Inside Raven

Innovating Solutions to Test Our Tech

Our team members continue to find solutions to challenges so we can Help Farmers Serve the World. In 2020 during extreme supply chain constraints, Product Development team members created a space in the York Building near our Sioux Falls headquarters to use as a cable design area and testing lab. The team wanted to help ease the burden from production team members who were working hard to complete orders despite supply chain challenges. Team members in the testing lab were able to design and test products to help achieve production goals.

Over the last few years, the testing lab has expanded to take over the back room in the York Building. Their operations have grown, and they are using the area to build cables for harnesses to go on machines, and they continue to test products.

As operations expanded, team members have added more tools to the testing lab so they can automate processes and complete work faster. This allows them to quickly develop products that can be used for beta testing.

Building Cables to Assemble Products

Using cable design software and tools, engineers in the testing lab can build cables. Staff Mechanical Design
Engineer Lonny Ackerman said that the team is continuously working on projects to build cables for harnesses to
use on machines. The team in the testing lab recently finished a major project that saved time and resources by efficiently
engineering cables.

Simulating Weather Conditions for Testing

After the products are developed, team members can test the cables and products in various testing rooms in the lab. In one room, Engineering Technician III Troy Diede uses a thermal chamber to test our products in conditions like those our customers would use the product in.

The Testing Chamber

The chamber can simulate a range of weather conditions, from temperatures as cold as winter in Antarctica to as hot as South America in the summer. This range allows team members to ensure that our products will withstand extreme conditions so we can best serve farmers.

Another benefit of the testing lab is that team members can run parts and products through every stage of testing. If there is an issue with a part or product, they can catch it at the exact stage where the issue occurs, allowing them to find solutions at the right spot, rather than discovering an error at the end of the process.

Team members run products through approximately 100,000 simulations, Engineering Technician IV Terry Danielson said. This is more tests than a customer would use a product in real-life application but testing it this many times allows team members to ensure that the product will withstand time and continue to serve customers for as long as they need it.

Products go to a certification facility before they are used by customers. We pay for each certification test that is run on our products. A benefit of the testing lab is that team members can run products through every stage of testing before sending it to the certification facility to be tested, meaning it can be fully checked before paying for a certification test. This saves us time, money, and resources because team members can have a product that is most likely to deliver the best results.

The testing lab is helping our operations run smoothly and efficiently as we continue to deliver products. The work our team members are doing helps ensure that our products will Be the Best for our customers.