Automating Your Test System
Testing is commonly used throughout the product development and manufacturing process. Automation is a great way to improve throughput, test coverage, consistency, and efficiency. Automated test systems can help through the product development process﹘development, validation, and quality control can all benefit from test automation.
Automated Test Experience
At Endigit, we have a lot of experience building automated test systems. We have automated tests for R&D, production testing, post-production quality testing, and automating the production process. Our experience is especially valuable because we have come across many of the pitfalls and challenges in automated tests. We know the questions that need to be asked, and the considerations that need to be made before starting. Some tests have a broad scope and there are latent needs that we can anticipate and make appropriate adjustments.
Standard Automated Test Platform
Another way we like to improve efficiency is to standardize a fleet of testers. A standard platform is different from a universal tester. A universal tester attempts to handle every possible connector and I/O. By doing this, each tester is overequipped with useless features (though they may be useful to test a different unit) and costs much more in hardware than it needs to. It also doesn’t allow for as much customization and thus limits functionality. A standard tester platform is built on common source code which lowers cost of development, but since it isn’t locked in, it can be customized to each unit under test. The hardware is modular in a standard system as well. That way, you purchase and include only the hardware that is necessary for this specific tester. This lowers hardware costs dramatically.
Aside from lower costs, another major benefit of the standardized test platform is the ease of use for operators. Each tester can have a different set of work instructions, but the interface is similar for each tester and operators will feel comfortable using the standard platform and minimize context switching for your operators.