SMT & Inspection | March 15, 2009
Aeroflex in the UK utilises Boundary Scan and is happy
One of Aeroflex’s offices is located in Slough, Berkshire/UK, where small numbers of specially designed boards are manufactured. In particular, mobile phone protocol testers are manufactured and tested. These solutions are sold to the big names in the communication business.
Gary Brightman, test engineer, is responsible for production testing of the boards. He has been dealing with test technologies for quite a long time. In the early 1990s he utilised a Marconi test system. On legacy products it is still in use today, but it was a ot of work to program. Furthermore, the system had limited functionality and no further enhancements were possible. Before Aeroflex started dealing with alternative test technologies such as JTAG/Boundary Scan, they utilised a mixture of In-Circuit Test (ICT) and Functional Test (FT). Gary Brightman remembers: “Getting a good fault diagnostics from functional test was impossible.” Consequently, test engineers at Aeroflex decided to have a closer look at Boundary Scan as a challenging, but obviously promising test technology. The benefits of Boundary Scan were at hand: • good diagnostics capability, especially for interconnections • lots of new components occurred on the market, e.g. BGA components, that could only be tested with Boundary Scan • Boundary Scan was also applicable without additional labour or financial efforts after possible design changes In 2000, the analysis of the market narrowed possibilities to JTAG Technologies, ASSET Intertech, CORELIS and GOEPEL electronic. Aeroflex decided on a final comparison between JTAG Technologies and GOEPEL electronic with hardware and development systems loaned from both - free to use for them in a trial period. In the end, the final decision was made in favour of the system from GOEPEL electronic. Aeroflex wanted a program to run everything, a coherent solution, not bits of solutions in many sub programs. Another criterion was the ease of the program – in the GOEPEL electronic system there were more features integrated into one package. But the integration side of the system as the ultimate value for the decision, because Aeroflex looked for Boundary Scan that could be integrated into an existing test station. The system from the German supplier could be used further on. “The GOEPEL system was the most developed”, says Gary Brightman. “Our in-house software could deal with the software easiest and lots of functions could be transformed. Additionally, the ability for tests to be executed under customer software control was possible”. Finally, the ICT was replaced by a Boundary Scan system. Aeroflex uses a PXI rack, in which a Boundary Scan controller is included, with fixture to external connectors. The engineers in Slough had special interfaces and designed their own interface boards to maximise the advantage of GOEPEL’s Boundary Scan solution. They’re trying to keep the connection to the PC as minimal as possible, thus they use the PXI rack including GPIB boards and PXI cards, among them a Boundary Scan controller from GOEPEL electronic. Because Aeroflex manufactures small volumes, “speed is not a big issue for us”, argues Gary Brightman. Test time is less critical, but test coverage and board level tests are important. As most boards are about 75% digital – and that percentage has been increasing over a very short time – Boundary Scan has a good reputation, providing a test coverage of 80-90%. The test engineers execute most commonly known Boundary Scan test types such as Infrastructure Test, Interconnection Test, Cluster Test to test non-Bscan components plus a functional test setup with JTAG, measured externally. But the goal is to completely avoid a functional tes,t because of its incredible time consumption. In the case of multi board modules - once assembled it is extremely expensive to strip, fix and rebuild. The aim is zero defects at this point. Especially in the case of design changes, Boundary Scan fits best as test technology. The methodology is only applied in the production stage due to the timing of the interface fixtures. As soon as a board is available, it gets tested. But in contrast to various other board design and manufacturing companies, Aeroflex doesn’t execute a prototype test. Boundary Scan gives good fault diagnostics and isolation with node location that wouldn’t be possible with FT or ICT. In particular the number of BGA components and fine pitched devices has always been critical for utilising Boundary Scan. Aeroflex’ entire test system consists of four different ATE systems: Parallel to test executions, programming of Flash devices (e.g. FPGA’s) is done as part of the testing, with the test code being loaded before the final code is loaded. Gary Brightman adds: “One of the exciting features of GOEPEL’s Boundary Scan software is CASLAN that gives us nearly unlimited opportunities in Flash programming”. CASLAN is a powerful programming language. GOEPEL’s software philosophy is to automate the generation of tests were ever possible, this is achieved with a huge device library of models. However Aeroflex, like most of GOEPEL’s customers, always wants to do something unique. This is where CASLAN comes in, allowing the user to modify models, create new ones, essentially what ever they want using a clear and easy to understand language. Once decided for Boundary Scan technology, Aeroflex does not even think about changing this situation. They’re more than happy with the technology and the GOEPEL electronic system in particular. They need absolutely no fixtures, no physical contact. Especially in terms of increasingly higher density where physical access is limited, no test points must be designed in. And Gary Brightman smiles when talking about testing analog devices: “Tests of boards with not a single Boundary Scan device are possible - and we’ve done it!” In these cases, they’ve used external Boundary Scan devices stimulating the UUT. Asked if he’d still pick GOEPEL again if he could turn back time, Gary Brightman doesn’t think for a second. “Definitely!”. No further words are needed. Gary Brightman (Aeroflex) with Karl Miles (GOEPEL electronics Ltd, UK) ----- Aeroflex Incorporated is a well-known, multi-faceted high technology company that designs, develops, and manufactures a diverse range of microelectronic and test and measurement products. The Company’s products are in worldwide use, supporting communication systems, networks and automatic test systems. This article was written by Goepel electronics.
NCAB appoints Peter Kruk as new CEO Following the announcement late last year that Hans Ståhl planned to retire in 2020, the board of NCAB Group has now found his successor. Peter Kruk will be taking over as the new CEO of the PCB supplier.
Comtech Telecomm Corp. issues business update New York-based Comtech Telecommunications Corp. has issued a statement on the withdrawal of its business outlook for its fiscal year ending July 31, 2020, as well as an update on its proposed purchase of the Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.
Xerox provides HP acquisition update Xerox has issued a statement regarding its earlier proposal to buy HP Inc.
As Samsung Display exits the LCD market a major reshuffle is expected According to the latest investigations by the WitsView research division of TrendForce, the oversupply of TV panels in 2019 resulted in a major price drop. As such, panel manufacturers hoped to utilise their excess capacity in 2020 through increasing their production of monitor panels, with Samsung Display (SDC) having the most extensive plans.
Swedish PCB manufacturer updates machine park PCB manufacturer MMAB’s factory in the south of Sweden recently got a new drilling area with updated machines.
Ventec races to build up regional inventories to fight COVID-19 The electronics industry is playing a major role in supporting increased requirements for critical medical devices during the current COVID-19 pandemic. And with that an increase in demand of the building blocks is to be expected.
Elmatica sees a spike in demand - responds with growth in staff Growing demand, new customers and an increase in business within knowledge intensive industries, has reinforced the need for another Country Manager in Poland, a new Technical Manager and an additional resource in the Customer Service Department.
Co-operation negotiations completed at Etteplan Etteplan initiated co-operation negotiations on March 18th 2020 due to temporary changes in customer demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the negotiations have come to a complete.
Indian electronics company support the fight against COVID-19 Indian engineering and technology solutions company, Cyient, says it’s received clearance for its Mysore facility to run its MedTech manufacturing lines to support the production of medical equipment critical in the fight against COVID-19
Tesvolt kickstarts production at new German factory Semi-automated production began today in Europe’s first gigafactory for commercial battery storage systems, located in Wittenberg, Germany.
Global semiconductor materials market revenues slip 1.1% in 2019 Global semiconductor materials market revenues edged down 1.1% in 2019, SEMI reported in its Materials Market Data Subscription (MMDS).
Cirexx Int’l posts COVID-19 update Santa Clara, California-headquartered Cirexx International has released a statement penned by President and CEO Philipp Menges concerning status of operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott gets OK for fast, portable COVID-19 test Abbott has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a rapid molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
COVID-19 limits viability for AT&S Considering current events and the effects that the global pandemic is having on logistics and production chains worldwide, AT&S is preparing itself for a decline in demand in some of its customer segments.
Neways provides update on COVID-19 impact The EMS provider says it has taken various measures to limit the risks to the health of its employees, as well as its clients and suppliers. In addition, the company has taken measures to safeguard business continuity.
Samsung Display plans to stop all LCD production in 2020 The South Korean company has reached the decision to end all of its production of LCD panels in its home country and in China by the end of 2020.
Orbit One updates machine park with new selective soldering machine Swedish EMS provider, Orbit One, has invested in a new ERSA selective soldering machine for the production unit in Ronneby, Sweden.
ZOLL pivots to focus on volume for ventilator production Massachusetts-based ZOLL Medical Corporation has shot capacity up to 10,000 ventilators per month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a nearly 25-fold increase from normal volume production.
Computrol ramps output for ventilator production As the coronavirus pandemic continues its spread through the U.S., Idaho-based Computrol is joining a growing list of electronics manufacturers who are adjusting operations to support companies producing critical healthcare products.
ABB adding jobs, new distribution center in Arizona ABB has announced the creation of a new distribution center in Phoenix, in a move that will bring the company closer to Western U.S. distributors, contractors, industrial customers, and retailers.
8% growth in 2019 drives tenth consecutive year of EDA growth The Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance Market Statistics Service (MSS) says that the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry revenue increased 2.2% for Q4 2019 to USD 2626.3 million, compared to USD 2570.1 million in Q4 2018.
Polestar 2 production begins in Luqiao, China Production of Polestar 2 has officially begun in Luqiao, China. The new electric performance fastback is the first electric vehicle to be produced by the facility.
Kimball Electronics updates on the impact of COVID-19 COVID-19 has disrupted the company’s global operations since its initial outbreak. While Kimball Electronics' facilities in China were initially adversely impacted, they have now resumed normal operations.
First Solar says that it's still operational First Solar says that its manufacturing operations will continue at each of the company’s Wood County, Ohio, Kulim, Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam facilities at this timeLoad more news