Making sure a project meets or exceeds the scope of work and performance specifications is a critical point in a project. Acceptance testing provides an empirical verification that a system is performing properly, typically it also includes the testing of communication and interaction with other systems. It is an important benchmark for all parties collaborating on the project including the integrator, consultants, end-user and occasionally manufacturers.
The process of an acceptance test applies to many project stages. The testing can be done as part of the fabrication stage to verify proper performance and functionality before the project is delivered to the site. Verifying that the products are connected, and function properly goes beyond just turning on a signal and seeing if it is output by the amplifier. The process needs to verify that the configuration of the system is as expected. If there is a paging portion of the system, the ability for the page to be properly routed and made is important. Checking that digital signal processing outputs are routed to the correct amplifier channels is important to prevent damaging loudspeakers. Doing this testing before the system equipment arrives on the job site often saves both cost and time.
When there are defined performance requirements such as achieving a specific sound pressure level or frequency range at a listener’s position, verification requires proper tools, instrumentation, and processes. Verification goes beyond just audio performance, it includes such things as verifying video output color, brightness, and cabling performance. The performance specifications may also contain specifications about how the system should interact and react with various controllers. These interactions can range from playing prerecorded messages to being properly synchronized with the video content in the space.
Acceptance testing also includes things beyond performance and operation, acceptance testing also needs to include functional and fabrication acceptance. This type of testing is different than performance verification. It typically happens at the end of fabrication or installation. We have found through our experience, that waiting until these milestones occur can be risky. If the same mistake has been made multiple times in a large system, it takes much longer to fix than a small mistake being made once in an evaluation system. This process often includes things like stress testing, and confirmation that the system is built and installed correctly, as well as verification that the control interfaces are functioning properly. It also includes physical items, such as are cables labeled properly, is the equipment installed correctly, and is the documentation correct.
Advisist provides a fresh set of eyes as an independent party for these types of services. For the integrator it allows a third party to review the system before the client does, providing time to make any necessary adjustments. For the end user it allows for someone with more experience in the AV field to impartially evaluate the system. For manufacturers, it allows for a party to verify that the equipment is being used properly as well as properly integrated into the system.