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Russell Blake | June 04, 2019

5 Considerations for Designing ATE Systems Built to Last

When developing automated test equipment (ATE), there is a lot to think about. Not only do you need to develop a system that has the required test functionality, but you need to protect your investment by ensuring your system is designed for longevity and is highly reliable. No one wants to spend precious capital and time on a system that does not give you the results you were expecting or does not last more than a couple of years. 

Based on the experience G Systems has gained building test systems every day for decades, we realized the following five considerations are frequently overlooked when developing ATE systems, yet each one can help greatly with developing systems that are built to last:  

1.  Test Configuration Verification – If someone changes the target value or tolerance for a test, the system could start failing or passing devices under test (DUTs) incorrectly. Passing a DUT incorrectly could result in quality issues for the end user. Incorrectly failing a DUT could result in production inefficiencies due to unexpected rework or scrapped product.


2.  Data Collection and Management When a DUT fails a test, stored data can help you troubleshoot and fix the problem. However, if the data is not organized properly, you might not be able to find what you are looking for, especially if you are collecting data at a high frequency for a long duration of time.


3.  Automated Self-Test and Self Calibration – When you receive a system error message or have a DUT that just won’t pass a test, running an automated self-test lets you quickly know if your ATE is sound. Self-tests can prevent a great deal of guesswork as well as the hassle of digging through documentation.

 

  1. An example of automated system calibration for an ATE system built by G Systems.


4.  Power and Ventilation Requirements – Without a proper power protection solution integrated into your system, you could lose data, testing could cease, or worse, your equipment could be damaged, or people could be harmed when power surges or outages occur.


5.  Designing for System Scalability – Scalability starts with creating a test system based on modular hardware and software. If you design your ATE for scalability from the start, you will save yourself immense amounts of time and money over the life cycle of the system.

  1. An example of automated system calibration for an ATE system built by G Systems.
  2. Learn more about these often overlooked ATE system features by downloading the 5 Features You Didn’t Know to Ask for in Your Automated Test Equipment  white paper. 

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