Quality Standards for Engine Testing

What are the objectives of testing internal combustion engines? Why test them? What does testing provide to the automotive engineer? The answer to all these questions is that testing is a means of comparing differing engine builds, one with another. It is an aid to engine development from Design Level One through production signoff. Testing is the ultimate production quality audit tool. Most importantly, it ensures that the end customer has a product that meets his or her expectations.

If we are going to conduct the test, then it must be done correctly and to the highest standards (i. e., quality testing). There are three considerations when defining quality. It must be ensured that all of the following occur:

• The clients’ needs are met.

• The testing is completed at the agreed cost.

• The testing is achieved within the agreed time.

Quality is important to the customer and to the supplier. Without it, the two are unlikely to meet again. In engine testing, quality has huge significance.

Test laboratories are institutions that, of necessity, are built on the principle of total quality. Tests must be conducted to high-quality and pre-determined procedures, using high-quality test control and test vehicle hardware. Otherwise, the test results would be questionable. Because the purpose of engine testing is to produce useful data and information upon which decisions can be made with a high degree of confidence, then it follows that this confidence stems from the careful planning of the tests.

The principal considerations for test technicians and engineers alike are that the engine test must have the following attributes:

• Accuracy

• Consistency

• Repeatability

• Quality workmanship

The customer must receive what he or she is paying for, and clearly everyone involved in the provision of this must understand what the customer is expecting to receive. Indeed, most quality accreditation audits examine the whole operation to establish that all involved are aware of their roles in meeting the outcomes.

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