Cirris Systems Alarm Box
The Cirris Alarm Box is designed to sound a sonalert alarm whenever a bad cable is detected during the testing process. In addition to the high pitched alarm, a red light comes on. The person doing the test must remove the bad cable and press the reset button (or turn the key if using the optional Key Reset) to silence the alarm and prepare the tester for the next cable to be tested.
Click here for a short Video on Alarm Boxes.
Click here for a short video on the Bin Alarm concept.
A New Video Which outlines 80 Sec. (2.1 Mb)
Bin Alarms and how they work. (NOV 06)
View a Informative Video on common reasons 192 Sec. (3.9 Mb)
bad cables get shipped to customers!
(And what you can do about it!)(OCT 06)
Habit Captured Errors Explained
Protect against "skill based mistakes" (also known as 'habit capture errors' and 'double capture errors'). These are the names that psychologists give to human performance problems when two sequences of behavior share the same beginning steps. One is regularly done while the other is less frequently performed. When the less frequent behavior sequence is required, the mind, on autopilot, will complete the steps for the over-learned behavior sequence. One example is when you end up at home after driving right past the store you were planning to stop at. The problem has been identified as a lack of attention in a skill we are competent to perform. It appears that the more repetitive the 'frequent behavior sequence', the more alert mental work is required when the 'infrequent behavior sequence' comes on the scene.
It is interesting to note that the 'Continuous Performance Tests' described above, is used to detect problems with Attention Deficit/Hyper activity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. This test has a fascinating application for cable manufacturers. The special design of a 'continuous performance tests' looks very much like a poorly designed production test environment. A manufacturing facility typically has a failure occur ( infrequent behavior sequence) less than one in every 20 parts but the facility operates for 8 hours each day, day after day, week after week (frequent behavior sequence). (The (ADHD) test process usually last only 1/2 hour or so.) It is also interesting to note that if psychologists can determine if a child or adult has ADHD in 1/2 hour of experiments with two similar, but different, sequences of behavior, you can readily see how weeks and weeks of the same repetitive behavior in your facility might cause your test people to pass a bad cable as a good one. (Even if they do not have ADHD!)
What can you do?
Some strategies for 'interrupting' our typical response to repetitive testing would be to change the job design. (Adding more steps to the test process to make the work more engaging and the pattern less repetitive.) You can also use hardware which has both auditory and visual fail indicators which helps to stimulate the attention of the test person. (see alarm box on left)
The Bin Alarm
Using a 'Bin Alarm' can add another level of automation to prevent defective cables from being shipped to your customer. The concept is simple and easy to implement. A photo electric sensor and reflector are mounted on the bad cable bin so that the infrared beam will project across the mouth of the bin. Whenever a bad cable is put into the bin the infrared beam is broken. When the beam is broken, a signal is sent to the tester indicating that the defective cable was put into the bad cable bin.
In order for this idea to work there must be communication between the tester and the sensor. Cirris has developed a 'script' that sounds an alarm whenever a bad cable is detected during a test. Only, by placing the bad cable in the "bad cable bin" will the alarm be turned off and the tester returned to testing. This approach helps to break the 'frequent behavior sequence' and to alert the test person that they have to deal with a problem. If the bad cable never breaks the beam on the bad cable bin then the tester continues to sound the alarm and will not allow more testing until the beam is broken.