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Selected processes on electronic equipment assembly lines (2)

Testing plays a key role in the manufacturing process of products, software and many other solutions. It is especially important in the manufacturing automation and robotics industry, because it affects the quality, reliability and performance of final products. What is testing on production lines? What are selected processes on electronic device assembly lines? These questions will be answered in the following article.

What is testing on production lines?

It is a process that aims to verify, evaluate and secure quality and compliance with specified requirements. It makes it possible to detect possible problems before products reach customers. Today, in-line testing is no longer just an optional step in the entire production process. It is a fundamental element. It provides a guarantee that manufactured products are as expected and meet specific quality requirements.

Functional and electrical tests

There are many different types of tests that can be carried out on production lines. Of course, depending on the type of product and industry. Once the various phases of assembly are completed, the product or its components must undergo testing. It is necessary to check that they work properly. Tests can include checking functionality, insulation test (HiPOT), measuring electrical parameters, and detecting possible defects or damage.

Housing leakage testing

Devices that are exposed to adverse external influences must undergo leakage tests. This mainly concerns enclosures. What does it look like in practice? This type of test is carried out on a bench with an appropriately adjusted receptacle or chamber to ensure tightness. The main measuring instrument is a programmable leak detector with leak measurement by pressure drop method. In addition, the bench can be equipped with additional resources. Among others, a marking or sticking code station and boxes or containers. Pieces that fail the test will go into them.

Protection against ESD, or static electricity

Damage to electronic components and circuits resulting from electrostatic discharge is often discernible only under an electron microscope. They make themselves known, if not at the first attempt to start the device then after some not-so-long period of its operation. For the manufacturer, this is a potentially large cost associated with warranty service.

Therefore, the principles of ESD protection should be followed. Appropriate ESD protection measures are used to avoid damage and ensure the integrity of electronic components.

What is ESD?

The acronym is derived from the English term “electrostatic discharge.” It means a rapid flow of electric current between two objects with different electrical potentials. In industrial settings, it is generated by motion or friction. Small voltages that do not cause visible discharges can damage sensitive components.

Requirements for implementing ESD protection have been collected in the form of DIN EN 61340-5-1. It defines the conditions necessary for establishing, implementing and maintaining a static electricity protection program.

A holistic view of the issue requires thinking not only about procedures and measures inside the plant, but also about choosing the right supplier of production lines or machines. The supplier must be familiar with the concept of an electrostatic protected area (EPA). It can range from a single station to an entire building.

In addition, the supplier should use protective elements such as grounding strips on stations, anti-static ties, grounding cables, washers, anti-static transport systems, chains for intralogistics vehicles and others.

Why is testing on production lines so important?

First, quality assessment. Testing allows you to verify that the product meets the standards specified in the design. Second, testing prevents possible defects. Detecting defects and problems allows you to eliminate them at the production stage. Third, testing on production lines is an optimization of the entire production process. It allows monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire production line.

Lines & machines

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