Test and Measurement Systems

PSI has built and programmed numerous test systems and would be interested in discussing and fulfilling your Automated Test Equipment (ATE) needs.

Both in the lab and on the factory floor ATE enables customers to implement traceable and consistent quality standards. From testing electronic subassemblies on the production line to completing extended burn-in testing, ATE systems are an ideal solution for cost effective, in-process Quality Control (QC).

Nearly all electronic and mechanical products undergo some sort of final testing. As the sophistication of these tests increases, so does the need for automation. This is where ATE plays an important role. The advantages of using automated testing over manual methods are many:

  • Consistency. Once a test has been automated it will always execute the same way. Test results are always recorded in the same manner and can be easily placed under a periodic backup procedure. Changes to test procedures require software and possibly hardware changes which are tightly controlled.
  • Documentation - Whether you are an ISO 9001 supplier or your organization uses other methods to document product quality, ATE ensures that the proper tests have been run and recorded. If necessary, an electronic paper trail can be generated for each item or batch you ship.
  • Safety - In some situations, you would prefer that testing be done in a hands-off manner. Manual testing may risk exposing operators to chemicals, high voltages, or other dangers that could be avoided through test automation.
  • Economy - In many cases, it simply no longer possible to complete the job using manual methods. For electrical subassemblies, a lot size of only a few hundred units can justify the ATE solution. As production quantities increase the economies of scale become very convincing.

For the last twenty years or so, ATE systems have been built with 19-inch rack mounted instruments controlled by a personal computer via General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB). These systems have been predominately programmed using National Instruments LabVIEW®, although C, C++, and Visual Basic are not uncommon. Sometimes custom hardware is needed for situations where rack mounted instruments are not available.