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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 with floor ERP systems tracking results from any given machine. Serial number, opera- tor, parameters, and yield can all be captured seamlessly. Between fixture testers and fly- ing probes, the flying probes can work with the fixture testers to verify non-conforming product. This keeps the fixture testers running and not waiting to troubleshoot each board. The probers can validate if the defects are real from the fixture testers and pass the prod- uct with errors that are deemed false. This is done by the test floor integration process where data fault logs are captured, the board receives a serialized bar code, and the flying probe reads that barcode. It then reads the fault data and performs a retest based on the same CAM data used at the fixture tester. Con- forming boards can automatically be marked as well. Continuing the process, passed boards re- ceive a passed tag while non-conforming prod- uct will receive a fault tag, complete with bar- code. This fault data is also captured. We move now to CAR. The product moves to the repair/ troubleshooting area where the bar codes can be read, and the fault locations presented on a screen for easy trans- lation to the board it- self. It can be quickly determined whether the board can be reworked, or the fault requires un- favorable disposition (scrap). From here, rec- onciliation of the order from all facets of the ET operation can be com- pleted. Pass/fail recon- ciliation, serialization, and final inspection can all be achieved. So, we can see that the computer and auto- mation age has hit ET as well. Many processes in ET are no longer the manual, tedious pro- cesses of the past. Still, the entire manufac- turing theatre relies on the OEM to begin the process via CAD. Then the full integrated process of CAM through CAR exists under one umbrella. Even now, the once manual HiPot (dielectric breakdown) test has evolved to automated options. Flying probes are now able to automatically perform the tests that once were the tasks of a single operator. Although an operator is still required for the machine, the tedious movements of probes to different pairs and waiting for the test is now automated. So we see in Figure 1 that, although CAD (OEM) is still the first attribute, manufacturing including the functions of ET are all in the con- nection equation. PCB007 Todd Kolmodin is the vice president of quality for Gardien Services USA, and an expert in electrical test and reliability issues. To read past columns, or to contact Kolmodin, click here. Figure 1: Connected systems within an ET department.

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