Monday, May 21, 2018
Publication Date: 07/1/2011
Archive >  July 2011 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Services > 

Doubling Test Throughput for Condor
Condor flying probe tester.

EKM Elektronik GmbH & Co. KG is a German electronics contractor, offering a standard range of EMS services to the European market including:

  • Board assembly in leaded and lead-free technology.
  • Repair of PCB assemblies.
  • Protective coating of PCB assemblies using a range of conformal coatings.
  • Encapsulation of assemblies.
  • Cleaning of PCB assemblies.

As a Digitaltest customer since 2003, EKM was already using a Condor Flying Probe System as part of its test platform, but with a sudden spurt in business growth, the company encountered a severe production problem. Volumes were increasing dramatically and test was becoming a real bottleneck.

Eliminating Test Bottleneck
EKM needed to test more boards at the same time in order to ramp up volume. Digitaltest suggested they use the existing Condor's capability to accommodate a vacuum fixture to achieve the higher output that was needed. This simple solution saved EKM money and brought more value to the original Condor purchase. A Digitaltest engineer was able to design and install the vacuum fixture and the results were dramatic.
Vacuum test adapter under PCB.

With the new fixture in place, EKM Elektronik went from testing 30 boards in 8 hours to testing 70 boards in the same time frame. The result after using the 90 pin vacuum fixture on the Condor Flying Probe is dramatic, more than double the output was achieved saving both time and money.

Uwe Muller, EKM's General Manager, is very pleased with the Digitaltest solution: "As a well-known subcontractor in the manufacture of electronic devices and equipment, we have to be able to react quickly and flexibly to all of our customer demands. This effort means supplying the highest quality with high throughput and test coverage. Partnering with Digitaltest has been just the right solution for us."

Improved Flying Probe Algorithm
The test heads of the Condor flying probe test system can land on small SMT component leads — down to 100µm. C-LINK now has an improved Flying Probe algorithm. If a pad is accessible by more than one head the new calculation in C-LINK will determine which head will guarantee the best and most reliable contact. With this new C-LINK feature, it is now possible for an operator to create very robust test programs in much shorter development time.

The Vacuum Fixture
Combining the benefits of flying probe technology with Boundary Scan creates a powerful test solution. The Condor flying prober permits functional tests using up to 1,012 fixed probes accessing from the bottom side. The fixed probes can access the UUT using a simple magnetic probe bed or a simple vacuum operated adaptor.

Digitaltest can integrate with any Boundary Scan platform. Highlights include:

  • Power on test.
  • Functional test including voltage test and current measurement.
  • Flash programming.
  • EPROM programming.
  • Virtual digital pins.
  • On-board programming.

Using Boundary-Scan will now decrease test time dramatically and provide more and better test coverage of the UUT using a simple low-cost fixture.

Contact: Digitaltest, Inc., 5046 Commercial Circle, Suite C, Concord, CA 94520 925-603-8650 fax: 925-603-8651 Web:

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