Test Solutions Are Important To Us
Testing is a vital part of the process in any engineering project. From ensuring the correct components have been selected in a new electronics development project to making sure a printed circuit board (PCB) will work as intended under expected conditions, test solutions confirm the functionality of a product in a controlled setting rather than proving out a new design in the field.
At MJS Designs, our test team works diligently to save clients time and money with new development projects and production builds by identifying issues and reducing or eliminating field failures before they happen.
Here are three test solutions our team uses to ensure peak performance for our customer’s builds:
Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)
Every printed circuit board MJS Designs builds is inspected with an automated optical inspection machine. These machines utilize a camera that autonomously scans the board with a program based upon the bill of materials and xy coordinates. This type of inspection identifies manufacturer part numbers, ensures components are installed correctly, and completes a solder inspection which minimizes the chance of a failure of the board or assembly.
Flying Probe Testing
The flying probe test is considered a tried-and-true method, conducting nonpowered testing for resistance, opens, shorts, diode checks and more.
“It’s looking at all the components on an assembled model individually,” said MJS Designs Test Technician David Robbins. “This technique looks at the individual resistors, capacitors, transistors and microcircuits.”
Unlike automated optical inspection, the flying probe not only ensures all the components are correct, but it also verifies the component values for those that are not marked and too small for standard identification. As builds trend toward being more compact, the components must be smaller. Sometimes this causes identifiers such as special manufacturer markings to be excluded. Because of the way a flying probe test machine works, the unmarked components can still be identified and verified to be correct.
Though the flying probe test is optional, it is a recommended test solution as it can save engineers hours of debug time for issues not related to MJS Designs assembly workmanship. The flying probe test can verify component tolerances which cannot be determined with a visual inspection. It will detect schematic errors, as well. According to Robbins, the machine is a perfect fit for prototype through mid-volume assembly quantities.
“It’s a very effective technique because there’s no high cost fixturing involved,” Robbins said.
Since the flying probe eliminates the need for a test fixture for each product, using this test solution is cost-effective for clients. However, it does not power up the circuit – meaning functional testing should also be completed to get the most comprehensive results for a project.
Functional testing begins with a functional test plan and an accepted test procedure. At MJS Designs, this is either supplied by the client or the MJS Designs test engineers can develop it.
This form of testing can range from simply running power to a board to ensure the device turns on, to testing all functions of a device. Since the process is dependent upon the level of testing the client requires for the project, functional testing can be simple or complex and take hours or days to complete. In the case of designing the test procedures, simple projects may take hours, while complex testing procedures and may take weeks or months to design and build.
“The objective for us is to provide the customer with something that is going to work properly and that they’re not going to have any problem with,” according to Robbins.
Whether a project requires simple testing or complex procedures, MJS Designs’ test engineers engage their knowledge and expertise to ensure that all testing surpasses standard quality control measures. With more than 45 years of experience, we’ve provided quality work and solutions for leaders in the semiconductor, agriculture, medical, commercial, aerospace and military industries.
To read about our testing solutions please visit our test solutions page to learn more about how our solutions can fit your requirements.