There are many reasons why our clients come to us for custom test solutions. Functional test fixtures are used to find defects in electronics assemblies to improve product quality, reduce costs for manufacturing, protect a company’s brand, and even streamline the assembly process. Depending on the product and any industry requirements or regulations, there are several different test strategies that can be used by our clients at EMC Technologies. Functional testing, in-circuit testing, discretely wired, wireless, and RF functional testing are just some of the areas where we are the most proficient.
Custom Test Solutions
Today’s printed circuit boards (PCBs) have evolved from a very basic, single-sided board to much more complicated double-sided and multi-layered versions. The demands placed on functional test fixtures have changed as well, requiring increased testing for the boosted performance and challenges for smaller, denser packaging systems. As a result, in-circuit testing is not as vital as it once was, and functional testing has moved to the forefront. Testing can be performed during product development, throughout the production process, and also once manufacturing has been completed for quality assurance.
The point of creating custom test solutions for functional testing is not to test whether the board is “good” or not, whether the soldering was done properly, or whether the parts are within tolerance. This type of testing is focused on whether the PCB is working as it is intended to work. Instead of looking at individual parts, functional test fixtures look at the big picture, the entire product, to determine if everything works properly together. Some of the issues that functional testing can uncover include problems with communication and speed, especially in a specific environment or at a certain temperature.
ITAs and RF Functional Testing
Another area where EMC Technologies excels is in our development of highly customized interface test adapters (ITAs) for our clients. Our ITAs are used in conjunction with our custom test solutions to provide functional testing for the military, subcontracted military, and aerospace clients. Some of the ITAs that we have done in the past include custom backplane PCB for power and ground connections, as well as removable access panels for ease of use and reconfiguration according to the client’s needs. We have also worked with custom utility board PCBs with additional loads and relays, and have experience working with a redundant interface for multiple connections to a single point.
Radio frequency or RF functional testing is something else that we have done a lot of work with for our clients. We have developed a variety of test adapters and test stations for the primary testing of RF circuit assemblies and microwave sub-assemblies. Some of the techniques and strategies that we have worked with include six-sided metal enclosure designs that are sealed with EMI-shielded gaskets and RF silicone to isolate the Unit Under Test (UUT) from any level of electromagnetic interference. Some of our designs have even incorporated semi-rigid triple-shielded cox tensolite cables, rigid coax cables, SMA and NBC connectors, matched impedance traces in the PCB design, and PCBs that were manufactured using Rogers Material. Radio frequency RF rotary switches, RF power sensors, and coax switches are also some of the custom designs we have undertaken.
The EMC Technologies Difference
Our team goes far beyond the basic “off the shelf” approach that many of our competitors have embraced. Instead, we offer our client full-service contract design and manufacturing for RF functional testing and functional test fixtures in its true form. The secret to our success is that we address each project as a complete system, identifying all of the interfacing conditions, dimensioning, tolerance issues, environmental constraints, package limitations, and mounting requirements. This helps us to provide comprehensive custom test solutions that will meet or exceed all expectations and requirements across the board, producing manufacturable world-class designs more efficiently.
Printed circuit board (PCB) designs can accommodate even the most complex designs, which can be designed according to the customer’s requirements or developed in-house by our team. We utilize the design and manufacture of PCBs as an integral component of the interface test adapter to improve signal integrity and repeatability. This approach helps us to more effectively and efficiently create most cost-effective duplicates of interface test adapters (ITAs), reduce debugging time, and improve the quality of power and ground busses, signal conditioning components, and make it easier to provide maintenance for high-volume testing requirements.
Located in Fall River, Massachusetts, EMC Technologies can provide you with the custom test solutions, RF functional testing, or complex functional test fixtures you need to be successful. We can work with you to create solutions designs to help you achieve your manufacturing goals. If you are interested in learning more about our services, give us a call at 508-672-0808.