TERADYNE DIAGNOSTIC SOLUTIONS has completed the installation of its flagship VCATS (Vehicle Configuration and Test Systems) product, an End Of Line Manufacturing Test System, at Ford Motor Company's famous Halewood factory in Liverpool.

Halewood has been the home of the Jaguar X-Type since the vehicle's launch in 2000, and since that time the factory has used Teradyne's PC-based VCATS software for vehicle configuration, rolling-road dynamics testing and pre-delivery health checks.

With Ford Motor Company's announcement that Halewood will also be producing the Land Rover Freelander 2, the factory required an all-new version of VCATS to cope with the brand new vehicles as well as the evolving X-Type. The new set-up at Halewood is very significant as it is the first instance of two distinct Premier Automotive Group products being built along a single production line.

Jon Whitehead at Teradyne, who oversaw the installation of the new generation of VCATS, explains the benefits of the system:

"The principal selling point of the new VCATS is its speed. It is more than 25% faster than the previous version, yet sacrifices none of the reliability or ease of use.

"The latest version now runs on Teradyne's GRADE-X test authoring environment, which significantly reduces the development time needed to implement new tests. This gives the user increased functionality during the early prototype build phases.

"The consequence of this is that Teradyne can guarantee Jaguar and Land Rover technicians a standard high-speed test execution per vehicle; no matter how high-spec or complex that vehicle may be."

The first batch of Land Rover Freelander 2 vehicles to have been configured and tested by the system are now rolling off the production lines.