Creating even a simple electronic system, contrary to what may seem, is a very tedious and time-consuming task. The greater the complexity of the design, the greater the responsibility of the testers in charge of functional analysis. Previously eliminated errors can significantly reduce future production costs. Functional tests are one of the last stages of checking whether a given device can be released on the market.
What exactly are functional tests?
The first phase of verification of electromechanical systems is a thorough analysis at the design stage. Its task is to eliminate errors that would later increase production costs. Functional tests are carried out after the introduction of prototypes. As the name implies, their task is to determine whether a given device is capable of performing the intended functions. Simultaneously, the safety and ergonomics of work of a manufactured device are also checked. If no errors are found at this stage, the device goes into mass production.
Functional tests are also carried out at the mass production stage. In this instance, the assembly process is being analyzed across the entire production line. The goal is to eliminate errors that could arise as a consequence of incorrect assembly of specific components.
The most important types of functional tests
There are several methods and tools for checking the functionality of designed electromechanical devices. ICT, FCT, Flying Probe tests. These are just some of the popular methods. What are the individual functional tests?
ICT tests - test phase in which the correctness of assembly in mass production is checked. Any assembly errors that could disturb the expected operation of the device are detected. The value of individual elements and systems connected to each other is checked, as well as the correctness of the electrical connections. A dedicated fixture for the ICT tester is designed for each device.
FCT tests - this type of testing is carried out at the end of the production phase. These are targeted functional tests that check the proper functioning of the device under certain conditions. The device functionality and other required parameters are checked, such as current consumption, voltage value, signal level or waveform at the output. Test software is often uploaded to verify all functions performed by the system. If the device goes through this test effectively then it qualifies to be released into production.
Flying Probe tests - another method of testing the correctness of assembly. This applies to prototypes and non-series production. The method allows changes to be made to the design to increase the functionality of the device.
Quality control at every stage of production
Each electronic device undergoes many tests before it is launched on the market. Starting with the design analysis, after checking the prototype, then mass production control. The final stage is the target functional tests that allow you to answer the question of whether a given device is functional and can be released on the market.