Boundary-scan structural test equipment from ProDigital can help reduce hidden costs, specifically in the testing of PCBs in manufacturing.
The faster manufacturing defects including opens, shorts and bridges are detected, the more money saved on repair costs. Structural testing finds manufacturing defects quickly and accurately.
Structural testing has a number of advantages including,
- known fault coverage,
- direct failure diagnosis down to the pin level,
- possibility of automatic generation of test programs, and
- lower development costs for test programs compared to functional test.
In the traditional approach, a board is inspected visually and manual probing is done to check resistive values, to identify problems not found with visual inspection and then power is applied to check voltage levels.
The board is then put in a life environment for functional testing and if it does not pass it is removed for troubleshooting.
Engineers perform exhaustive measurements with sophisticated instruments designed to thoroughly exercise the functionality. Problems discovered often interconnect issues such as shorted or open nets and depending on the complexity of the board, debugging may take several hours per board.
The connectivity problems discovered while testing and debugging boards in the traditional method are exactly the type of problems that can be found in a much more efficient and economic way by using a structural test method.
Boundary-scan eliminates the cost restrictions of doing structural testing. To exploit the boundary-scan capabilities on the boards, one can start with a minimal investment, free even, and then grow the suite of boundary-scan tools over time as applications get more demanding or product volumes increase.