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Test Automation

At ATE Solutions we can provide test automation for many aspects of the electronics manufacturing process.

We can save you time and labour during the testing process, as well as reducing the risk of human error, by designing automated testing tools to carry out repetitive or error-prone tasks and produce fast, accurate results.

What does test automation involve?

Test automation is usually implemented as part of a wider process in the development, manufacture and testing of electronics. Automation testing sits side by side with manual testing, with the more difficult or involved testing scenarios being best carried out manually by a human being, and the repetitive or mundane parts of the testing process being most suited to automation.

In the early stages of production it may be necessary to program devices on a panel before they are broken out into single PCBs. This can be done with an ATE system installed in a fully automated production line, or within a manual process.

Test automation can then be implemented at later stages such as a PCB functional test. Again this can be in-line, semi-automated, or manual.

Efficiency is key

With test automation, the full process has to be considered from start to finish. If the balance of the line is not thought through, then product can be sitting at various stages waiting for other items being tested. The “beat rate” is very important, i.e. what is the shortest time for any one item in the process.

Our experienced engineers will take an overview of your testing process to prevent any such lags in the system. Using our vast expertise gained over many years in the industry, we design automated testing tools that get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The technologies we use

Test automation covers both analogue and digital devices. For analogue products we would probably use PXI instrumentation, unless there is a specific requirement for high power or special RF signals. We would then use off the shelf instrumentation. For digital devices we use JTAG technology for testing and programming devices, sometimes in parallel.

The benefits of test automation

Test automation is very powerful if used correctly. Not only can it save time (and therefore money) within the testing process, once set up automated testing is more reliable than doing it manually, as human error is eliminated. Finally, the automated tests that have been created can be repeated as many times as required in the future.

With many years’ experience in the industry, we can help you to reap the benefits of test automation for your product.

Contact us

Call us now on 01604 859185 or email peter@atesolutions.co.uk to discuss which aspects of test automation you are considering. We are able to assist you every step of the way.