There are many advantages associated with using wireless test fixtures. Wireless functional testing for in-circuit testing (ICT) has been around for a long time but is still unsurpassed for testing complex circuit boards. Many different industries rely on custom test solutions that involve the custom design and manufacturing of fixtures for the purpose of testing just about any type of printed circuit board (PCB). Wireless test fixtures provide a decreased debugging time compared to other fixtures and provide a greater signal fidelity. In addition, there are increased capabilities to the testing of both low-voltage and multi logic modules with a marked reduction in signal crosstalk.
The benefits of wireless functional testing are most clearly seen for high node-count complex circuit boards. While these fixtures still provide great results and advantages with the use of low node-count fixtures, the value of these custom test solutions is often difficult to quantify, making them less popular for this type of testing situation.
The demands for fixturing requirements are increasing as today’s electronic devices become more complex. As a result, the custom design and manufacturing of wireless test fixtures are becoming more popular to work with test pads that are becoming much smaller and more closely spaced. Accurate results are also harder to achieve without custom fixtures to accommodate for drops in voltage, coupling problems, and the potential for crosstalk. These challenges posed to the functional test fixture industry are particularly difficult for the traditional “long wire” fixture designs, particularly with regard to inconsistent results due to signal fidelity issues and the differing placement of wires.
Industries That Use Wireless Test Fixtures
While there are many different industries that rely on wireless functional testing throughout production, there are a few that use it more than others. The electronics and telecommunications industries, along with satellite/IP, computer servers, and networking all require testing for PCBs more than others. The three methods used for in-circuit testing (ICT) between the printed circuit board and the tester include long-wire, short-wire, and wireless test fixtures. While each has its strengths and weaknesses, wireless functional testing is by far the most preferred method due to its reliable and dependable success.
Originally introduced as a solution for the limitations associated with long-wire fixtures, wireless test fixtures have come into their own. Through many years of use and testing, wireless fixtures have been proven to perform much more reliable than wired fixtures. The reason for this is that designers who create custom design and manufacturing for printed circuit boards have the ability to control the way that each trace is routed automatically with PCB design software. As a result, duplicate fixtures are able to perform almost identically, and the consistency of the electrical parameters exists due to the lack of moving wires.
Wired and Wireless Test Fixtures at EMC Tech
Our team works with clients for the custom design and manufacturing of wired and wireless functional testing interface equipment that is used to test printed circuit boards (PCBs) and assemblies. These custom test solutions are used across many different industries and for a variety of unique applications. We have also worked to develop highly customized interface test adapters (ITAs) for our aerospace, military, and defense clients. Over the years, our team has had the advantage of working with a diverse client list with unique demands. This experience has helped us to stay current with the very latest advancements in the testing industry. We have become particularly adept at developing test fixtures and interfaces for temperature, high-speed, tight tolerance, test racks, and radio frequency (RF) test fixtures.
A general overview of our interface test adapters (ITAs) shows custom test solutions and options for custom backplane printed circuit boards for power and ground connections, as well as custom utility board PCBs for additional loads and relays. Our interface test adapters feature removable access panels and a redundant interface with multiple connections to a single point. To learn more about our custom design and manufacturing of wireless test fixtures and other custom test solutions, visit our website or contact our office by calling 508-672-0808. EMC Technologies provides professional services for clients across many different industries. We can help you find the best wireless functional testing solutions for your unique needs.