The advantages of using various Electronics Test Solutions range from cost savings to improved unit production rates. Some inspection methods are more suitable to certain products. Reputable manufacturers use visual inspections at different points throughout the process and often provide options more precise inspections and testing.
Visual Inspection: This method involves the physical inspection of units by skilled individuals. It is inexpensive, can be done anywhere at almost any time and requires minimal personnel training. It also provides immediate feedback for the inspector. Visual inspecting has limits, however. It is only appropriate for surface defects detectable by the human eye, or for large imperfections. Plus, it goes without saying; interpretation of these flaws is subject to human error.
3D X-Ray: 3D X-Rays can find smaller surface flaws and hidden or internal imperfections. Because of potential damage from exposure to x-rays, proper safety protocols must be upheld. Some electronics service providers include this service in the manufacturing process and sometimes this is considered an additional service. 3D X-Ray usage can also be slow and requires an educated, well-trained technician to implement.
Fixtureless Flying Probe Test: This test is utilized to minimize damage to small pads when dealing with delicate, complex prototypes. The test is for non-repeat orders and saves companies the cost of building a hard-test fixture that is likely to be altered after initial testing.
Boundary Scan/JTAG Testing: Used on printed circuit boards, the boundary scan/JTAG testing methods have been an industry standard since 1990. The advantage to this method is the absence of physical test probes for testing interconnects. By enabling a single test cell to override an individual pin, individual traces can be tested. JTAG tests enable manufacturers to accurately test circuit boards for their functionality.
Burn-In Testing: The burn-in process puts components through rigorous testing prior to full assembly of the product or regular service. This process is intended to over-stress components to detect weaknesses and eliminate them early on. It is best used during the early lifecycle of a product as it is difficult to determine failure rates in mature product cycles.
Functional, Environmental and In-Circuit: Environmental testing exposes components to extremes in temperature, humidity and other natural weather changes. Functional tests are used to verify product capabilities according to design specifications. In-circuit tests directly test device output by monitoring input terminals. A competent testing company can provide optimal results at minimal cost and prevent long-term manufacturing defects.
System Testing: Like the previous testing methods, this is essential electronics testing. System tests ensure the integrity of the unit and identify problems before it is too late.
Proper product testing before manufacture is vital to ensure units work as they should. An appropriate testing strategy is based on the product needs and available testing equipment, but always seeks to ensure cost-effectiveness and product integrity.
The test engineers at MJS Designs are very experienced at matching the right test solutions to your product or the challenges your product might be experiencing. Visit us at www.mjsdesigns.com to live chat with a test engineer today!