Al Bickner Joins Intrinsic Quality, LLC.

April 24, 2018

Al BicknerIQ is pleased to announce a new senior appointment with the addition of Mr. Al Bickner, as Sales Representative for the Midwest. Al is also the Owner of Circuit Technologies in Plainfield, Illinois.  Mr. Bickner is an industry professional that has been associated with Test Fixtures and Programming in a Manufacturing Environment for over 30 years.  Al joins Intrinsic Quality’s existing sales organization with the task to penetrate new markets and customer opportunities to increase IQ’s competitive position in the North American market.

 

Larry Raymond, President of Intrinsic Quality, LLC welcomed Al by saying:

Al has a wealth of market knowledge and is extraordinarily prepared to take on this new challenge in his career. Al’s vast experience and superlative Customer Service knowledge will serve our customers well.  We’re excited to have him on our team.

Please feel free to contact Al Bickner at Intrinsic Quality: 847-258-5598 or by email at ABickner@circuittek.com with any of your Electronics Manufacturing Test Engineering needs.

Intrinsic Quality is committed to providing unequaled customer attention through a range of Test Engineering services including: Functional Test, ICT Testing, Custom Test Development, ATE Systems and Flash Device Programming Fixtures.

To learn more about Intrinsic Quality, LLC, please visit IntrinsicQuality.com

 

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Intrinsic Quality New Location

April 18, 2018

Intrinsic Quality, LLC New Street Address

Intrinsic Quality, LLC Street AddressIntrinsic Quality, LLC has moved to a new location. We’re excited to have expanded our facilities to accommodate our new growth.  In addition to our larger offices, this space provides IQ with a full service manufacturing area to enable us to custom develop our expertly engineered ICT, as well as Functional and Flash Device Programming Fixtures.

Please update your records with our new contact information:

IQ’s New Address:
882 Cambridge Drive,
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Our Phone Number has remained the same: 847-258-5598


One example of effectively testing LEDS on a PCB assembly

August 29, 2017

We recently had an opportunity to provide a solution to a high-volume manufacturing problem. Our customer needed to program the microcontroller Flash in production volume.  IQ was prepared for this with our Prodigy line of production programming stations.  But this time there was an interesting twist.  The assembly had several different SMT LEDs with different colors.  Plus, the white LEDs had been binned by the manufacturer for intensity.  The panels were serialized and records were maintained as to the LED bin number for each serial number.  The task was to verify that the proper parts were being loaded by the SMT equipment.  And to adjust the firmware for the white LEDs to achieve consistent intensity.

IQ_Prodigy_2144_Flash_ProgrammerThe architecture of the Prodigy 2114 system was flexible enough to permit the solution.  The 2114 is a Single Well, 4X4 Channel, Mux X4 device, utlizing the SMH Flashrunner FR04A16.

Once the panel serial number had been scanned by the Prodigy the system queried the factory database for binning codes.  Then the firmware was modified so that PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) parameters were properly set.  The PCB assemblies on the panel were then programmed using the parallel channels of the FlashRunner.

Feasa_LED_AnalyzerFinally, one of each type of LED was turned on and the Prodigy 2114 used a multichannel Feasa LED analyzer to verify that proper LED colors were mounted and that the white intensity was in spec.  Our customer was pleased with IQ’s innovation and our cost-effective solution.

 

 


Lessons from an Industry Leader

June 7, 2016

Last month I was privileged to travel with our partner, SMH Technologies to visit major customers in the Midwest.  The SMH group was led by their president, Claudio Stefani.  We met with several customers and prospects, addressing questions and presenting the new SMH FlashRunner 2.0.  Between meetings there was a lot of travel time where we had a chance to exchange ideas.

IQSMHVerticalResponseFor several years IQ has been both a user and distributor of SMH products.  We had selected the FlashRunner as our Flash programmer of choice after some experience with alternative sources and a survey study of available competition.  We have been consistently pleased with our selection.  When we had the opportunity to represent SMH in the Midwest, we jumped at the chance.  We have continued to be a user and become familiar and confident in getting the various units to perform well.

As a sales rep for SMH, one of the questions I’ve always had is “Why is the FlashRunner better than the competition?”  I had my own answers.  IQ develops programs and test fixtures as our core business.  We wanted a programmer that we could use in our production test solutions.  Even more, we wanted a machine that could address a wide variety of devices from various manufacturers.  We wanted a standard user interface so we weren’t continually spending time learning a new machine.  We wanted a powerful unit that could do more than just load firmware.  Because we had selected the FlashRunner I knew there were reasons why the FlashRunner was better.   I was surprised by Claudio’s answer when I asked.

I had expected the same marketing spiel that would work for almost any sales scenario.  Stuff about the company, the people, quality and all that jazz.  Claudio started with a statement that “all device programmers can program the target device”.  “You could even take development system tools and program a device.  Programming isn’t the issue.  The issue is programming in a production environment.”  He went on saying that what is important is programming in an environment where a few minutes of downtime might cost more than the programmer.  Reliability is the issue.  Not just hardware that doesn’t fail, but an entire process that doesn’t fail.  This requires a real tool, a tool designed from the ground up to be a production programmer.  It requires a process that has the flexibility to do a wide variety of tasks like programming variable data, skipping erase if the device is blank and running a device specific routine when triggered either by command or a pulse.

Still, Claudio was just warming up and his passion was marvelous.  The process has to include a means of setting up the programming task that is both flexible and useable.  It has to include tools for analyzing errors and generating reports.  And in spite of all the diversity in device architectures the process has to have a consistent look and feel so that the user can quickly bring up the next project.  And before he launched into the value of the team he had assembled to handle sales, tech support and development he talked about the hardware and the need to build in robust well protected circuits.  I remembered then that although we have sold dozens of FlashRunners that are used daily, field returns are rare.  By the time Claudio had finished, I was feeling a sense of pride.  I was proud to be on this team.  I had listened and learned a lesson from a master.

You can imagine my reaction when a week ago one of my competitors was offering a regular customer a programming solution based on a JTAG development tool and said “no, it’s not a FlashRunner, but it does everything a FlashRunner does.”

For more information about the SMH FlashRunner, visit IntrinsicQuality.com today.

Konrad Technologies New Multiple Parallel Test

March 31, 2016

There is something new in ICT.  Really!  Konrad Technologies has introduced a new flexible architecture that enables multiple parallel test heads.  But even more, the architecture allows for flexible configuration – the number of test heads can change without changing hardware.

Konrad’s KT 501 module implements a complete analog ICT instrument on a single PXI card. Once connected to a switching matrix it becomes a versatile Manufacturing Defects Analyzer (MDA).

KT-PXI-501A standard full size PXI card cage provides 18 slots.  Assuming two slots for the PC, each of the remaining 16 slots can be filled with a KT 501.  Using the Konrad ABEX concept, the front end of the KT 501 can be equipped with a 4 X 86 switch matrix.  So an analog ICT system can be built with 16 independent 86 pin test heads.

But with the ABEX concept each of the 86 pins can be made available to any of the other test heads.  So the above system could be reconfigured with software to be an 8 headed 172 pin system.  Or 4 headed 344 pin system.  Or without changing hardware a single headed system with 1376 pins.

Of course the system can be configured with fewer KT-501’s in a variety of configurations.  With an 8 headed configuration the other 8 slots can be filled with a 172 X 4 switch card.  Now the system can range from an 8 head  X 258 pins  to 1 head X 2064 pins.

Also worth noting that all of this is done in the PXI environment where exists a very diverse  array of functional instrumentation that can easily be muxed to the same pins.

New and still more!  Intrinsic Quality, LLC. is now a USA Support Center for Konrad Technologies, offering Sales, Tech Support and expert integration of Konrad’s complete line of Test Solutions.  Visit Intrinsic Quality Today!


Flash Device Programming: When Free isn’t Free

March 31, 2016

Sometimes an effective plan for production Flash programming gets created. For the high volume manufacturer, a variety of solutions are available. But few options exist for lower volume production. High volume solutions are simply too expensive for mid volume or low volume/high mix production. For low volumes, the implementation of production Flashing often gets minimal planning. The assumption is its easy and virtually free.

Programming KlugeOn low volume/high mix production lines, this problem is often addressed with several low cost ad hoc stations that use ‘free” programming pods provided by device manufacturers. Engineers typically will cobble together a set of existing equipment, computers and peripherals to create a programming tool for a solitary task in the test process. Typically one of these stations uses a PC, some cabling and a low cost pod. Sometimes these pods are acquired from the manufacturer, sometimes from a vendor such as P&E or Segger or other brand. Usually they are dedicated to a single application.

But station integration is still required. With the minimal planning these solutions are often considered near free. As we examine this process further, we see that “free” has some real and significant costs:
•Set up is expensive.

 

Integrating and setting up the programming station usually requires several hours of an engineer’s time.
•Costs are duplicated.

Since the Flash Device Programming solution is typically created for a specific project, other projects require their own sites. In a typical factory there are often several such sites – all different, but each similar in cost.
•Floor space is wasted.

•Multiple Programming Sites Take Up Room

Any given site is usually idle.
•Excess operator training is required.

Since each site utilizes fragmented and often obsolete equipment, and has a different procedure, production start-up requires additional operator instruction.
•Rushed solutions are barely suitable for a production environment.

Cabling and inputs are flimsy and may cause complete system failure if the station needs to be relocated.

Operational Procedures are half baked.

Documentation is lacking.

Tech support is hard to find.

Downtime is too frequent.

Mods to firmware are awkward and time consuming.
•Awkward procedures can impact quality.

There is a better way. The SMH FlashRunner remains the market leader providing manufacturers a powerful engine for the creation of effective programming stations.


Intrinsic Quality’s New Prodigy Flash Programming Station

December 15, 2015

Prodigy Standalone Flash Programming

Introducing Prodigy – Intrinsic Quality’s new ISP Flash Programming Station  – Flash Device Programmer

Intrinsic Quality, LLC introduced their new standalone entry level ISP programming station, Prodigy at the SMH International Distributors Meeting in Munich, Germany in November 2015. IQ’s Prodigy answers the call for a cost effective and adaptable ISP microcontroller flash programmer for the low volume high mix manufacturing floor.

All too frequently remnant and obsolete computers and peripherals are fitfully hobbled together to create a variety of programming tools for a solitary task in the test process. Prodigy responds to that need with a small footprint and brilliant design integrated with SMH’s FlashRunner FR01ENG in-system programmer.

Mr. Lawrence Raymond, President of Intrinsic Quality, demonstrated Prodigy’s production readiness as well as its easy setup and effortless cable connection to the programming header. Mr. Raymond highlighted several Prodigy benefits including the dramatic cost savings since no PC is required and Prodigy’s remarkable adaptability to several manufacturing applications.  Its throughput is also impressive, as production can move quickly with minimized operator error and lightning fast programming times.

SMH’s meeting attendees were impressed with Prodigy’s ability to adapt to multiple devices, protocols and various vendors. The device has rapid and easy change-over including auto fixture ID and is capable of a range of 32 different part number setups within its easy to configure scroll buttons and LCD.  Auto selection of part number is based on 5 bit ID provided by the fixture or ATE. The device is highly flexible and can plug into simple interchangeable bed of nails fixtures for high volume applications, or can just as readily be connected to an ATE fixture and will auto detect remote operation.

SMH’s International Distributors Meeting was held in conjunction with the European Electronics Exhibition – Productronica.  The Prodigy demonstration was so successful that Intrinsic Quality’s presence was requested for the 2016 Productronica.  This year, Productronica was attended by over 38,000 visitors.

For more information about the IQ Prodigy Flash Programmer, visit Intrinsic Quality today or call our Sales Team at 847-258-5598