What is Regression Testing?
Industrial revolution 4.0 has already started to show signs of significant change in various industrial operations. From manufacturing, to automotive, finance and production, every business process is being explored to unveil the potential of automating them.
Industries are thriving hard to stay in tune with the latest technological advancements and be relevant in the digital era. The popularity of software-based automation for industrial units therefore has seen a sharp rise. According to a survey, the industrial control and factory automation market are expected to reach USD 229.3 billion by 2025 from USD 151.8 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 8.6%.
The I4.0 brings in a lot of improvements in the manufacturing industry. OEMs, in particular, are embracing the rapidly changing technology, and are implementing software that needs timely up-gradation with the inclusion of new features.
Even though the changes work for the betterment of the system, it may also bring unwanted alteration to the existing features. Hence, proper regression testing is required to check if the changes does not alter the intended purpose of the system.
Regression testing uses the requirement specifications as basis for creating test cases and looks for any bugs or fault in the software system. As more and more OEMs and factory process are drifting towards remote functions and software implementation, this testing helps them to improve the overall quality of the software.
- Improve efficiency: An OEM with an error-free software ensures precision in its operation. Regression testing constantly checks for deviations in the software each time a modification is made.
- Better monitoring and decision-making process: In some cases, especially when dealing with a complex software, OEM tends to lose track of the code modification. Regression testing makes it easier, as it keeps a record of all the changes made. This in turn aids in proper monitoring of the changes and decision-making process related to the deployment of the final software.
- Reduces unnecessary manufacturing costs: Regression testing identifies the errors and notifies the OEMs to fix them in the early stages itself. A bug fix in the production/manufacturing stage of the product life cycle will result in huge manufacturing costs. Regression testing ensures the final product will be error-free.
- Continuous operation: A crucial aspect in the successful deployment of I4.0 is the assuring the interconnectivity and automation of the devices. Regression testing ensures the bugs are fixed and all the interconnected devices work together seamlessly.
Types of Regression Testing
There are different ways regression testing can be carried out. Based on your requirements and the complexity of the software, a proper regression mechanism is chosen.
In industrial automation, devices need to be connected together. Here, with every additional device, the software may need changes in its code or features. The testing here ensures that the introduction of the new device or an upgrade does not alter the functions of an existing setup.
In an OEM unit, regression tests are mostly executed at the design stage to find the immediate bugs and at the production stage to decide whether the quality of the product matched the specification of the customer.
If there needs to be a functional change in any of the devices, corresponding codes need to be changed, Here the regression testing helps in producing the desired outcome.
Regression Testing in Agile
To keep up with an evolving market, the manufacturing industries and industrial automation in particular are working in an agile environment. The DevOps culture is being widely accepted by the industrial automation companies for on-time and efficient deployment of new software technologies.
The constant upgrades and features introduced by OEMs can change the way the whole system works. This brings in an agile environment where continuous change comes with a high amount of risk.
Risks involve fatal bugs, repeated errors, duplicate entries, etc. These all culminate to either non-delivery of the product or a delay in deployment. Both these cases can be avoided by continuously keeping a check on the code source and its impact, through regression testing.
Benefits of Regression Testing In Agile Environments
OEMs and factory processes are focusing to blend in an agile environment to build a better technology-enabled workspace. This along with the current DevOps culture has helped industrial automation to create a digital identity of its own even in the times of cutthroat competition.
Regression testing helps OEMs to manufacture more reliable products and provide better services. Apart from this obvious benefit, some of the crucial ones are listed below:
- Since the software testing and development team can easily identify the bugs, they are motivated to deliver high-end bug-free device
- Each case is handled and verified differently, therefore, it ensures a seamless functional process
- It ensures the bugs are fixed and the products are ready to be launched in the market.
- A bug free software ensures better communication between the interconnected devices in an automation system
The future of industrial automation belongs to agile environment and DevOps. These not only offer a better coping mechanism to the changing scenarios but also are crucial in delivering services with utmost precision. With big data and artificial intelligence seeing new heights, industries are sure to leverage them in software testing to bring the best out of the agile and DevOps culture.
Catch up with the most effective testing solutions offered by Utthunga. Contact us to know more.