Many companies Functional Test (FCT), which is usually at the end of line and tests if the product does what it is meant to. In addition to FCT, at Fabtronics we have always promoted ICT product testing. This tests for shorts, opens, resistance, capacitance, and other basic quantities which will help to show whether the assembly was correctly fabricated. A product could pass FCT but not ICT, meaning potentially the life of the product may be shorter in the field.
Traditionally In Circuit Testing (ICT) has involved an ICT tester complete with a purpose made Jig for the specific product (using a bed of nails or “white box”) which can be costly and usually only justified when volume allows. During our upgrades we invested in a state of the art MIRTEC MV-3 Automated Optical Inspection machine. This equipment looks for all the traditional ICT fault types, plus as it is using advanced high-resolution optical recognition it can also detect additional issues including insufficient solder, component miss-alignment (i.e. a component may be slightly incorrectly placed or not fully seated onto the circuit board) and automated barcode device tracking.
For our customers this means we can offer additional quality controls in our processes when required, more quickly update our programming to match product upgrades (without having to wait for a new, costly, purpose built jig) and more economically ICT low volume products.
Whilst we have always prided ourselves on product quality, this is another investment so we can better support our customers.