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Functional Test Fixtures: RF and Wireless Functional Testing

Functional Test FixturesElectronic assembly testing involves three distinct elements. This includes the device that is being tested, the test equipment, and the fixturing that is used to provide the connections between the device and the testing equipment. Functional test fixtures are an important part of product development and manufacturing. RF functional testing and wireless functional testing are just some of the ways that EMC Technologies provides solutions based on the unique needs and specifications of each client.

Fixture-Based Testing Systems

There are three basic types of fixture-based testing systems used within the industry to varying degrees. The first is the functional test, which can be used to test a printed circuit board or a product that has been powered up. During the functional test, the circuit is exercised during operation. An in-circuit test provides testing on an assembled board so that all of the components can be checked and verified. Part of the testing includes making sure the components are present, of the correct value and type, and that they are properly connected without any shorts or opens. Bare-board testing is a very simple process that involves the testing of printed circuit boards before any components are even mounted.

At EMC Technologies, our focus is primarily on functional test fixtures, as these are the most in-demand by our clients. We provide a wide range of services for developing custom functional test fixtures for RF functional testing and wireless functional testing. Our team of highly trained and skilled engineers has many years of experience working on projects that involve custom developments in functional testing. RF circuit assemblies and RF functional testing are also integral to the development process, providing specific testing capabilities for our customers based on their needs and requirements.

Fixturing Methods for Testing

There are also three different methods used for connecting the tested device or product to the testing equipment. This includes long wire fixtures, short wire fixtures, and wireless functional testing solutions. Long wire fixtures are typically used with product printed circuit boards or prototypes that have a lower probe count. This is excellent for situations where the design has the potential to be changed, as the long-wire options can be switched around to connect in different places with very cost-effective results. Short wire fixtures have better signal fidelity than the long wire fixtures. However, changes are not as easy to manage, especially if the wire density becomes an issue with the more compact design.

Wireless functional testing is by far the preferred method, as it works to decrease debugging time, increases signal fidelity and reliability, and boosts the capabilities of testing low-voltage and multi-logic modules. Overall, the wireless fixtures have a much more reliable performance over wired fixtures, in part because printed circuit board designers can control exactly how each trace will be routed on the bottom side of the T-board. This helps the testing process, allowing for the isolation of problematic signals and other issues.

RF Functional Testing Solutions

Our design team has developed a wide range of test adapters and testing stations for use with RF circuit assemblies and microwave sub-assemblies. The engineers use techniques and strategies for these RF functional testing designs that include a complete six-sided metal enclosure that is sealed with EMI shielded gaskets and RF silicone. These products are used to help isolate the UUT from any type of electromagnetic interference for more consistent and reliable results. Our technicians have worked to integrate semi-rigid triple shielded coax cables, rigid coax cables, and SMA and BNC connectors in our RF functional testing designs. They have also worked to incorporate printed circuit boards fabricated with Rogers material, RF rotary switches, RF power sensors, and coax switches, based on the needs of the client.

Trust EMC Technologies for Custom Functional Test Fixtures

If you are in need of custom solutions for wireless functional testing or RF functional testing for your business, look no further than EMC Technologies. Our team of highly trained and experienced technicians and engineers work with each client to create designs that come directly from the customer’s requirements. We can also provide complete project developments in-house. We utilize the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards as an integral component of the interface test adapter to provide greater signal integrity and repeatability. To learn more about our functional test fixtures and solutions, give us a call at 508-672-0808 and speak with one of our representatives.