Rolls-Royce Partnership Spotlight: A Virtual Approach to Factory Acceptance Testing

The Covid-19 pandemic, with its new norm of social distancing, has made it a challenge to conduct generator set factory acceptance tests in person. Fortunately, for the past several months, Rolls-Royce has made it possible to virtually “witness” the testing of mtu equipment from nearly anywhere in the world.
Occurring at the factory in Mankato, MN, and involving the owner representative, the engineer of record, the contractor and a Curtis Power Solutions (CPS) sales engineer or project manager, the virtual acceptance tests are completed in much the same way as if it were a physically-attended session. Each “attendee” can witness the test from their own computer via a secure link provided by the factory. This ultimately saves everyone the cost of traveling to an on-site test and missing time away from the office, as well as allowing the factory to maintain Covid-19 safety protocols.
Most importantly, this virtual factory acceptance testing process has allowed Rolls-Royce to continue performing to the highest industry expectations with its mtu product testing. “These virtual tests were driven by limited access to the factory due to Covid-19 but have turned out to be a most efficient process,” says CPS’s Ralph Natale, Power System Senior Sales Engineer. “Rolls-Royce does a great job with the viewers. They lay out the test procedures before starting and provide a question-and-answer session before and after the tests to make sure everyone has seen what they wanted to see before shipment of the equipment.” 
These virtual factory acceptance tests are a major time-saver as well in dealing with compressed testing schedules. “Many aspects of our daily lives have been modified this last year and participating in witness tests is no exception,” says Kenny Larson, mtu Test Engineer. “Working together with distribution, Rolls-Royce understands that many customers put a lot of time and effort into projects that require our mtu generator sets. Offering virtual witness tests gives the customer the opportunity to visualize the equipment prior to it leaving the factory.”
“I think we see this as the norm moving forward,” adds Natale.
Virtual Factory Acceptance Testing Screen Shot

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