If you are interested in automated test equipment and adaptive diagnostic reasoning at FourHoundSolutions.com, there is one decision that you really need to make: Do you want to buy COTS machines or would you rather have custom machines that are installed in your place of business and built to your own specs?
There are a number of different factors that you have to consider with either type of machine, so it is a good idea to take your time and figure out what you really need. If you get the right equipment, you are much more likely to get good results that can help to push your project forward.
The main advantage of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems is that they are ready for you right now. These are systems that have been used in many different industries and by many different people. They have been tested time and time again, and they have been found to be incredibly effective.
You can pick up your equipment today and have it up and running as soon as you need it. There is no delay, so you get your results right now. If time is the most important thing to you, this is the way to go.
When you have systems custom designed for you and installed in your place of business or your lab, it does take longer. You have to start out by sitting down with the designers and telling them what you need, what you want the results to be. You have to then work with them as they design and build new equipment, answering their questions so that they can get it exactly right.
While they will probably use some pre-existing parts, they are still building the system up from nothing, so you clearly are not going to have it right away. You have to wait to get the right test machines.
Of course, the advantage is that your test machines will really do exactly what you need them to do. They will give you accurate and dependable results. In some cases, it may be impossible to pick a COTS machine because nothing has been done before that is exactly like you are doing.
It is worth waiting to have the machines built to your specs if it means that they are actually going to work for you. The designers will respect your timetable and get you the machines as quickly as possible.