Automatic Test Equipment

ATE automatic test equipment is a vital part of the electronics test scene today. Automatic test equipment enables printed circuit board test, and equipment test to be undertaken very swiftly - far faster than if it were done manually. As time of production staff forms a major element of the overall production cost of an item of electronics equipment, it is necessary to reduce the production times as possible. This can be achieved with the use of ATE, automatic test equipment.

Automatic test equipment can be expensive, and therefore it is necessary to ensure that the correct philosophy and the correct type or types automatic test equipment are used. Only by applying the use of automatic test equipment correctly can the maximum benefits be gained.

There is a variety of different approaches that can be used for automatic test equipment. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and can be used to great effect in certain circumstances. When choosing ATE systems it is necessary to understand the different types of systems and to be able to apply them correctly.

Types Of Automatic Testing Equipment:

PCB inspection systems: PCB inspection is a key element in any production process and particularly important where pick and place machines are involved. Manual inspection was used many years ago, but was always unreliable and inconsistent. Now with printed circuit boards that are considerably more complicated manual inspection is not a viable option.

ICT In circuit test: In-Circuit Test, ICT is a form of ATE that has been in use for many years and is a particularly effective form of printed circuit board test. This test technique not only looks at short circuits, open circuits, component values, but it also checks the operation of ICs.

JTAG Boundary scan testing: Boundary scan is a form of testing that has come to the fore in recent years. Also known as JTAG, Joint Test Action Group, or by its standard IEEE 1149.1, boundary scan offers significant advantages over more traditional forms of testing and as such has become one of the major tools in automatic testing.

Functional testing: Functional test can be considered as any form of electronics testing that exercises the function of a circuit. There are a number of different approaches that can be adopted dependent upon the type of circuit (RF, digital, analogue, etc), the degree of testing required.