Every industry has specific needs and requirements with regard to functional test fixtures. The type of equipment, tools, or devices that are being tested can affect the methods and operations that must be used. The system is important as well, with choices including mobile and universal test station options. While the medical industry puts a lot more requirements on validation and acceptance testing to match internal requirements, other industries put their focus on other areas. For example, the telecommunications industry requires test solutions that are highly flexible, cost-effective, and easy to adapt to a wide range of product needs. The medical industry is a lot more rigid on their testing requirements; however, adaptability and custom solutions are often needed for interface test adapters as technology changes.
When it comes to deciding which approach is better for testing, either a mobile test station or a universal test station, it is important to consider the needs of the client and the industry that they represent. To better meet the demands of the project, we have found that it is best to develop the hardware and software simultaneously to reduce costs and meet time constraints required by the client. For customers who need to perform a wide variety of test solutions at affordable, efficient costs, computer-based mobile test station solutions are recommended. However, reduced costs are also a big benefit of choosing a universal test station as long as the testing is primarily for similar product types and configurations.
Mobile Test Station Advantages
Some of the key features associated with using a mobile test station include having a built-in computer and interface test adapters in an easy-to-use single device. Expanded options are available through the use of modular electrical and mechanical interfaces. One of the biggest benefits to using a mobile test station is that it maximizes the use of “off the shelf” components and parts to reduce costs for customizing functional test fixtures. A built-in network and fiber optic capabilities, along with designed-in fast access to all inside resources make it quickly adaptable and straight-forward to use in the field and on the production line.
Other advantages include a very well-organized and documented station wiring and configurations, which provide a simple transition process to maximize the abilities of the functional test fixtures. The mobile test station also takes full advantage of the test floor area and features designed expansion areas with easy-to-use adapter panels and plates. The best way to determine if the mobile test station is right for you and your needs is to speak with one of our experienced technicians. We can answer any questions that you might have about our interface test adapters and functional test fixtures and steer you to the best solutions for test systems and integrations based on your unique requirements.
Universal Test Station Advantages
Some of the advantages associated with using a universal test station is that it can provide the user with very precise test solutions and offers expansion capabilities. The cost savings really come in with this type of testing system when similar product types and configurations are used, reducing the need for expansion requirements. However, when an expansion is needed it is quick and easy to change out options for functional test fixtures and interface test adapters. A front slide-out rack shelving solution makes it simple to remove instruments and provide for frequent calibration. A center fixture receiver backplane fixture can be quickly interchanged with other options for more flexibility.
Each part type of family within the universal test station works by using small “daughter” personality cards, which allow them to interface effectively with the test station. Rapid access and expansion is also achieved through the use of soft tie downs and organized wire harnessing that was designed for this purpose. In addition, designed-in fast access to all inside resources is also available on the universal test station, similar to what you would find in the mobile test station option. LabVIEW software via IEEE 488 buss is used for test instrument communication.
So Which Solution is Best?
When it comes to the medical industry, it pays to work with functional test fixtures and interface test adapters for effective testing solutions that are designed specifically to meet your requirements. Depending on the product or component and the situation, either the mobile test station or the universal test station would work. The best way to figure out what will work to your advantage and provide you with the best return on your investment is to discuss your needs with our team of technicians and engineers. We can help you choose a custom solution that will provide you with the testing options that you need at a price that you can afford. Give us a call at 508-672-0808 to discuss your requirements and specifications with EMC Technologies for best results.