Often times when you run a test in a lab, you are running at the “ideal” conditions. The plan is to only be testing a variable or two; so, keeping as many random variables out of the equation as possible is needed. The effects of taking things out of the “ideal” conditions could have no effect, or change everything. However, when you are researching and developing a potential product, it is necessary to test its limits, and the potential failures it can have out in the field.
Every customer runs and stores things differently, so when you send them a product, you’ll have no idea what variables, such as the air conditions its stored at, or the cleanliness or quality of the machine. Materials are shipped all over the world, so it’s essential that they are able to work wherever they go. To assure that field failures won’t be a problem, tests are run to simulate situations that could occur. For example, when running a test, a machine may only be run a couple times to get results, while in the “real” world it could be run thousands of times on the production line. The quality of what is produced can be extremely different at the beginning of that production compared to the end. To prepare for something like this, tests are run that are a simulation of the real world to help eliminate all failures.
In the end, it’s necessary to prep for the worst, to create the best product available.