delabs designed and built many custom "engineered" Test Instruments. They were not prefect, as only one or two were fabricated. That means it will be costly to produce such instruments. It is just like tooling, you have to make some numbers to recover costs, or price it very high to compensate for the wastages and iterations. But things are better off now for building custom instruments. Yet a design firm has to make modules and keep ready, then put together a solution/system, program and ship.
Test & Measurement Instruments
When making custom equipment, you have to have an extended service agreement like 5 years. Also request a minimum order of at least 5. Make your R&D and Inventory Modular. That way it is profitable and some money available for reinvestment on instruments and Equipment for calibration and quality.
Test and Measurement is all about Measurement or Metrics. Without this, every other part of electronics becomes like boneless entities.
Relationship between Instrumentation and Automation - In Test and Measurement and Industrial Process Control a common factor is instrumentation. The measuring aspect is common to both. T&M instruments are used in Testing, Research,Automated Testing, Troubleshooting and Servicing.
Instruments designed and built. (long ago).
- Telecom or Communications T&M
- Custom Built Test Instruments
- Lab Benchtop Test Instruments
- Instruments used in Calibration
Process control Instruments are used in Production Lines made of Machines in a Factory. It could be Counters and Timers used for Textile or Steel Industry. It can also be Temperature and Pressure Controllers used in Oil Refining or Food Processing.
So you see a difference. We have handheld Test Instruments like DMM and Scope and We have Handheld Instruments for Gas Monitoring or Humidity too. In automated testings we have rack mount test instruments. In Control panels we have Rail Mount carrying DIN standard Instruments.