Advantages of Using Flying Probe Testers
In this age of rapid innovation, it is of utmost imperative that quality is maintained irrespective of the volume of Printed Circuit Boards produced. In the effort to better serve its pioneering customers, ADCO Circuits offers flying probe testing within its PCB Assembly Testing Services.
ADCO Circuits utilizes a Sprint 4510 machine made by Acculogic. The machine has 4 flying probes that can probe up to a quarter million positions. In addition to measuring passive devices, diodes, and transistors; the machine has two special programs called DeltaScan and FrameScan. DeltaScan will test applicable digital ICs for orientation and open pins and FrameScan will test applicable ICs and connectors for opens. 2 cameras are utilized one fiducial camera, gray scale and one observation camera, color. Minimum Probing Pitch is 0.2mm (8mils)
Flying Probe’s main benefit over Incircuit or Functional testers is it is almost “fixtureless”. The tester itself is universal in terms of different PCBA designs, only requiring specific software programming for each PCBA design. If a PCBA design is adjusted during the development cycle, there is no fixture modification/scrap cost, just the cost to change the software.
For fast paced development cycles, Flying Probe testing also offers a shorter critical path than Incircuit or Functional based testers. Often with highly critical assemblies, Flying Probe will be utilized on the front end of a ramp-up and Incircuit or Functional testing is introduced later on as increased production quantities warrant.
Flying Probe testing is generally slower than Incircuit or Functional testers and the tester itself is expensive, therefore it does result in a higher per unit test cost, The savings from not requiring a dedicated fixture and the added benefit of test flexibility because it is software based, needs to balanced against the higher unit test cost.
Flying probe testers give businesses liberty to experiment with an endless assortment of designs. Circuit boards can be endlessly tweaked and perfected until they are ready for market. This can be the deciding factor in the success of any product prior to launch. Customers are intolerant of failures in any new product, and poor performance can cost a business millions. In its worst case, it can cost the organization its existence. Businesses can dramatically reduce this risk by utilizing Flying Probe testing.
In conclusion, the production of any new PCB assembly is not as risky as it used to be. Complete assemblies can now be built and tested on flying probe testers with very affordable engineering costs. Businesses can also benefit by only building goods already sold without risking large expensive production runs.