Production test

At Mikrodust we are experts in building test fixtures and systems for production test. We have developed a comprehensive platform of mechanics, electronics, software and tools to accelerate the development of production test systems. The platform is proven in many different projects for different customers, with different electronics manufacturing services (EMS). We specialize in testing low-power wireless products.

 We are happy to provide production test solutions for you. Business benefit is an important key word and we make sure that our customers get a faster, safer and more cost-effective test process. Involving us will reduce your resource needs for development, and increase the quality of your product. The lead time in your project is reduced, since the development of your test system becomes much faster thanks to our proven platform and efficient development environment.

Below we give you a brief overview of the different parts of our test platform. In the test fixture portfolio we show some of the test fixtures that we have built. Are you interested? Do not hesitate to contact us!

The figure below shows the parts of the test platform:

Test fixtures from Ingun

In our test fixtures, the box itself including mechanics is delivered by Ingun that offer a family of fixtures depending on requirements. 

We buy the model that is most suitable for the project in question and then we customize the box so that the test pins will meet the requirements of the device under test. The placement of test pins is of course decided by the placement of the device test points. We can help early in the product development project to plan what to test and to make sure the device has the correct test points with an optimal placement. To summarize, we can help make sure the product is designed for testability.

Control and I/O boards

To test a product you need to connect it and then control and measure different aspects of it. We have developed standardized control and I/O boards that we use when building test fixtures.

With these boards you can supply power to the device under test (DUT), measure current consumption, program the flash memory, control inputs and measure outputs, test/calibrate the frequency and output power of a radio transmitter, test LEDs etc. Sometimes the generic I/O board capabilities are not enough, e.g. when testing a panel with many test points, and then we customize an I/O board that fits the product. We sell our standardized control and I/O boards as standalone components, read more on the product page.

Mikrodust Production System (MPS)

Mikrodust Production System (MPS) is a library with generic functions for control and measurement. Furthermore it provides a family of flashers that support various interfaces, such as JTAG and SWD, and various MCUs such as ARM, ARM Cortex M3/M4, 8051 etc. With MPS you efficiently build a test sequence for the DUT by starting from templates. The library provides functions to:

  • Power supply the DUT while measuring the inrush current so the supply can be aborted in case of short cicuit
  • Program the DUT flash
  • Measure current, from uA and upwards
  • Measure digital and analog outputs
  • Stimulate digital and analog inputs
  • Measure the frequency and output power of the DUT radio transmitter, which is typically used for calibration and verification
  • Inject a radio signal to test the DUT radio receiver
  • Measure audio and light
  • Etc

TestStand

We use TestStand from National Instruments to build and execute test sequences. The picture below shows the TestStand development environment.

TestStand is a test management software that helps engineers build and deploy automated test systems faster. TestStand includes a ready-to-run test sequence engine, flexible result reporting, and a scheduler for parallel/multithreaded test. We use TestStand to:

  • Implement test sequences. Each test step in the sequence typically invokes an MPS function.
  • Compare measurement results with limits that are specified in TestStand
  • Log test results in a database
  • Schedule parallel tests
  • Etc

Mikrotest Production

Mikrotest Production is the graphical user interface (GUI) of the test fixture that the test operater uses to control the fixture, see the picture below.

Mikrotest Production provides a very simple user interface that guides the operator in each step of the test process. It is important that the information is clear and understandable, for instance, the progress of the test and what is currently tested shall be clear, and when the test is finished, it shall be obvious if the product passed or failed the test. The tool provides three views:

  • Test - shows instructions and status for the test process
  • Analyze - shows a test report for the selected product and test instance
  • History - shows the test history

Data storage

All data that is produced during production test are stored in a MySQL database. The database can be deployed locally or on a separate database server, depending on the requirements. Normally a separate server is used as an EMS often have multiple test fixtures that share the same server; Moreover, often test data is shared between test fixtures that test the same product at different places on the line.

Test data has great value and is used by a number of different stakeholders. The test operator can get direct feedback on errors that occur frequently. The repair department can generate test reports for devices to be repaired. The quality department can generate yield, pareto and histogram reports to tune the production. Further, the production data can be compared with data from the field to see if problems in the field can be explained with production problems.

Mikrotest Analyzer

Mikrotest Analyzer is a tool used to monitor different aspects of the production, see the picture below.

Microtest Analyzer is for instance used by the repair department to generate test reports for devices to be repaired and by the quality department to monitor and tune the production quality. The tool provides the following features:

  • Yield report that shows yield for selected time interval and period
  • Pareto report that shows failures sorted by frequency
  • Histogram report to investigate results vs limits for different test steps
  • Gauge R&R report
  • Test report select device
  • List all devices that failed the same test step
  • Etc