A nightmare? No… find the best coverage vs the most economical cost.
Developing a test strategy is an important step in the design and manufacture of a product. Therefore, it is beneficial to include a reflection on the test strategy from the first designing phases. However, the test strategy is often overlooked and performed at the end of the design process. At that time, there will be a range of constraints that will make the implementation of the test strategy more complex. The design team will be led to choose a test strategy based solely on the functional test and oriented towards the utilization of the products by its final user. Though it is not a bad option, the costs associated with this type of tests are expensive, and do not necessarily guarantee long-term reliability.
One of the major players in the testing strategy is often forgotten in the analysis and implementation of the test strategy, and this actor happens to be the manufacturing centers. When the manufacturing company is involved in the process of defining the strategy, it is able to advise the customer in the best approach to be chosen while considering the totality of the tools available during the manufacture of the electronic system. Thus, a partnership between the manufacturing center and the design team will ensure optimal and complete test coverage throughout the manufacturing process. The various test phases will allow a sooner identification of defects and quickly identify the adjustments to be made during the production. Therefore, it is easier and cheaper to apply the corrective measures. Several test options are available for customers and at different stages of production. Examples: Electrical inspection, Input inspection, PCBA cross-section, automated visual inspection, in-circuit test, functional test, burn-in test, etc.
With over 35 years of existence, M2S Electronics has developed an expertise in the design of overall tests strategy and the ultimate goal is to minimize the returns of failing products. Therefore, we can say that a good overall test strategy will reduce the cost of failures and thereby increase the profitability of the electronic products sold.
Since most design teams oriented their choices towards a functional test, we will deepen this phase which is the last test before the equipment is delivered. This last step should make it possible to complete a full coverage scheme of the overall test strategy and thus ensure the designers reliability and quality of finished products.
When analyzing the needs for the functional test, it is important to consider several factors. The graph below illustrates some of the elements to be considered in the analysis and which allow defining the direction of the strategy to be put in place.
Over time, the manufacturing center will have experimented with several electronic assembly validation processes, standardized test equipment and software architecture. The selection and standardization of those tools will have strengthened its expertise while allowing it to offer a robust and sustainable functional test tool.