This article provides you an overview of what to expect when third parties are contracted to assess the quality and the performance of pressure washers.
- Bidding first takes place when interested third parties submit proposals, pricing estimates and a list of services they can offer for the required tests. The winning bidder then irons out the details of the agreement with the manufacturing company.
- Testing engineers define and refine the testing procedures to be conducted. With the concurrence of the client, they narrow in on the criteria for performance testing. This early, you will realize that “quality” is not much a numeric value per se but a matter of preferred and testable characteristics chosen by the manufacturing company to define the term. For instance, the client may choose to define product quality as the ability of the pressure washer to pass the following performance tests: cyclic endurance, by-pass endurance, run-dry endurance, pressure and flow, input voltage and power consumption, self-priming, cleaning and ease of assembly.
- The client then procures the products to be tested. Ideally, the machines must be comparable in type or model even when they are produced by and must be purchased from different companies. How many machines to test against each other depends on the financial ability and budgetary constraints of the client. Performance testing does not come cheap.
- The testing engineers and the client discuss contingency plans in the event a product breaks down in the middle of testing. There are basically two alternatives to choose from. From an ideal and theoretical perspective, it is expensive but elegant to use brand-new washers for each test. From an applied perspective though, it is more practical to replace the washers only when necessary. In real life after all, pressure washers are repaired and re-used until they can no longer serve their purpose. Either of these decisions can change the possible result of the tests.
- Actual performance testing begins once procedures and backup plans are finalized. The testing engineers record the results by ranking the relative performance of the machines against each other for every criterion. If there are eight tests being conducted for example, you will get test results ranked from “best” to “worst” or from “1” to “5.”
- The project manager organizes the data into text, charts and graphs. All these information constitute the final report.
Although there are really no definite declarations and set standards as to which pressure washer is the “best” per se, the results provided by third parties conducting performance tests can give manufacturing companies an idea on how well their pressure washer relatively measures up to other power washers.
A lot of variables present themselves unexpectedly during performance testing, but this is good. It toughens competition and usually pushes companies to produce better quality products that can respond well to contingent situations.
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