Functional and ICT Test and Profit

April 17, 2015

Test Engineering in Aerospace: Functional and ICT

Over the years I have had an opportunity to get to see how different organizations view their test operations.  At one aerospace manufacturer, test was regarded as a most critical player in the manufacturing operations.  Any manufacturing change was always presented to the testing engineers early enough so that engineering could offer consultation.  Testing and the resulting summation was considered just as important a manufacturing step as soldering or purchasing.

Functional Test Functional Test Fixtures

At another manufacturer, functional test was regarded as the enemy.  If defects were detected, somehow anger would be directed at the test automation department for making the other manufacturing processes look bad.  The testing group would rarely be consulted on changes and blamed when the enacted changes would cause difficulty at function.

The end result of these differing attitudes was easy to see.  The movement at the aerospace facility was slow, measured and methodical.  Nothing happened very fast, but most things happened on time.  Not much panic, but a steady flow of what was expected.

Functional or ICT In Process Test Engineering – Modality and Attitude Result in Profit:

At the second facility things got done a lot faster.  Everybody was in a hurry, working late and coming in on Saturdays to keep up with the pace.  It seemed that oodles of money were being saved because they were able to skim through so many of the unnecessary steps.  But somehow there was always an emergency.  People would have to figure out new ways to fix all the crazy things that went wrong.  All those extra steps would take extra time so now the schedule would have to be revamped.  A lot of the problems would show up during ICT testing.  The product that was so obviously good just couldn’t get through the test equipment.  Some might pass. But a lot would fail.  Sometimes an assembly would pass one time and fail the next.  It was always clear that the problem was either lousy test equipment or inadequate testing engineers.

At the second facility folks would wonder how the aerospace company would make good profits while moving so slowly.  Of course, they figured it out.  It was clear that the aerospace market was inherently profitable. For more information on how IQ can assist in your ICT Test Development, call IQ today at 847-258-5598.


Flash Programming Station In Action

January 21, 2015

This morning as I was getting out of my car, the alarm sounded, reminding me that I had left the headlights on. My first thought was gratitude that some engineer had cared to solve that problem for me.

IQPS Flash Programming Station


Then I felt a little flow of pride as I thought that this was just the sort of solution Intrinsic Quality was involved in. I pictured a high volume automotive factory with circuit board assemblies flowing through the assembly process. I thought of the IQPS programming stations we had delivered for just such a factory. There, the PCBAs would move in a panel to our printed circuit board station for programming. Our flash programming station would be easily loaded and actuate the embedded FlashRunner to quickly program the entire panel.


Since this facility has four programming stations each using a FlashRunner that was capable of flashing four processors simultaneously, they were able to keep pace with the rigorous production schedule. Should the panel have more than four assemblies, our microcontroller flash programming station would automatically multiplex the FlashRunner to up to sixteen sites.

It was just a brief set of thoughts, but still a “pick me up” on the way to work. It helps to be able to take pride in what you do. And it is a good feeling to experience the benefits of your own product.  Call Intrinsic Quality today at 847-258-5598  to discuss your Flash Programming needs.