CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Flying probe test system
Flying probe test system
Keywords IFR, Testing, CAD, Prototyping, Production
IFR has launched the 4500 Flying Probe Test System, a highly flexible test solution which is designed to overcome the problems of limited test access and high fixture per unit costs typically associated with prototyping, pre-production and low volume production environments.
One of the main criteria in selecting automatic test equipment is the time taken to produce a test program. The IFR 4500 is reported to reduce test program generation and commissioning time from days to hours. This is achieved through a combination of automatic program generation, powerful debugging tools and fixtureless operation coupled with the fact that it is thought to be the only flying probe tester which utilises integrated CAD translation software and system control software.
According to IFR unlike many testers which use CAD translations that provide program and fixture information based on two dimensions (X and Y), the IFR 4500's C-Link CAD translation software enhances the positional X and Y data with component heights. This three-dimensional board map claims significant benefits:
Collisions are avoided while allowing high speed, flexible probe movement.
The height and shape of adjacent components can be considered when assigning access locations.
Head movement is reduced.
Used for over 20 years to generate test programs for conventional in-circuit testing, the C-Link software automatically defines which components are to be stimulated and measured as well as the guard points required to isolate the component electrically. Commissioning of the test program is handled using the CITE suite of graphical debug tools which can be enhanced using Visual Basic.
IFR explains that the use of the NetzTest patented test process algorithm not only enhances the depth of test for shorts but also significantly reduces overall test time by a factor of five. With NetzTest, shorts and opens are tested simultaneously. This test capability is said to be further enhanced by the ability to use functional test techniques, boundary scan and IC opens vectorless test. In addition, the flying probes can be augmented by the use of fixed pins to further reduce test time especially when access is provided to Vcc and GND.
The IFR 4500 is designed using state-of-the-art linear technology claiming high speed, accuracy and repeatability by each of its four test heads. These heads can move simultaneously, and independently, in both the X and Y planes allowing for efficient probe movements. Linear motor technology also controls movement in the Z axis.