements, how to write good test software, and how to select good test hardware.  You’re the expert at your product, we’re experts at developing test systems.  That’s where we come together.

Do you do staff augmentation?

We do.  We augment the test engineering capabilities at many companies. We usually do the majority of the project work remotely, with an initial on-site if needed to see the product or system, go on-site for test system commissioning, and then as needed for follow-up support. Check out the staff augmentation page for more detail.

Do you work T&M or fixed bid?

Both, as well as a combination of the two.  As you’d imagine, fixed bid projects require a more rigorous set of requirements, which sometimes can be challenging in a more R&D sort of environment, in which case T&M is often easier.

Do I get the source code, BOM, manuals, and drawings when you deliver the test system?

Yes.  There are scenarios where we utilize pre-developed code or hardware.  You’ll still get the information you’ll need to make updates and changes as you see fit, but your usage of those may be limited to use on your systems.  What we want to limit here is having one of our competitors go off and utilize our IP.  We want to use it to stay cost-competitive.

Will I be working with one person or a team of people?

You’ll have a primary POC.  Then, depending on the size and timeline of the project, we add team members as needed.

Do you have a minimum project size or will you help me with my small project?

We don’t have a minimum size project requirement.  We do consider the long-term potential of working together, since we prefer long term relationships.

Do you offer long term support contracts?

We do! As with any project, we’ll want some definition of the end goal so we can:

  1. identify appropriate personnel and
  2. estimate duration and scheduling.

Most of the work will be done remotely, with periodic tag-up conversations and/or an agile development style. We also recommend initial on-site visits to your facility and, if needed, we can finish the project delivery on-site to connect to physical hardware and systems.

Can you help me reverse engineer my ancient black box device?

Yes, we can. We’ve been successful in replacing 100s of obsolete hardware and systems.

We’ve identified 5 important considerations when embarking on an upgrade, from using “duct-tape” to hold off the upgrade a little longer, to preparing for possible differences in performance between old and new systems.

Are your solutions qualified to work in regulated industries?

We deliver custom test systems. For regulated industries, these systems need to pass through the appropriate design, development, and deployment process. We have experience delivering test systems and the associated V&V documentation into industries that design and build medical devices, aerospace products, military components, and space applications.

We have an off-the-wall control method that we need to implement. Do you have controls engineers to help with this?

That depends. While we’re versed in traditional control scheme (such as PID loops), you might have a unique process that needs multiple and interacting PIDs, staging, rules-of-thumb, fuzzy logic, heuristics, and so on. If you can describe the control scheme algorithmically, we can develop it. Also, it might be interesting to know that we can use real-time operating systems to provide as little as 10s of millisecond control loop responses and FPGAs to provide 10s of nanosecond loop rates.

Can you help me interface with our MES systems?

Short answer: yes. The longer answer needs to respect that this question covers a very broad field and so we might be able to help or we might not be a good fit depending on your specific needs.

Where can we help? We have experience with pushing data into some MES systems, such as from Infor, iBASEt, and home-brewed platforms.

Can you help me interface with our general-purpose databases?

Short answer: yes. We have experience with SQL and no-SQL databases in the design steps and interfacing methods. One major caveat to interfacing general-purpose databases is the amount of available documentation on the database schema. A common scenario occurs when we are asked to store into or query from a database that was designed in-house, using an old version of an SQL database, with minimal and/or outdated documentation We also have had some interactions with NoSQL databases, such as Mongo, but the majority of our expereience is with SQL databases, for example Microsoft SQL (and many others via their EF Core), MySQL, and PostgreSQL. Again, the variety of possibilities in database vendor, schema, and usage can make interfacing to an existing database range from almost trivial to extremely complicated, so reach out to us to discuss the details.

Will a Project Manager be assigned to my project? How will I know the status of my project?

Yes. For small projects, the Viewpoint engineer you work with will also be responsible for managing the project. That engineer will be your primary point of contact, although you can always connect with anyone on the leadership team. For large projects, a dedicated project manager is designated for you to contact. That person may or may not be part of the technical team as well. Updates on the status of your project will be communicated to you via periodic email updates, weekly tag-up meetings, and/or other mechanisms that meet the needs for any of your specific project execution processes.


“I have been working with Viewpoint for 15+ years on multiple projects. They have always provided creative and quick solutions to all of the problems we have placed in front of them. I have always considered them a valuable part of our global team.”
Engineering Group, A Global Manufacturer
“I really want to thank you for all your help getting us to this stage in automating our testing. We had our customer in this week to oversee some testing and they were very impressed, which is definitely kudos to Viewpoint.”
David, An Aerospace & Defense Company
“The Viewpoint team provides significant value to our projects, and I really enjoy working with Viewpoint.”
Jerzy Wolujewicz, PhD, Nammo Pocal Inc.
“I found Viewpoint to be easy to work with and able to be flexible as our project evolved. In addition to providing LabVIEW code that met our needs they helped spec out some of the hardware we needed for our application. I look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Sr. Scientist, A Large Manufacturer

We’ve helped teams at some of the world’s most innovative companies