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Test Systems and Integration: Mobile & Universal Test Stations

Test Systems and IntegrationThere are lots of different options available for test systems and integration used in the electronic test industry. It is important to work with a company that can provide you with the best solution for your particular need. Many industries require test solutions that are extremely flexible, that can continue to be adapted and used to increase the cost-effectiveness of the functional test interface. Custom solutions are required in some situations, but for others it’s more about matching the available options to the testing requirements for best results.

Each industry has very diverse needs with regard to testing stations and systems. For example, the medical industry has strict regulations that demand rigorous validation and acceptance testing to meet federal and industry requirements. The telecommunications industry is growing and changing at a rapid pace, which means that adaptable solutions are best suited to help them keep up with their needs. Mobile computer-based test stations can help these changing and growing industries to effectively test their products and components while maintaining a cost-effective approach to testing.

The Benefits of Mobile Test Stations

There are some clear advantages associated with using mobile test stations. For one, they maximize the use of parts and components that are “off the shelf” industry standards, which can save compared to developing a custom functional test interface. Mobile test stations also have modular electrical and mechanical interfaces which can be switched out as needed to accommodate different testing parameters. A built-in computer and monitor, along with a built-in network and fiber optic capabilities, help the user to collect, save, and share data quickly and easily.

Other advantages include designed expansion areas with easy-to-use adapter panels and plates, which help the user to quickly access all of the inside resources. At EMC Technologies, our mobile test stations are designed to maximize the use of the test floor area and feature well-organized and documented station wiring and configurations. All of these features help the user to transition easily from benchtop testing to rack-based stations for better adaptability, flexibility, and the ability to test new resources without having to purchase entirely new test systems and integration equipment.

The Advantages of Universal Test Stations

While there are many cost-saving and time-saving measures associated with mobile test stations, universal test stations offer many benefits as well. For example, a universal test station has the ability to be customized to provide precision test solutions and expansion capabilities designed to reduce costs by adapting to similar configurations and product types. This is similar to the mobile test station advantages, however, some of the key features found in a universal test station include front slide-out rack shelving, which allows for easier instrument removal and frequent calibration, and a center fixture receiver backplane, which is interchangeable with other types of fixtures.

In a universal test station, each part type or “family” uses something called a personality “daughter” card, which can be used to interface with the test station. These systems have been designed by the electronic test industry with fast access to all inside resources, and they use LabVIEW software via IEEE 488 buss for test instrument communication.

Soft tie downs and organized wire harnessing is also used to allow for rapid access and expansion requirements. When used as a test-specific station, features can be included to test for temperature and vibration (HALT/HASS), thermal hoods and plenum interface distribution systems, and EMI, RF, and EMC compliant test stations. Active and passive electronic loads and load simulators, as well as product and component handler and motion stations, can also be included. Mechanical-only holding, clamping, or multi-axis stations, stations that are integrated with electrical, pneumatic, or hydraulic features, and even stations that feature video, non-contact, infra-red, laser, and barcode sensors can also be used.

Your Test, Your Way

It is essential to understand that there are a couple of different approaches to creating test systems and integration for the electronic test industry. Whether you require a custom functional test interface or need to use an in-circuit test fixture, make sure to express your needs and requirements when you contact EMC Technologies. Our team can set you up with testing equipment designed to provide the results that you need at a price that you can afford. Whether that means integrating “out of the box” options in with custom solutions to create the perfect hybrid, or working with your engineers to design something totally new and unique, we can do it. Contact our team at 508-672-0808 to start discussing your needs for test systems and integration for industry.