Solution Sources’s expertise in instrumentation range from traditional boxed instruments to the increasingly popular modular implementation approach defined by PXI, the industry standard platform utilizing PCI and PCI express bus. With device complexity increasing and technologies evolving in record time, it is critical to develop test systems that are flexible and have long lifespans.
In order to meet these objectives, we develop software-defined modular architecture that allows customers to benefit from high performance with PC data buses, multicore processors, and FPGAs while increasing system longevity by being able to quickly add functionality as requirements evolve.
Selecting the Right Test System
Get it right the first time
When building a test system, it is important to work with experts who understand how to design, implement, and integrate the best solution for your requirement. This goes from seemingly menial tasks such as choosing rack type and power distribution to more involved items such as switching, mass interconnect, and fixturing considerations. Download a complete guide for building test systems from start to finish.
Rack Type, Size & Cooling Considerations
Choosing your hardware and designing a system is a critical step in making sure you avoid costly additions during the lifetime the test system. Rack-mount enclosures (bench, half, and full height) are used to store test equipment, including test instrumentation, fixtures, mass interconnect systems, and cooling systems.
Power Distribution Unit
Large test systems containing instruments in a rack are typically plugged into terminal strips inside the rack which connect to the main power distribution unit (PDU). The PDU should be placed at the bottom of the rack for stability. Make sure to have a single connection between the PDU and the power source on the wall and to determine the total power that your test system needs by adding the total watts of the equipment plugged into the main power supply. Use a power supply with a watt rating that is higher than the equipment load (test system load should be 70% of power supply watt capacity)
The Right Software ADE
When choosing the right software ADE it is important to select a language that is both intuitive and easy-to-integrate with measurement/control services like drivers. Easy User Interface design capabilities and reporting features help to speed up operator training as well. We look at the ease of use for new software engineers, the measurement and analysis capabilities of a language, multicore and parallelism support capability, and easy integration with measurement and control drivers before making a final selection for a software platform to use on a requirement.
Hardware Platform Considerations
Proper hardware platform selection takes into account the application type, the number of products tested (a single product vs a product family vs multiple product families), and future plans such as potential future measurement needs, life span of test system, and product volume.
Switching, Mass Interconnect & Fixturing
Finally, you must consider the best way to connect to your device under test (DUT) by determining switching architecture, considering a mass interconnect system, as well as a proper test fixture.
Microsoft uses LabVIEW & Modular Instruments for Production Test
Sourcing & Planning
- BOM Definition & Analysis
- Material Planning & Procurement
- Parts Inspection
- Global Network of Suppliers & Partners to leverage
Assembly & Validation
- Documentation, routing, and tooling
- Visual work & assembly instructions provided
- Quality checklists
- Automated Signal Integrity Test
- Final inspections with photographs
- Crating for worldwide shipping
- Customs paperwork/preparation for fast delivery
- Contract manufacturer installation services
- Factory & Site Acceptance Testing (FAT, SAT)
- Post-Installation Training
- Volume ramp-up support
- Ongoing Preventative Maintenance
- Spare parts management
- Test station monitoring, repair, and upgrades