“What will it cost?” This is one of the first questions we are asked almost on a weekly basis by a potential client. While it is not cheap, it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive either. VeeCal works off of the simple principle, fairness for all involved, us included. Before we get into the costs, it is EXTREMELY important for you as the manager, buyer, technician to understand this one point. Automated testing will pay for itself after 2 units, no question about it. The time savings is just too overwhelming to ignore.
The initial requirement of the computer is approximately $600-$800 for a laptop computer. The computer must also have Windows 7 (64 Bit) or later along with Microsoft Office (we use Office 365) or later (for the Excel spreadsheet data).
Our programs are written on 17″ monitors set to 800 x 600 resolution and are required for VeeCal programs. Obviously, all laptops all have the ability to display 800×600 resolution so that is not a great concern.
You will also need a GPIB interface board (preferably supplied by National Instruments).These run for $500 and come with all the software necessary. If you go with the Agilent model the price is the same but the headaches are more involved. Stay with NI, you can’t go wrong.
Next, you will need several (we leave it up to you to decide how much is “several”) HPIB cables. Agilent sells HPIB cables in assorted sizes and we recommend that you have at least 10 or close that many. The model number of the cables are 10833A/B/C/D. Stay away from the D’s as these are too short to be of any use and would be a waste of money. The A is about 1 meter long, the B is about 2 meters and the C is 4 meters. Each cable runs approximately $50-$75 on the used market and can be obtained fairly easily.
Finally, the software. This will be up to the individual lab obviously as every lab does not have the same standards.
Programs are individually priced by the model number. We try to include all options if we have them written into the program at no additional cost. i.e. HP 859XE with 105. so you won’t have to worry about paying more for options.
That’s all there is to it. Nothing more ever again. No hidden fees whatsoever.
If you are worried about the difficulties involved with configuring a unit for automated test, contact us. We can deliver to your company a complete working package, ready to go for the prices laid out above. If you already have a suitable system in place we will help you set that up as well.