In-Circuit Test (ICT)
The generic term "In-circuit test" (ICT) encompasses technologies for testing electronic assemblies and populated circuit boards. This entails contacting via special test adapters and then testing UUT/DUTs for
- Faults in conductor-routing (short-circuits or discontinuities)
- Component faults
- Soldering faults
- Assembly faults
Test platform KT-8500 "LEON"
We offer the KT-8500 “LEON” system for realizing in-circuit test functions. This permits the realization of typical in-circuit testing tasks e.g. testing of automotive circuit boards in control devices or seat heating controllers and entertainment systems, such as amplifier boards and Set-Top-Boxes. Automotive components, in particular are set up for special test requirements, for example precise quiescent-current measurement, as well as stimulation and measuring of voltage levels up to 42V that are typical for automotive applications. In this context, multi-testers are often deployed, which offer additional functional testing features beyond in-circuit testing.
Basically, the system consists of at least one switch matrix with 128 or 172 channels on four busses, one 16-bit multifunction card to generate stimuli and for measuring component parameters, as well as a precise measurement amplifier with guarding option. We developed the latter component as a 3U PXI card and it is sold as a standard product in addition to being used in complete test systems. The functionality includes the measuring of:
- Transistor testing
Further properties of the KT-8500 LEON platform:
- Two-wire and four-wire measuring techniques
- Fast short circuit test
- Fast continuity test
- Unlimited number of guarding test points
- Application either as a manual tester or as an in-line system
- Support from several ICT subsystems in one chassis
-> parallel testing
To increase the cycle time further, several ICT subsystems (switch matrix + ICT amplifier + ADC card) can be operated in parallel in a single PXI chassis. As a result, and based on the test sequencer’s multithreading architecture, it is possible to test boards in a panel in parallel.
The KT-8500 "LEON" system platform is basically a complete family of test systems which can be used in a vast variety of system configuration, depending on customers needs. Depending on needed amount of test points and further expandability customers can choose from one of three basic configurations:
- KT-8500 „Little LEON“
- KT-8500 „LEON“
- KT-8500 “LEON-ABex”
All three variants are based on the PXI platform but differ in the amount of available slots for switching matrices.
At very low entry cost we offer the PXI based KT8500 Little LEON solution. With this system users can already benefit from most features of the Konrad Technologies ICT-Platform, with maximum 256 test points per chassis. The other two variants KT-8500 LEON and KT-8500 LEON ABex® offers significant more test points and even more flexibility with integrating additional instruments and advanced signal routing capabilities.
A solution from Virginia Panel was used as an interface between test adapter and tester. This G12 interface with QuadraPaddle contact modules excels by virtue of its high signal density and long service life with up to 20,000 mating cycles. Moreover, we implement other interfaces, such as Pylon, according to the customer’s requests.
Functional test and AOI on the same platform
Thanks to the open PXI standard, users are in the position to perform a complete system test on a single platform – from functional testing, through AOI all the way to ICT. Investments made pay off in the short and medium term, as the existing testers can be adapted to changes in test requirements.
For functional testing on the “LEON” platform, a series of extension modules has been defined :
- Automotive extension (CAN bus, LIN, K-Line, MOST and FlexRay)
- Digital Pattern extension (generation and analysis of 32-bit data words up to 200 MHz)
- Curve capture, e.g. with NI PXI-5152 (100MHz/14 bit)
- High precision with dielectric strength up to 300V.
- RF (vector signal generation and capture up to 2.7 GHz)
- Realtime extension (outsourcing of time-critical processes as a subsystem. e.g. special trigger logics can run or special digital protocols can be implemented on an FPGA card)
- BoundaryScan (IEEE 1149.x) from JTAG Technologies
- Flash (programming of EEPROMS, flash memory) e.g. via solutions from SofTec Microsystems
The success of a universal test system platform essentially depends on the flexibility and performance of the supporting software. A key component of the “LEON” software is the “TestStand” test sequencer from National Instruments used. This sequence controller enables the execution of sequential and parallel test sequences whose modules are written in common programming languages, such as NI LabVIEW or C/C++. To create the test sequences, these are integrated in a simple manner and parameterized by means of a configuration panel. The delivery package for a tester includes always the complete “KT Project” library containing a wide range of such test steps, e.g. various measuring instruments, analysis functions, interfaces to databases and ERP systems, connection of peripheral devices, as label printers, etc.
All test steps can be operated interactively, including debugging, if required, and allow complete access to all the system resources used. A specific example for a test step of this type is shown in Illustration 2, where the actual ICT test step can be seen. An ICT script is simple to create using the integrated editing aids but can be generated directly from the CAD data for the assembly under test using the tools optionally available from Router Solutions.
The operation of an ICT/FCT system in daily production requires a superordinated user interface, which firstly guides the operator through the handling process and provides all the relevant parameters and secondly, excludes operational errors. KT-OP is such a user interface and comes into operation with all testers by default.
All results of a test run are archived in a results file whose content can be viewed in the accordant result screens. An efficient program for searching and filtering results files and for displaying histograms and calculating statistical parameters, incl. cpk and ppk is optionally available. It is therefore possible to calculate the measuring equipment capability for the entire test system as well was the generation of the relevant report files-Dateien.
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