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Functional Test Fixtures: Why Functional Testing is Important

There are many reasons why functional testing is important to the success of any manufacturing business. However, no other reason is as important as quality assurance. Whether you make everything yourself at your own factory or if you purchase sub-components from another manufacturer, you need to make sure that functional test fixtures are used to ensure the quality of the product. If you are purchasing printed circuit boards (PCBs) from another company, your custom functional test should focus on that sub-component or PCB specifically. Hopefully everything that is manufactured on your end has already passed through your company’s functional test division with flying colors.

The functional test interface for this type of testing is a stand-alone test, which checks the quality assurance for the functions of the PCB by providing it with a given input. It then measures the output to collect data regarding function. It is also important to make sure that any sub-components fit the finished product as well. For many businesses, functional test fixtures and the testing process is an important step toward the integration of several sub-components within a much larger assembly. As a result, the testing should be done in the functional test division to ensure that everything fits and functions properly together and that there aren’t any problems with the individual parts or the assembly as a whole.

Pass/Fail Testing

A custom functional test is used by many manufacturers as the final step in the manufacturing process to provide a pass/fail response on a finished PCB before it is shipped. Functional test fixtures are used to validate that the product is free of any defects that could negatively impact the correct functioning of the product in a system application. Your functional test division should be conducting these tests to verify the function and behavior of a PCB. During the development phase, custom testing solutions should be created with the understanding of any requirements for the PCB, as the procedures can vary widely from one PCB to another, as well as one system to another.

Functional test interface goes directly to the PCB under test through its test point or connector. The testing will simulate the electrical environment in which the PCB was designed and intended to be used. There are basic and very sophisticated functional test fixtures that can be used to test the PCB, running it through a wide variety of operational tests. It is important for the custom functional test to simulate the operating environment for the product to minimize the cost for testing equipment and data collection. This works to eliminate the need for an expensive system, saving the client time and money in development.

Custom Functional Test Fixtures

When you work with a company like EMC Technologies to develop a custom functional test for your PCBs and other sub-components, it is important to work diligently with our engineering team to create functional test fixtures that meet your specifications. When effectively designed, your functional test division should be able to check the functionality of a product, increase productivity by making the tool more effective and efficient, and offer options for other types of tests to increase value and production.

Our designers at EMC Technologies can accommodate requirements from simple double-sided to complicated multi-layer designs, which can come directly from a customer’s requirements or developed in-house by EMC technicians and engineers. PCB designs are available for our clients in either PADS or Allegro format. EMC utilizes the design and manufacture of PCBs as an integral component of the functional test interface test adapter for a variety of reasons, including reducing debug time, cost-effective exact duplicates of ITAs, organization of relays, power and ground busses, and for the ease of maintenance of high-volume testing, just to name a few.

Contact EMC Technologies

Get a FREE QUOTE for any of the services we provide at EMC Technologies to create a custom functional test designed specifically to suit your needs. Functional test fixtures and functional test interface are developed with our engineering staff according to your specifications. Give us a call at 508-672-0808 to speak with one of our team members about your project.