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September 2015 • SMT Magazine 27 Development of a New Test Solution: There are basically five stages involved in the develop- ment of a new test solution: project planning; test system design; system build; system buy-off; and project closure or endorsement. All these stages are managed with "gate check points" compli- ance to quality standards and customer require- ments. Of these stages, the test system design and system build are the most challenging. For automotive applications, new product testing covers multiple technologies and scien- tific applications. In automotive camera testing, a typical camera test solution for camera focus and alignment includes not only require elec- tronics circuits design and measurements, but also optics measurements, as well as robotic pre- cision handling. Integrating all these technol- ogies and processes in a platform to meet the unique functionalities and test requirements of the products of customers is always the main challenge in test system design. Multi-disciplinary technical team: For EMS companies, technical challenges encoun- tered in TSD are addressed through the col- laboration of various engineers with different specializations—optics or applied physics, elec- tronics engineering, materials science and me- chanical design. This technical team also engag- es customer engineers in technical workshops to make sure the end test solution is usually unique and innovative. Value-add solutions: There is no such thing as a basic solution to every customer's test requirement. EMS engineers determine ways to innovate test to meet all customer re- quirements. For example, one test solution pro- posed for a customer with an automotive rotary position sensor product went beyond simply measuring rotor position sensor (RPS) product parameters. A parallel test system with an em- bedded ink or laser marking system was inte- grated in the test platform solution to improve production throughput and efficiency. With regard to pressure sensors, for instance, manual handling is minimized, therefore mini- mizing labor cost component. With TSD, the reliability of the product assembly is further im- proved. Rapid Development and Cost Competi- tiveness: Implementing a test solution from a concept is equally challenging. For instance, as IMI offers turnkey test solutions, procure- ment of parts for both standard and custom materials is critical in the development process. IMI TSD Group leverages on its supply chain network managed by IMI's Global Materials Team for the sourcing of standard parts as well as hard-to-find materials. This leverage helps the test development—it enables a fast- er tester development time and makes tests solutions cost competitive and compelling to customers. Integrated Technology: More new and diverse technologies integrated in a single plat- form solution are the future of TSD. Innovative products from customers will require more spe- cialized processes and measurements in their test requirements. These new products are now integrating new technologies like micro-electro- mechanical systems (MEMS), which in its most general form is also known as miniaturized me- chanical and electro-mechanical elements (i.e., devices and structures) that are made using the techniques of microfabrication. It can combine computers with tiny mechanical devices such as sensors, valves, gears, mirrors, and actuators embedded in semiconductor chips. Testing MEMS devices or their functionality in a pro- duct brings new excitement in TSD. Integral part of the supply Chain Today, only the high-end automotive brands are fast turning into smart cars or connected cars. Soon, the rest of the automotive brands will have their versions of the future-car-in-the-present. The EMS companies have geared for this with as- sembly services as well as value-add services like product design and test systems development. They are here to prove that they are an integral part of the automotive supply chain. smt Frederick blancas is a senior division manager at integrated Micro-electronics inc. (iMi). contributors to this article include iMi colleagues leslie cariaso and Tim Schadewald, with additional inputs from eric Javate, rafael Mantaring, and Dominador leonida. AutOmOtIve ems: GOING beyOND AssembLy continues FeAture

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