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

IntrinsicQuality.com 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.


A Breadth of Projects

December 21, 2012

With the new year upon us, it is often a time for reflection on the past. Intrinsic Quality has been in the business of In-circuit test and functional test development for over 25 years. During this time we’ve completed a wide variety of projects, from small fixtures to large rack based test stations. These projects have been utilized by major manufacturers in the automotive, medical, computing and entertainment industries.

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Intrinsic Quality: Teradyne and Genrad In-Circuit Testers ICT:

Our ICT projects have included development for Teradyne and GenRad testers.  With our decades of experience, Intrinsic Quality has used a wide range of In-circuit test technologies.

ICT with Opens XpressThe fixture above utilized OpensXpress (framescan) for the testing of integrated circuits and microcontrollers mounted on the PCB (printed circuit board).

Intrinsic Quality ICT 2FlashRunner Flash Device Programmer:

This fixture utilized a FlashRunner programming engine for the programming of flash devices mounted on the DUT (device under test).

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Intrinsic Quality has also produced a breadth of functional test solutions, ranging from complex PC integrated test stations, to simple semi-automated testers.Video BarnOwl Functional Tester

This tester to the right utilized Intrinsic Quality’s BarnOwl, a standalone microcontroller powered functional tester. This implementation included a video camera and a small monitor for the operator to confirm that the LCD display on the DUT was functioning. A camera was positioned underneath the probe plate with an aperture cut in it. The circuit board being tested was a water softener control board.

The BarnOwl technology has also been used in high voltage testing applications, as shown below. To ensure operator safety, a thick plexi-glass enclosure was designed. High Voltage BarnOwl Functional TesterThis tester also used Feasa LED analyzers for testing the color and brightness of the LEDs on the DUT. Solenoid actuated push buttons were used to test the functionality of buttons on the DUT and pins inside of alligator clips were used to connect test resources to a block connector on the DUT. A touch-pad was implemented for the operator to enter ID codes. The device being tested was a humidifier control board.

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Air Pressure Functional TesterThis tester above was used to test an air pressure transducer board. To ensure that the DUT was correctly converting the input air pressure to a set voltage, Intrinsic Quality engineered a variable air pressure input to check that the DUT responded correctly a variety of pressure ranges. Operator information was displayed with an LCD screen.

PC Based Functional Tester

Intrinsic Quality also creates PC based test stations. These functional testers are often implemented for universal testing, with exchangeable fixtures.

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Semi-Automated Functional Testers:

Not all of Intrinsic Quality’s testers are this involved – Intrinsic Quality also makes simple, semi-automated functional testers as requested by our customers.Semi Automated Functional Tester

This semi-automated tester on the right used panel meters (visible along the back) to display test measurements from the DUT for the operator to make pass/fail decisions.

The convenient microcontroller powered tester below precedes through different test steps at the press of its large green button. Different LEDs displayed whether the test is in progress, has failed or passed.Convenient Sized Simple Functional

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Intrinsic Quality intends to continue to widen our breadth of capabilities over both the new year, and decades to follow. For more information on Intrinsic Quality’s test development solutions, visit www.IntrinsicQuality.com or contact us at 847.258.5598.


Intrinsic Quality Becomes Member of Teradyne Support Network

August 2, 2012

Intrinsic Quality has recently become a member of the Teradyne Support Network (TSN). We’ve been serving Teradyne customers with fixtures and programs for over 25 years and are pleased to have gained membership status. The Teradyne/GenRad products that Intrinsic Quality supports include the GR228X, TestStation, LH, LX, TestStation Duo, and the TestStation TSR with test innovations such as boundary-scan, OpensXpress and flash programming.

The TSN is designed to assist manufacturers find support products and services for Teradyne in-circuit testers, functional test equipment and other systems. The network consists of over 50 companies offering expertise on various Teradyne equipment and programming.  These individually approved providers offer assured quality and support.

Intrinsic Quality president Larry Raymond said, “Becoming a member of the Teradyne Support Network is a welcomed opportunity for us.” He went on, “This designation is the result of a commitment we’ve made towards excellence in programming and fixture services. We look forward to continuing to provide quality turn-key solutions for our customers using Teradyne and GenRad in-circuit test equipment.”

The Teradyne Support Network is another powerful addition to Intrinsic Quality’s other strategic alliances, which include providing tech and sales support for SMH’s FlashRunner, and FEASA LED analyzers. Intrinsic Quality is also a XJTAG Technology Partner, providing test solutions and services with the XJTAG Development and Test System.

More information about Intrinsic Quality and their in-circuit test offerings can be found at: www.IntrinsicQuality.com

Within the Terradyne Support Network, Intrinsic Quality is pleased to deliver:

  • •  Electronics Test Engineering Development

  • •  Custom Engineered Test Fixtures

  • •  ICT – In Circuit Test

  • •  Flash Based Programming

  • •  Genrad Fixture Testing Solutions